CONOVER - Mr. Richard Prince was known as the man who loved his land, his farm, and the rocks that dwelled within them. On Sunday, Dec. 27, 2012, at the age of 78, he was taken away from his family and community all too soon by a tragic accident.
Born on June 30, 1934, he maintained and grew the Prince Farm Homestead into a flourishing and vibrant grain and livestock operation, while farming more than 3,500 acres of land. Known for his love of restoring and refurbishing antique tractors, he relished his collection of more than 50 tractors and accompanying machinery. Richard spent a great deal of time frequenting antique tractor shows and farm sales poking around for objects and stove lifters - items others would consider as junk. In fact, he was known for turning junk into treasure. He could always envision the end product when others would simply turn their heads.
His strong work ethic and never-ending passion for the planting and harvesting season was further exemplified by his commitment to helping others at all costs. Richard would most likely describe himself as "just a farmer" but those who frequented his home or accompanied him to tractor shows knew he was a curious observer and a great guy with an infectious laugh. He was proud of his family and supplied them with the means and opportunity to become successful and productive contributors of our world.
One of his life goals was to drive a newly built 9320 4W drive articulating tractor off the assembly line and in 2006, he accomplished this in Waterloo, Iowa at the John Deere Manufacturing Plant. A member of five antique tractor associations, Dick (as he is known by many) hosted more than 100 people at his home this past summer when he showcased more than 30 restored tractors and entertained numerous members of the association from Ohio and beyond.
A cornerstone of the community, Richard would often be found driving around in his red pickup truck or working on refinishing collectibles late at night in his shop, laughing with friends, and sharing stories with his fellow "tractor buddies." He was the salt of the Earth and leaves a legacy of genuine comradery.
His love of his life, Joan Prince, died in 1996. He will be greatly missed by his best friend and companion, Marcella Rose of Conover; three children, Tom Prince and his wife Janet of Sidney, Ann Grieser and her husband Mark of St. Paris, and Maryjo Prince-Paul and her husband Curt of Shaker Heights; 11 grandchildren, Phil and wife Paulette, Katie, Jessica, and Jim Prince and Daniel and Sarah Pfledderer of Sidney, Emily, Abby, and Maggie Grieser of St. Paris and Logan and Brendan Paul of Shaker Heights; one great-grandchild, Cameron Prince of Conover; one sister Janet Duer of Fletcher; and numerous nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Massey Harris Ferguson Club of Ohio 8041 Salineville Rd., Mechanicstown, OH 44651 in memory of Richard Prince.
Funeral services will conducted Saturday at 10:30 a.m. at the Cromes Funeral Home, 302 S Main Ave. in Sidney, with Pastor Mark Atterholt officiating.
The family will receive friends on Friday from 1-8 p.m. at the funeral home. A celebration of his life will follow at Rosedale Cemetery.
Guestbook condolences and expressions of sympathy may be made to the Prince Family at www.cromesfh.com.