Richard E. "Dick" Booth, Jr.
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age 63, of 6035 Concord Drive SW, Bowerston, Ohio, died suddenly Wednesday evening, Oct. 31, 2012, in Union Hospital at Dover, Ohio after becoming ill at his home. He retired as a schoolteacher from the New Philadelphia City Schools in 1998 after 22 years of service. He was born Nov. 13, 1948 in Massillon, Ohio and was the son of the late Richard Eugene, Sr. and Betty Jean Wiggins Booth.
He is survived by his wife, Linda R. Allan Booth, whom he married August 22, 1970; three daughters, Wendy (Scott) Vitagliano of Bowerston, Ohio, Ginger (Adam) Gipson of Rota, Spain, and Leslee (Webster) Marshall of Doylestown, Ohio; his five grandchildren, Logan and Garrett Reiter, Gavin and Abby Gipson, and Skylar Marshall; a sister, Mrs. John (Debbie) Plasky of Massillon and a nephew, Matt (Samantha) Plasky of Niles, Ohio.
As a young man, Dick worked as a switchman for the Norfolk and Western Railroad in Brewster, Ohio. He was fond of this job and shared many stories with his family. He was an enthusiastic and knowledgeable sports fan. Primarily, he loved baseball and followed the Cleveland Indians faithfully. But he was also a huge fan of the Cleveland Browns and Ohio State Buckeyes. Dick was a well-known and respected athletic coach in numerous sports. He gave every game, including life, all that he had. He coached tennis and football at Tuscarawas Central Catholic; baseball, football, and basketball at New Philadelphia; and junior and senior high football, reserve basketball, and girls softball at Conotton Valley High School. Dick and several friends founded the first Little League Softball team for girls at Conotton Valley. He also served as a basketball referee and a baseball umpire for many years. Friday and Saturday nights were later filled with his enjoyment of the color-commentary on WJER radio for area high school sports teams. Sometimes he even let the cheerleaders on the radio. Thanks Dad! He loved his family home in the Leesville Glens and spent many hours fishing on Leesville Lake. His daughters recall fond memories of many hours of boating and how their dad taught them to water ski. He was a life member of the First Baptist Church at Massillon and he also helped raise money for Guiding Eyes for the Blind in New York.
His family likes to think he certainly "hit for the cycle". Being a ball player, every player knows that no matter what the order in the cycle, that all hits were equally important and carry as much enthusiasm for the hitter as well as the spectators (his family). As he moved around the bases of life, he hit a solid single when he married Linda, knocked out a double by raising three beautiful daughters, and the triple was the arrival of his grandchildren. The walk-off home run was overcoming a sight disability and contributing to his family and his community. He was currently serving as Vice President, and was the former president, of the Society for Equal Access Board of Directors at New Philadelphia. That's one hell of a batting average!
A private funeral service will be conducted Monday evening Nov. 5, 2012 in the Baxter-Gardner Funeral Home at Sherrodsville with Rev. Jerralyn Myers officiating. Public calling hours will be held Monday from 3 until 7 p.m. in the funeral home. The family suggests memorial contributions may be made to the Society for Equal Access, 1458 5th Street NW, New Philadelphia, Ohio 44663. To leave an online condolence, please visit the funeral home website.
Published in The Times Reporter on Nov. 4, 2012