Farming Rural 07

Elmer Joseph Richard

October 26, 1926 ~ October 29, 2023 (age 97) 97 Years Old

Elmer Richard Obituary

Elmer Joseph Richard, 97, of Creston, passed away on Sunday, Oct. 29, 2023 at the Apostolic Christian Home after a period of declining health.

 Elmer  was born on October 26, 1926, on his parents’ farm along Cleveland Road, north of Wooster in Wayne Township, Wayne County, Ohio. He was the oldest son of Joseph and Sarah E. (Graber) Richard, the second of  eight children, and the grandson of four French/Swiss immigrant grandparents. He accepted the Lord as his personal Savior and joined the Pleasant Hill Mennonite Church (Sterling, Ohio) on May 5, 1940. Elmer attended Wooster and Smithville public schools, and graduated from Smithville High School in 1944. Following graduation, he worked for his father on the family’s Wayne Township farm until his marriage. As a young adult, Elmer was active in the Pleasant Hill Mennonite Church, where he was president of the church’s first Literary Society (youth group). He loved playing softball on the Pleasant Hill Church team and coached the team a number of years before he got married, in addition to playing second base and pitching. Elmer met the love of his life, Eunice Marie Amstutz in 1948 and they were married on March 26, 1951, at the Martin’s Mennonite Church, by Rev. Stanford Mumaw. Elmer and Eunice took up housekeeping on a 78.8-acre farm at 5265 East Easton Road in Milton Township, near Sterling, Ohio. Here they raised their family and lived their entire married lives. Four children were born into their family – Phil, Sidney, Kristina, and Kent. Elmer was a dairy farmer most of his life. In addition to farming, in the early years of his marriage, he also did several other jobs (painting, butchering turkeys, helping uncles with their farm work), in order to provide well for his family. He was an active member of the Pleasant Hill Mennonite Church (Sterling, Ohio) until it closed in 1973, where he was a Sunday School superintendent, Sunday School teacher and church custodian for many years. He and Eunice then joined the Crown Hill Mennonite Church (Rittman, Ohio) and he was a faithful member until his death. At Crown Hill, Elmer was congregational chairman, church elder and Sunday School teacher. His church family was very important to him and he especially appreciated the support he received from the, church after his wife passed away. Elmer’s passions were serving God, his family, his church, farming, The Gideons, and gardening. He loved spending time with his wife in later years, supporting church members and friends, driving her around the countryside and assisting her in her creative endeavors. He was an active member of The Gideons International from the early 1970’s to the present, and he frequently passed out New Testaments and Bibles at local schools and hotels, in addition to speaking about the Gideons’ ministry at various churches. After his life companion, Eunice, died in 2009, Elmer struggled to adjust to life alone. As he aged, and with the onset of dementia and CHF, he was gradually able to do less for himself. With the invaluable support of his daughter, Kristina, he was able to stay in his own home until July 8, 2023, when he was admitted to inpatient hospice after a decline in his physical condition. He was later transferred to the Apostolic Christian Village, Rittman, Ohio, on July 17, 2023. Through it all, his faith in God was of utmost importance to him and he daily prayed for each member of his family. On October 29, he went home to be with the Lord who he loved dearly and served so faithfully.

He is survived by three children: Sidney and his wife, Sandra of Goshen, IN, Kristina and her husband, Steve Gerber of Creston and Kent and his wife, Rita of Talmage, PA;  seven grandchildren: Erin (Tom Fautz), Joel (Jami), and Gina (Chris Webster); Samuel (Mindy) and Zachary (Aerial) Gerber; and Rachel (Ryan Henschel) and Michel (Kirstyn) Richard; seven great-grandchildren: Braxton and Jade Richard, Mabel Webster, Jackson and Macy Gerber, Ruth Henschel and Gabriel Richard; and siblings Anna Gehman and Ruth Steiner of Kidron, Martha Steiner and Junior (Naomi) Richard of Wooster, and sister-in-law, Joanne Richard of Wooster.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife Eunice, son Phil and daughter-in-law, Sandi Richard Wood; his sisters Helen Steiner and Mary Hilty; his brother, Paul; brothers-in-law, Chester Steiner, John Gehman, Wilford Steiner, Marvin Hilty and Charles Steiner.

Services will be Saturday, Nov. 4th at 11:00 a.m. at Crown Hill Mennonite Church near Rittman with Pastors Dan Hooley and Thomas Dunn officiating.  Burial will be in the Church Cemetery.  Friends may call Friday from 5-8 p.m. at the Church.  In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Gideon’s International, The Apostolic Village or to Crown Hill 

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