EDON -- Richard Cletus Held, 88, of Edon, Ohio, passed away peacefully of cancer on July 8, 2013, at Genesis HealthCare-Bryan Center, in Bryan, Ohio, surrounded by his family.
Richard was a lifetime farmer and a lifelong Chicago Cubs fan. He retired in 1987 from Edon Machine Company after 27 years. He served honorably in the U.S. Army with a ranking of staff sergeant. He completed his basic training in Camp Blanding, Florida, and served overseas in World War II in Korea and the Philippines for 21 months. One of Richard's favorite stories of serving his country was that at the time of World War II, many of the farmers were not drafted immediately. It soon became apparent that the farmers were needed to fight in the war. As Richard and a number of other recently drafted farmers were on the ship heading to Korea, it was announced that the Japanese had surrendered. Richard's explanation of the surrender was that the Japanese had just heard that the farmers were headed their way to fight in the war and the Japanese knew they couldn't defeat the farmers.
Richard loved attending his grandchildren's sporting events and extracurricular activities. He enjoyed the annual trips to major league baseball parks with his sons, brothers and nephews. Shortly before his hospitalization, Richard was able to attend the ceremony to retire his brother Mel's Edon High School Bombers baseball number 6.
He was a member of St. Joseph Catholic Church in Blakeslee, Ohio, a K of C charter member of Father Deveaux Council 3883, and a past member of the St. Joseph's Cemetery Board.
Richard was born on July 1, 1925, in Florence Township, near Edon, Ohio, the son of Robert and Amelia (Hauser) Held, who predeceased him. Also preceding him in death were his sister, Erma Wuebben; and brothers-in-law, Keith Reitzel and Stuart Brooks. He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Wanda R. (Hoschak) Held. They were married on January 23, 1954.
Also surviving are his five children, Loren (Cyndi) Held of Bryan, Linda Metz of Hicksville, Ohio, Louise Held, also of Bryan, Laura Held of Toledo, Ohio, and Lyle (Sue) Held, also of Bryan.
Richard and Wanda have 11 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren, Kali Gallaher, Troy Metz, Allisyn (Jeremy) Herman, Lisa (Cory) Bible, Deiter (fiancee, Brittany Shirkey) Held, Danae (Michael) Polley, Tyla (Troy) Hepker, Darcie (Christopher) Coy, Dailyn (friend, Logan Reese) Held, Jason (Ruth) Hoch, Tyson (Beth) Hoch, Jacob Hoch, Braya Hepker, Mason Bible, Casen Herman, Camden Held and Sawyer Hoch.
Richard is also survived by his brothers and sisters, Melvin (Willene) Held, LeRoy (Marilyn) Held, LaRue Reitzel, Irene Brooks, Rosemary (Lee) Witter and Ronald (Penny) Held; a brother-in-law, Clarence (Rita) Wuebben; and many nieces, great-nieces, nephews and great-nephews.
Family and friends are invited to visit from 2-8 p.m. Thursday, July 11, 2013, at the Krill Funeral Home, 204 West Indiana Street, Edon, Ohio, with a service of reflection to follow. A funeral Mass will be held at St. Joseph Catholic Church, Blakeslee, Ohio, on Friday, July 12, at 10 a.m. Interment with military graveside rites conducted by the Edon American Legion Post 662 will follow at St. Joseph's Catholic Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Community Health Professionals Hospice and Home Health, 127 Blakeslee Avenue, Bryan, Ohio 43506; Cancer Assistance for Williams County, 228 South Main Street, Bryan, Ohio 43506; or a charity of the donor's choice.
To sign the online register or to send condolences, please visit www.krillfuneralservice.com.