Dr. Richard Lewis Sickler (“Doc”), 88, of Wadsworth passed away on Sunday, May 10, 2015. Richard was born on July 28, 1926 to the late Lewis and Hazel (McConnell) Sickler.
Richard was born and raised in Barberton, Ohio and was a 1944 graduate of Barberton High School. While growing up baseball, football, and basketball was his passion, as he was active in all three. He ended his high school career as one of the best all-around athletes ever at Barberton High, lettering 2 years in football, 3 years in basketball, and 4 years in baseball. While attending Idaho University, he played varsity football and baseball. At Pacific University, he lettered for two years in basketball and was a pitcher for the baseball team. As a result, he was recognized for his athletic accomplishments by his induction into the Barberton Sports Hall of Fame in 2001.
One week after high school graduation, Richard enlisted in the US Navy and served honorably from 1944-1946. Thereafter, he obtained a Doctor of Optometry diploma at Pacific University, and had a thriving practice in Barberton for 40 years, along with his brother Edward who joined the practice at a later date. During his professional career, he served on the Barberton Board of Education as Vice President and President from 1959-1967, and served on the Barberton Board of Health. He was a 40-year member of the Barberton Masonic Lodge #0568. He also was an active member in several other civic organizations such as Kiwanis, which supported Barberton causes. Richard served as Barberton Councilman-at-Large from 1968-1972. Additionally, he took great care and pride in building business venture M & C Incorporated from the ground-up.
In 2014, Richard (1944 Class President) organized the 70th annual class reunion, exemplifying the “We Stick Together” class motto. This rare event was even featured on the front page of the Akron Beacon Journal. the degree to which his classmates remained friends over their lifetimes was phenomenal.
In his later years, Richard and his wife, Evelyn, loved traveling and vacationing in Florida during the winter. They traveled extensively around the world, where Africa was one of his favorite places. Doc loved to plan multiple family trips to interesting locations. Moreover, he hosted Thanksgiving family reunions for the past 16 years. For those who knew Richard, he was admired for his work ethic, entrepreneurial spirit, love for people and zest for life, which was evident in his professional, political and athletic careers. Family and friends were always the center of his life, as they greatly admired his wit and sense of humor. He was considered by many as a mentor and advisor due to his well-rounded knowledge of various subjects and desire to help people. Doc’s charismatic personality and generous nature endeared him to many.
He spent the last 15 years with his wife, Evelyn, in Wadsworth, Ohio, where they cherished their friends in the Briarthorn community. Richard and Evelyn attended Northside Christian Church in Wadsworth. He touched many peoples’ lives in a profound way and will be greatly missed by all that knew him. His son, Richard Lewis Sickler II, and brothers Raymond and Edward preceded him in death.
Richard is survived by his wife Evelyn J. Sickler (nee Morrison) with whom he would have celebrated 41 years of marriage on May 11, 2015, son Clifford Sickler (Marianne) of Lewisville, Ohio, daughter Gale (Steve) Reyher of New Concord, Ohio, daughter Sally (Michael) Gilbert of Knoxville, TN, daughter Lori (Mike) Fick of Wadsworth, Ohio, thirteen grand-children, fifteen great-grandchildren, three nieces and one nephew.
The family will receive friends from 5-8 PM Thursday, May 14, 2015 at Hilliard-Rospert Funeral Home, 174 North Lyman St., Wadsworth, where funeral services will be conducted at 1:00 PM Friday with Pastor Robin Hart officiating.
Burial with military honors at Western Reserve National Cemetery will be conducted at a later date.