Gene Wirick

May 08, 1932 ‒ January 14, 2020

Lexington, Ohio

LEXINGTON: Gene Wirick was born at home on May 8, 1932 in Lexington, Ohio, the second son of the late Chester and Jeanette Wirick. On January 14, he passed away after a brief illness after living 87 years in a town he loved with a woman he adored.

Gene graduated from Lexington High School, where he lettered in baseball, track, and basketball. He played two years of semi-pro baseball for the Lexington Grays in 1951-1952. Inducted into the Masons as one of the youngest members, he continued as an active member and received his 65-year pin at Lodge 376 in Bellville.

He served in the original 164th Air National Guard Squadron in Mansfield from 1950 to 1953. He entered the United States Army in 1953 through 1955 in Fort Lee, Virginia, and was honorably discharged in 1955. He was a member of the 2nd Army championship volleyball team.

His highly successful sales career started when he became the first employee hired to sell farm machinery for Bill Templeton. He left to work several years at Mansfield Tire, then accepted an offer from Cooper Tires in Findley, Ohio. Quickly rising to the top of the sales organization, he received dozens of accolades and awards during his 40-year career. In 1971 he won the top award of Master Merchandiser. He retired in 2005 as the Senior Salesman.

A nature-lover, he loved fishing with his wife and walking through the woods on his different farms. A big game hunter, Gene was known throughout the county (as well as in Pennsylvania, Colorado, and Idaho) for his hunting ability and expert marksmanship. Adept with both the gun and bow and arrow, on foot or on horseback, Gene always returned from the hunt with something to eat.

Son of a carpenter, Gene excelled at working with his hands. As general contractor on his current home, he continued to find projects that included constructing an art studio for his wife. A dog lover his entire life, Gene always owned a dog or two.

Gene played singles and doubles tennis for years and won many tournaments for his athletic ability as well as those of his favorite doubles partner, his wife Pat.

Gene cared about providing for others, often stopping in to share venison with neighbors. He was well known for picking up stray animals, taking them to the animal shelter, and paying for their care.

This last year, Gene realized his dream of flying – a birthday gift from Pat.

He is survived by his beloved wife of 40 years, Patricia Ann; his son, Richard E. Wirick (Deborah) of Santa Monica, California; his daughter, Jane Drake (Paul) of Richardson, Texas; his daughter, Jennifer Breitinger of Minneapolis, MN; his seven grandchildren: Evan, Maya, and Amelia Wirick; Taylor, Ellen (Luis Guzman), and Madeline Drake of Dallas, Texas, and Eva Breitinger of Minneapolis, MN; and his great-granddaughter, Esme; and step-children Karl (Lori), Kathy (Dave), and Kara (Steve); step-grandchildren Brian Bacin, Kyle and Kelly Kent, and Kip, Quinn, Zane and Gage. He is also survived by his brother: Larry (Edna) Wirick. Also surviving are his Uncle John I. Wirick, Aunt Helen Snyder, former wife Janet Follett, and a host of nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, Chester and Jeanette Wirick of Lexington, Ohio and his brother, Duane R. Wirick.

Friends and family may call on Friday, January 17 from 1 to 3 PM and 5 to 7 PM at the Lexington Avenue Snyder Funeral Home with Masonic services beginning at 7 PM. Funeral services will be January 18 at 11 a.m. at the funeral home where military honors will be performed by the Richland County Joint Veterans Burial Detail.  Burial will follow in Lexington Cemetery.

To send the family a condolence online visit:

Donations may be made in Gene’s honor to Richland County Humane Society or the charity of your choice.

The Snyder Funeral Home in Lexington is honored to serve the family of Gene Wirick.


  • Jennifer and Eva,

    I am so very sorry to hear of Gene’s passing. I will be keeping you in my heart as you begin the process of grieving. Sending hugs to you both.


  • We are keeping your dad and your family in our prayers. I’m so sorry for the passing of your father.

    Julie and Joseph Holland

  • Jennifer and Eva,
    Please accept my deepest and heart felt condolences.
    My prayers are with you and your family

    Sheryl Radle

  • To those that Were closest to Gene On behalf of my wife and I we would like to give our deepest of condolences to you all. We are neighbors to Gene and Pat, and shared a similar love for animals just as he did. We will often feed the deer in our backyard so long as they weren’t already stuffed with corn coming from the Wirick’s house.
    Blessings to you my friend! We will always remember you and will always keep the deer fed in your honor!

  • Sending my deepest sympathies to the Wirick family for you loss of your beloved Dad and husband. What a beautiful tribute of his life, makes those of us that didn’t know him wish that we had. Wishing you all strength for today and hope for tomorrow.

  • Jane, we are very sorry to hear of your father’s passing. Thinking of you at this very sad and difficult time. Sending love and hugs, Lori and Don

  • Pat, you and your family … and Lexington have lost a Renaissance Man. He will be forever missed. Our deepest condolences.

    Newt and Gail Young

  • Pat and family, so sorry for the passing of Gene. I worked with Gene for many of his 40 years at Cooper Tire. He was held in the highest regard by his dealers and his peers within the Cooper Tire sale organization.

    Once again deepest sympathies.

    Greg Wells

  • Jane, please know that Michele and I are thinking of you and your family as you grieve for your father. We never knew him but the loving way your family put together his life story speaks volumes about the kind man that he was. You were blessed to have had him in your life.

  • Rick, Jane, Jennifer & families. so sorry for your loss. Will not make it up for calling hours, but perhaps for the funeral, depending on this crazy weather that’s headed our way. Will be thinking of you all & sending big hugs & much love your way. Peace, your old baby sitter! 🙂

  • Rick, Jane, Jennifer,
    Did not know of your Dad’s passing until today (Jan 21). Prayers for you and your families. Many memories of our neighborhood “back in the day”.

    Becky Collier Young