Gerald F. “Jerry” Futty

August 07, 1933 ‒ March 14, 2011

Mansfield, Ohio

MANSFIELD: Gerald F. “Jerry” Futty, 77, of Mansfield died unexpectedly on Monday morning, March 14, 2011, at home.

He was the retired executive director of Richland County Children Services, a position he held for 32 years.

Jerry was born Aug. 7, 1933, in Cleveland, Ohio, to Stephen J. and Mary C. Futty, who preceded him in death. After graduating from St. Ignatius High School in 1951, he earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology from John Carroll University in 1954 and a master’s degree in social-service administration from Case Western Reserve University in 1958.

He was married for 55 years to his high school sweetheart, Mary Kay McAuley, who survives. They met in the 2nd grade and built a life that was devoted to their children and grandchildren and a shared love for Cleveland sports and Broadway theater.

Jerry had been a Browns season ticket holder for more than 40 years and a former Indians season-ticket holder. Family vacations with the couple’s four sons often were scheduled around visits to Major League ballparks.

His hearty, explosive laugh startled those who didn’t know him but was a source of endless joy and amusement for his family, friends and co-workers.

For the past 30 years, Jerry and his wife visited Florida for weeks of spring training games. They also made trips to New York City once or twice a year, squeezing in as many Broadway shows as possible. He loved taking his grandchildren on annual trips when they were growing up.

He was employed as a case worker for the Cuyahoga County Child Welfare Department when he was hired by Richland County Children Services as executive director in 1961.

At the time, the agency also operated what was then known as the county’s Retarded Children’s program. He promised the parents that he would build a new school for their children, then spearheaded a bond issue that voters approved in 1964, leading to the construction of the Richland County Newhope Center.

Under his watch, Richland County Children Services became one of the most respected agencies of its kind in the state.

Just before his retirement, he oversaw the construction of the agency’s new headquarters on Sterkel Boulevard.

His staff was so devoted to him that the agency experienced little turnover during his tenure. He obtained grants to help many staff members obtain their master’s degrees.

Jerry served on several boards over the years, including the original Richland County Mental Health Board, EMPAC and the Raemelton Equestrian Center. He umpired for several years for Southwest Little League when his sons were young. He was a member of St. Peter’s Catholic Church.

After retirement, he did consulting work for the Public Children Services Association of Ohio and served for five years as a senior fellow for the Child Welfare League of America.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by three sons, Stephen Futty of Van Nuys, Calif., John (Mari Ann) Futty of Columbus and Michael (Paula) Futty of Mansfield; four grandchildren, Allie Futty and Kayli Futty both of Mansfield, and Kate Futty and Jack Futty, both of Columbus.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by one son, Edward Futty; one sister, Alice Marie Siefert; and one brother, Robert Futty.

Calling hours will be Wednesday, March 16, 2011 from 4 to 8 p.m. in the Finefrock Chapel of the Marion Avenue Snyder Funeral Home, 350 Marion Ave., where a vigil service will be held at 7:45 p.m. Mass of Christian burial will be offered Thursday at 1 p.m. in St. Peter’s Catholic Church. Burial will follow in Mansfield Catholic Cemetery.

Memorial contributions to the Gerald F. Futty Fund for Children Services at the Richland County Foundation or the Monsignor Dunn Foundation at St. Peter’s Catholic Church may be made through the funeral home.

Private online condolences to the family may be made by visiting:www.snyderfuneralhomes.com