Richard A. “Dick” Bletz
October 22, 1945 ‒ December 20, 2015
MANSFIELD: Hardworking, a little daring and ornery, and a tad-bit adventuresome, Dick Bletz somehow blended his life as a farmer with many other passions in life. Richard A. Bletz passed away unexpectedly Sunday, December 20, 2015 at his rural Mansfield home. He was 70.
The son of Emerson and Elizabeth (Etzel) Bletz, Dick was graduated from Lexington High School. Dick loved horses and as a teenager worked as assistant foreman for the Cedar Creek Dude Ranch. Fearless, Dick competed in local rodeos and showed quarter horses. Growing up, Dick was a member of Hilltop Community Church.
As a teenager he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. Serving during the Vietnam War, Dick was assigned to the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing. Flying missions over enemy territory, Dick was often in harm’s way and was even shot in the hip. Receiving numerous awards for valiant service, his most prestigious awards included the Purple Heart Medal, Vietnam Service Medal with 1 Silver Star, and Combat Aircrew Insignia with 3 Stars. He was honorably discharged in September of 1969 in California.
On his way home to from California to Ohio, Dick purchased a quarter horse. With his adventurous spirit stronger than ever, Dick road his way back to Ohio on “Dummy”, his new beloved horse. After a month on the road he finally reached his homestead on Vanderbilt Road.
After a short courtship, Dick married Sally Harris. The two wed on February 16, 1974 and remained rural Mansfield residents.
Richard was a lifelong farmer. Working hard, he raised beef cattle and harvested crops. After retiring he began working as an excavator, and drove trucks for Container Craft and Ferrell Gas Company.
A fisherman at heart, Dick preferred the waters of Lake Erie. He’d spend countless hours in open water on his boat as well as maintaining his boat in the off season. An avid hunter, he’d locally hunt deer and small game. Trophy hunting across the nation, Dick hunted brown bear and moose in Alaska, and elk in Idaho.
He was a member of Lexington VFW Post #5101, and was a life member of the Bellville Amvets Post #43 and Bellville American Legion Post #535.
Having an unmistakable laugh, everyone knew when Dick was chuckling.
Along with his loving wife of 41 years, Sally Bletz, Dick is survived by two sons, Stephen R. Bletz and Michael A. (Michelle) Bletz all of Mansfield; grandchildren, Dylan R. Bletz, Michael A. Bletz, Jr., Alexis Bletz, Bradley Silliman, Alayna Neal; brother, Robert A. (Tammy) Bletz of Mansfield; and sister, Elaine M. Bletz of Columbus; nieces, nephews and extended family.
Along with his parents he was preceded in death by his brothers, David Bletz and Kenneth Bletz.
His family will receive friends Wednesday, December 23, 2015 from 11am – 2pm in the Lexington Avenue Snyder Funeral Home where funeral services will begin at 2 pm. The Rev. Tim Davis will officiate. Burial with military honors performed by the American Legion Post #535 will follow in St. Peter’s Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions to the Wounded Warrior Foundation may be made through the funeral home.
Online condolences to Dick’s family are encouraged by visiting:www.snyderfuneralhomes.com