Richard D. “Dick” Gantt

February 14, 1933 ‒ August 18, 2014

Marion, Ohio
Formerly of Aiken, South Carolina

Richard D. “Dick” Gantt, age 81, of Marion and formerly of Aiken, South Carolina, died early Monday morning, August 18, 2014, at the Ohio State University James Cancer Hospital following a brief battle with cancer.

On February 14, 1933, Dick was born in Centerburg, Ohio, one of seven children of the late Wesley and Mabel (Main) Gantt. His mother died when he was a young child, and shortly thereafter he was taken in and raised by E.E. and Callia Banning in Marion, where he graduated from Marion Harding High School with the Class of 1951.

Dick enlisted to serve in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean Conflict. He served his tour of duty stateside in Texas.

Upon his discharge, he returned to Marion to marry a young lady, Norma Coats. They were married on March 14, 1953. Together they cherished their 61 years of marriage and lovingly raised four daughters. They were members of the Epworth United Methodist Church.

Always learning and adapting on the job, Dick was trained to be a manufacturing engineer at the Marion Power Shovel and later at Tecumseh in Marion, where he was promoted to supervisor. Then in the early 1980’s, after working 3 years in Pennsylvania, he and Norma moved to Aiken, South Carolina, where he worked on land defense systems, he worked for over 20 years, until he retired in 2003.

After his retirement, Dick and Norma returned to Marion, to be near their four daughters and grandchildren. Because of his unique self-taught knowledge of tooling and gun systems though, he continued to work, traveling as a manufacturing engineer consultant.

Snowbirds, Dick and Norma enjoyed spending their winters at Travelers Rest, near Dade City, Florida, where he golfed several times a week.

Sharing a love for traveling, Dick and Norma traveled as far and wide as possible in North America aboard their motor homes for well over 50 years. They also were members of two camping clubs, the Capital City Sam’s and the Mohican Valley Airstream Club. In their younger days, they also enjoyed square dancing and were members of the Hicks and Chicks Square Dance Club.

An avid gardener, Dick enjoyed planting a vegetable garden every year. He also loved fishing, especially with his family.

He will be dearly missed by his beloved wife, Norma Gantt; four cherished daughters: Sharon (Rick) Gilbert, Connie Duffey, Pat (Jon) Olson, and Susan (Mark) Davis, all five of Marion; seven precious grandchildren: Stefanie (Julie) Gilbert-Beeney, Jason Hersman, Philip Keith, April Greear, Laura (Scott) Pfeifer, Megan (Kevin) Purdy, and Molly Davis; 6 great-grandchildren; a sister, Stella Hoch of San Diego, CA; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Including his parents and foster parents, Dick was preceded in death by a grandson, Christopher Gilbert; three brothers; and two sisters.

His family will greet friends Friday, August 22, 2014  from 10 – 11 a.m. at the Epworth United Methodist Church, 249 E. Center St., Marion. Services celebrating his life will follow there at 11:00 a.m., with Rev. David Hoffman officiating. A meal will also be held there in his honor. Burial will be observed privately by his family in Marion Cemetery.

Memorial contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society, 5555 Frantz Rd., Dublin, OH 43017, and American Heart Association, 5455 N. High St., Columbus, OH 43214.

Denzer-Farison-Hottinger & Snyder Funeral Home is honored to have been chosen to serve Dick’s family and your condolences may be expressed to them by visiting

  • We are so sorry for the loss of your loved one. May the bible bring you through the rest of the way because it does speak of a time that we will see our loved ones again.

  • So sorry for the Gantt family loss of Dick. I have fond memories of working with Mr. Gantt at FMC now BAE Systems Aiken SC. God Bless you all and may he give you peace in your time of mourning.

  • Sue and Mark, our thoughts and prayers are with you. Heaven continues to grown sweeter each day–Ken and Joy Roshon, Safford, AZ

  • It’s truly heartbreaking to hear about the passing of my old friend of nearly 30 years. My prayers go out to Norma and the rest of the family.
    Carroll & Danny Sasser; Aiken, South Carolina

  • I was also heartbroken to hear of the passing of my old friend and colleague Dick Gantt. Dick and I had to work closely together at the Aiken FMC/United Defense/BAE plant as I was the Supervisor of the tool room and he was the tooling engineer. His expertise was a big help to me and my employees who were all learning the fine art of tool & cutter grinding from him. He always had that big smile on his face when talking about his wife and daughters. He was a good man and was well respected by all of us that knew him and worked with him. So sorry for his loss to his loving family.

  • Our thoughts and prayers are with the families in this sad time of sorrow. Take consolation in knowing that he is in a better place now and looking down on those who loved him.

  • I know that sometimes words are not enough, but sometimes words are all we have. We are so sorry for your loss, and praying for you. May the everlasting arms of our heavenly Father embrace you in this time of sorrow.
    Ps 73:25-26
    25 Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee.

    26 My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.

  • So sorry to hear of Dicks passing. We had such good times camping and playing cards with Norma and Dick. Our prayers are with Norma and family.

  • I am heartbroken to hear of Dick’s passing and my heart goes out to Norma and his daughters. I worked with Dick for over 30 years here in Aiken and find it hard to believe he is gone. Dick was not just a person I worked with he was also my friend. Our prayers are with the family, God bless you.

  • Susan and Mark,
    Please accept our heartfelt condolences in your time of loss and sorrow.
    John and Marilyn Moodie

  • Our prayers are with you, Norma.

    As a co-worker at FMC and BAE I shared Dick’s knowledge and skills about tooling and setting up machinery. He was a master in this field.

    We had good times together as a co-worker. We played in the BAE gold tournaments and enjoyed BAE Christmas holiday dinners. We also enjoyed going out to dinner with both of you.

    I’m glad that we could share our relationships at the time Dick was in SC.
    God is with you, Norma and your family.

    Marie & Jim

  • Stephanie and family I am so sorry for your loss. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

  • We are sorry to hear of Dick’s passing you are all in our thoughts and prayers. He was a wonderful man and will be greatly missed.

  • We are so sorry for your loss. We will keep you all in our thoughts and prayers. On a personal note, Connie and Jason we love you dearly and are here for you always.

  • What a legacy to leave. He sounds like a wonderful man and I pray he is at peace with the Lord. My condolences for all of his family.