Richard D. “Dick” Gantt
February 14, 1933 ‒ August 18, 2014
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 www.SnyderFuneralHomes.com.