Richard Mason McAuley

September 09, 1920 ‒ January 24, 2009

Butler, Ohio

BUTLER~ Richard Mason “Rich” McAuley, age 88, went to live with the Almighty, on Saturday morning January 24, 2009 from his Butler home. “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.” Psalm 91 was Rich’s life passage.

Born in Worthington Township, Richland County, to Robert Berton and Nina Ruth (Davis) McAuley, Rich was graduated from Butler High School in 1939.

On August 20, 1942, he was inducted into the U.S. Army. Sergeant McAuley served with the 34th Infantry Division, 133rd Regiment, Company G, and while spearheading a push six miles inside enemy lines, his platoon was captured. True to Psalm 91, “A Thousand shall fall at thy side…For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.” (vv 7~ 11) Rich served as a prisoner-of-war in Stalag VII-A at Moosberg, Germany seven months before being freed on May 18, 1945. He remained a member of North Central Ohio Ex-POW Organization.

For his service in the Rome-Arno and Northern Apennines theaters, he was awarded the American Campaign Medal, the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal w/2 bronze stars, Combat Infantryman Badge and the Carbine Sharpshooter Badge.

It was while he was assigned to Ft. Benning, during his military duty, that he married Roxana R. Hitchman McAuley on August 7, 1943.

Rich and Roxana returned to Butler to raise their family, and build the house that became their family home the past 56 years.

Though he initially worked as a carpenter, Rich took a position with the U.S. Postal service as a rural mail carrier, and for 33 years delivered mail to residents on Butler’s Rural Route #1. He retired in 1980.

Raised in the Mount Sinai E.U.B. Church in Butler, Rich later became a charter member of Clear Fork Alliance Church, and had served the congregation on the building committee, as a trustee and as assistant treasurer. As a member of the Monday Morning Bible Study, it was Rich who was faithful about bringing a conversation, straying on a tangent, back to the scriptural basis and foundation.

Richard liked to tinker with electronics ~ building CB radios and amps, and working out in his vegetable garden.

His magnetic personality, quick with a joke, a trademark laugh and smile, and his wise counsel drew folks of all generations to him.

“I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.” (Ps 91:2) …so speaks of Rich’s faithfulness, both to the Lord, and to his cherished “Rox.”

He is survived by his wife of 65 years Roxana; their children Melinda O’Neal of Ashland, Richard “Rick” & Linda McAuley of Raleigh, NC, and Bob and Shirley McAuley of Butler; grandchildren Cassie Miller, Rachel Comer, Ruthann & Matt Formica, Stephen McAuley, Daniel McAuley, Chris & Stephanie McAuley and Eric & Amanda McAuley; great grandchildren Richard Mason Comer, Gabriella McAuley, Emma McAuley, Landon McAuley, Finn McAuley and “Little Bean” on the way; sisters Roberta Schroer and Roma Alexander both of Bellville; a faithful friend Dory Swank of Butler; brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law Albert and Frankie Hitchman of Butler, Ellie Hitchman of Butler, Connie Workman of Ashland, and Julia Sorquist of Butler; and numerous nieces and nephews on both the McAuley and Hitchman side of the family.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a grandson Jason O’Neal, a sister Ruth McAuley, and sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law Helen and Virgil Hess, Evelyn and Charles Divelbiss, Marian and Royal Gatton, Marjorie and Merle Hassinger, Gustava and Dory Teeter, Richard Hitchman, and James Hitchman.

The McAuley Family will receive friends Thursday, January 29, 2009 from 2-4 and 6-8 p.m. in the Bellville Snyder Funeral Home. The worship service, giving glory to God for the life of Richard McAuley will be held Friday at 11 a.m. in Clear Fork Alliance Church, 1008 State Route 97 East, Bellville. Dr. Michael V. Stine and the Rev. Don Earlenbaugh will officiate. Burial will follow in Zion Cemetery, where American Legion Post #535 will hold graveside military honors.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions are encouraged to Worthington Township-Butler Rescue Squad or The Great Commission Fund of Clear Fork Alliance Church and may be made at the funeral home.

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