On July 16, 2023 Richard L. Hoke passed away peacefully at The Willows in Tiffin.
Richard was born on June 7, 1930, in Fort Seneca, to the late James Alfred and Vinnie Viola (Dunlap) Hoke. He graduated from Old Fort High School in 1948.
He stole the preacher’s daughter (his words) Doris Jeanne Sherriff and they were married on August 5, 1950. They celebrated 66 years of marriage until her passing in 2016.
Richard served honorably in the U.S. Army, mostly in Labrador, Canada loading cargo ships bound for the Atlantic. He retired from Basic Refractories after many years as a journeyman millwright. He was also co-owner and operator of Hoke Brothers Trucking Company.
Active in the community, he served as a volunteer fireman for many years and was a member of the Old Fort United Methodist Church and the Lions Club. He was a long time little league coach who also participated with others in the construction of the Fort Seneca Ball Park including adding lights and dugouts. He was an original member of the Old Fort E-High organization and helped to found the Old Fort Boosters.
In his younger years he was a very good pitcher for various local amateur teams, tossing three no-hitters in his career. He regrettable turned down an offer to try out for the major league team St. Louis Browns to pursue family life and shortly thereafter was drafted by the Army.
Richard was an avid hunter of Indian artifacts and had an extensive collection. His greatest find was an Indian weapons cache hole filled with over sixty perfect spearheads. This discovery was subsequently published in the Ohio Archaeology Magazine.
Richard was preceded in death by his father, mother, and brother, Robert (Joy). He is survived by sons, Michael (Cynthia), Stephen (Kate) and David (Jane). His precious grandchildren are, Gregory, Matthew, Allen (Kristen), Marcus (Elizabeth) and Jamie (Jon). He was blessed with great-grandchildren, Bennett, Emilia, Parker, Betty and Lucas (arriving soon).
In his final years, one of our lasting memories will be him sitting in his garage lift chair waving to every passing vehicle (whether he knew them or not).
Many visitations occurred and those who stopped were guaranteed a beer and many tales of olde. The family would like to thank all of those friends who stopped to visit Dad, bringing food and happy conversation. We would especially like to thank his next door neighbor John Merryfield who helped Dad in many ways.
The family would like to thank the staffs of Fremont Memorial, Tiffin Mercy and Heartland Hospice for their excellent care. We would especially like to thank the friendly and caring staff of the Willows for easing Dad’s final journey.
Visitation for family and friends will be on Wednesday, July 19, 2023, from 10:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. at the Engle-Shook Funeral Home and Crematory in Tiffin. Funeral services for Richard will be held after the visitation, at 12:00 p.m., at the funeral home with Pastor Dave Hudson officiating. Burial will follow the services on Wednesday, at Pleasant Union cemetery in Old Fort with Military Rites being rendered by the United Veterans Council.
In lieu of having a funeral lunch the family will be having a Celebration of Richard’s Life on August 17, 2023 at the Tiffin Moose Lodge from 5-8 p.m., and all are welcome to attend.
Memorial contributions may be made to Heartland Hospice or to the charity of the donor’s choice. On-line condolences may be left for the family at www.shookfamilyfh.com.