Richard LaMar Wightman Sr., 82, passed from this earthly plane Nov. 23, 2007, in Stein Hospice Care Center, Sandusky, to the welcoming arms of his Lord.
He was born Oct. 25, 1925, to Vernon Otto and Lucy Laura (Schoch) Wightman on the family farm at Wightman's Grove. He graduated from Fremont Ross High School in 1943 and immediately entered the fight for democracy in the U.S. Navy He served in the South Pacific in the Battle of Okinawa and was awarded the Asiatic-Pacific Theater Ribbon, Occupancy of Japan Ribbon, WWII Victory Medal, American Campaign Ribbon, American Defense Theater Ribbon, Pacific Theater Ribbon with Two Stars, Korean Service Medal, and Good Conduct Medal with Three Stars.
In 1944 he met and married the love of his life, Gertrude Elizabeth Rogers, affectionately known as "Trudy", from Detroit. They had three children, Lynne, Wendy, and Rick. Dick and Trudy had many great years together before she preceded him in death in October, 2002.
Dick Wightman proudly served in the Korean War. He left the Navy with the rank of chief electrician's mate in 1954, and moved back to Fremont in 1955. There he worked for Burkett Electrical Contracting. He attended The Ohio State University and the University of Toledo, and earned his degree in teaching. In 1968, he became an electrical instructor at Vanguard Vocational School, and retired in 1989. During this time, he also did work for The Ohio State University's Standards and Measures Testing Lab, and he did some private contracting. In the summers he ran fishing charter boats on the lake.
He had numerous hobbies and interests. Since his early childhood on the farm, he was interested in agriculture and agronomy. As a child he helped on the farm. In his adult life, he raised apples, peaches, nectarines, cherries, plums, berries and rhubarb. He grew a meticulously tended garden every year, right up to his very last days. An accomplished grape grower and vintner, he was known for his succulent grapes and fine homemade wines. From his earliest days growing up along the Sandusky River, he became an expert hunter, trapper and fisherman. He enjoyed passing these skills on to others. He loved fishing the river before the flood wall was built. He was a woodsman who enjoyed his many fine hunting dogs. His hunting and fishing trips took him to exciting places like Pennsylvania, Michigan, Ohio, Wyoming, West Virginia, Montana and the Great Lakes.
He was a strong-minded man with a great sense of civic duty. He served as Third Ward Councilman for the Fremont City Council during the Sesquicentennial. He was a Boy Scout Troop Leader, and an active member of Grace Lutheran Church. In addition, he was a member of American Legion Post 121, Fremont; Moose Lodge 1610, Port Clinton; Ohio LST Amphib Association; and United States LST Association. He was an honorable member of Hunters Point Hunt Club, Coon Creek Hunt Club, and Inner Lake Yachting Association. He was a two time past commodore of Nugent's Canal Yacht Club and he and his wife enjoyed extensive travel on the Great Lakes.
After the passing of his beloved wife, he enjoyed traveling with his companion, Viola Marie Lukas of Wyoming, Mich.
Left to mourn are his three children, Lynne Elizabeth (Denny) Krause of Mount Clemens, Mich., Wendy Gertrude (Don) Burns of Alberta, Canada, R.L. "Rick" Wightman Jr. of Fremont; and grandchildren nieces and nephews in the United States and Canada.
Visitation will be from 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. Wednesday in Wonderly Horvath Hanes Funeral Home & Crematory, 425 E. State St., Fremont, where funeral services will be at 10:30 a.m. Thursday with Pastor Paul Gruetter officiating. Burial will be inGreenlawn Memory Gardens, Clyde.
Per his wishes, memorials may be made to Stein Hospice Services, Inc., 1200 Sycamore Line, Sandusky, OH 44870.
Condolence may be made at wonderlyhorvathhanes.com.