Richard M. Rufener peacefully passed away at his home, surrounded by his family on April 20th, 2014. Born on October 6, 1947 in Lodi County, Ohio; Richard is survived by his wife Cathy of 44 years, daughters Erin and Rachel (Drury) Cosner, and sons Robert and Daniel (Erica). He is the son of Tressa and late Freeman Rufener. Richard leaves behind his brother Freeman (Maria) Rufener; sister Carolyn (George) Vinay; sister Nancy (David) McVicker; and grandchildren Aaron, Eli, and Leah Cosner. Richard loved spending time with his family; any time, any place, and will be greatly missed.
Richard's passion was education; teaching 7th grade social studies for 33 years in the Ravenna School District. He used field trips all over the state to bring Ohio history alive; including archaeological digs, NASA, COSI, astronomy and orienteering at Towner's Woods, fishing & canoeing, the Winter Walk, chess club, the March of Dimes bicycle marathon at the arsenal, and the Young Astronauts Club. Richard also brought the hot air balloons to Brown Middle School for demonstrations. Richard led his own lawn care company for 33 years with help from his sons.
Richard taught marbles and chess at the Reed Memorial Library and Carlin Elementary throughout retirement. Richard enjoyed researching Ravenna history; compiling over 30 books starting during the Ravenna Bicentennial, Coca-Cola, the C. &. P. Railroad, A. C. Williams toys, Quaker Oats, the straw, Captain Video (which became the Green Hornet), clay marbles, the Erie Canal, Mark Twain, Ravenna Schools, and Benjamin Tappan. Richard attained the Benjamin Tappan state marker sitting just off of State Route 14. He was the Grand Marshall of the Balloon-A-Fair Parade twice; once as Benjamin Tappan and the second time as himself. He contributed to the Ravenna Zoning Book and supported the Ravenna Township Fire Department.
He was very involved in his church; serving as a First United Methodist Church of Ravenna Trustee, a Sunday high school teacher, Belfry chaperone for over 15 years, and attending the Thursday morning men's Bible Study, Koinonia Bible Study, and (most recently) the Friday Night Supper Group. As a retiree, he helped maintain the exterior of the church and organized a new sign.
Richard's spontaneous brand of "Rufener humor" brought his family together and entertained countless others; bringing laughter and groans to audiences far and wide. His family will always remember his strength, bravery, generosity, affection, attention to detail, and inquisitive nature. He enjoyed sharing and exchanging information with everyone. He will be forever loved and missed by his family. If you have a fond memory, please email it to firstname.lastname@example.org so his family can enjoy how Richard influenced the lives of others.
Calling hours are from 4 to 7 PM on Friday, April 25th and from 2 to 3 PM on Saturday, April 26th at the First United Methodist Church at 263 South Prospect, Ravenna Ohio 44266. Additionally, his funeral begins at 3 PM on Saturday, April 26th at the First United Methodist Church of Ravenna.
The Rufener Family appreciates the care by Dr. Emmanuel Yanelli and his staff, the Robinson Hospice & Visiting Nurse Group, and all those who continue to support us with love, thoughts, and prayers.
The Rufener family hopes you donate to the American Cancer Society (in lieu of flowers) in Richard's memory. Richard always prefers a deal and his son Dan and daughter-in-law Erica work at Merck. Merck has a wonderful relationship with the American Cancer Society and matches donations 100% if given by an employee. Therefore, we ask you make any check to the First United Methodist Church at 263 South Prospect, Ravenna Ohio 44266 so that it can be matched to further the research of cancer as Richard would have loved. You may donate directly to the American Cancer Society if you prefer.
(RC 4-23 & 24-14)