On the morning of May 4th, 2020, Rich passed away unexpectedly while mowing the lawn of his childhood home across the street from his residence in Louisville, Ohio. Rich had many hobbies including caring for his many collections and researching the history of each item, maintaining his cars, working on his properties, family genealogy, watching old war movies and 1950’s sitcoms, golden oldies music, walks to Louisville (Louisville lovebirds / the walkers always holding hands), his many pets, Louisville Leopards football, and drinking quality craft beer. He loved animals and had pets most of his life. Rich always maintained a childhood nostalgia and sense of curiosity. This curiosity was obvious in every facet of his life, he often said he still acted like a 10-year-old.
Born March 27th, 1949 at Timken Mercy Hospital, Rich was raised in Louisville and graduated from Louisville High School in 1967. In 1971, Rich completed a bachelor’s degree in History with a minor in English from Kent State University. He then taught English and History at Carrollton High School for 30 years, retiring in 2001. On June 23rd, 1973 he married Loretta E. Shaw and they were happily married for 46 years. Rich and Loretta spent a lot of time with family and many weekends and summer days taking their nieces and nephews to Leopards football games, classic car shows, going on Jeep, ATV, and go-cart rides, fishing, swimming, playing ping pong, watching re-runs of the Andy Griffith show, going to restaurants, and staying up late to watch Johnny Carson, David Letterman, or Big Chuck and Lil’ John.
Rich spent every day enjoying life. He loved being outdoors and really enjoyed exercise. Even after retirement he would get up early (usually before sunrise) and immediately go outside to complete his routine, which often included mowing the lawn or shoveling snow, refusing to ever buy a riding mower or snowplow because he genuinely enjoyed the work. He was a wonderful and beloved husband, uncle, brother, teacher, and friend to many. He spent the remaining moments of his life outside on the property where he was raised, in the neighborhood that filled him with so much joy and childhood memories that he loved to share with all of us.
Rich is survived by his wife, Loretta Von Kanel and their many nieces and nephews, William (Lisa) J. Ecrement Jr. of Alliance, Ohio, Timothy H. (Lori) Ecrement of Waynesburg, Ohio, Angela R. (Dan) Greathouse of Southington, Ohio, Heather J. (John) Olenik of Minerva, Ohio, Stephen M. (Mariamar) Ecrement of Ludlow, Massachusetts, Kelly (Matt) Green of Hartville, Ohio, and Wendy (Kraig) Menegay of Louisville, Ohio, their 16 great nieces and nephews, three great-great nieces and nephews; and many friends.
Rich was preceded in death by his parents, Fred C. Von Kanel (2009) and Evelyn M. (Wilkinson) Von Kanel (1983); sister, Jeanne (Von Kanel) Ecrement (2019); and in-laws, William J. Ecrement Sr. (2017), and Loraine Warner (2016).
Rich’s family will receive friends Friday, May 8, 2020 from 10:00 -2:00 pm at the Paquelet-Falk Funeral Home in Louisville. Per the recommendations outlined in the Governor’s Responsible Restart Ohio Plan we will be limiting those visiting with the family to no more than (10) at any one time. Visitors will be required to wear a proper protective mask and practice safe distancing requirements while at the funeral home. Please respect others and avoid arriving at the funeral home in large groups.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (www.aspca.org) or St. Jude Children’s Hospital (www.stjude.org). Condolences can be shared with the family online at www.paqueletfalk.com.
Paquelet-Falk Funeral Home & Crematory
Serving Ohio Families Since 1867
So sorry for loss. I had Mr. Von Kanel as a teacher in high school. I remember his kindness and he was always smiling. If we were covering something we didn’t really want to go over, we would side track him with discussing cars; he was one of a kind. Bless you and your family.
I am so sorry for your loss. He taught school at Carrollton with my wonderful dad, Mr. Becknell! Your entire family is in my thoughts and prayers!
Mr VonKanel was by far the best teacher at CHS, and also one of the coolest cats to have a conversation with. He’ll be missed…
You were my favorite teacher thank you for everything. You were more than a teacher a proud father to hundreds of kids you made a difference too. God bless and amen.
So sorry .i had him as a teacher in school.nice guy
He was my Favorite Teacher, loved talking Cars with him! I got to visit him at his house with his niece Kelly. Loved his passion for his Car Collection! Enjoy your never ending Cruise Mr Von Kanel!
Rich and I were childhood friends. He was a few years older than me but always included me in the fun. I remember when he got a trampoline and we all went over to play on it ,what fun. One day the older guys played big boy football at Jim petermans house, and it got pretty rough, at least to us younger guys. Playing basketball Rich could really make those long jumpers. Fond memories. I’ll always think of him. Mitch
I am so very saddened to hear of the loss of your beloved husband,brother,uncle and friend. I also had Mr Von Kanel in school. Interestingly, I had him in four differant years. 7th,8th,10th and 12th. He was a very good teacher and he knew me better than I knew myself back then. I hope he is sitting in heaven right now proofreading all.of our tributes
He was one of my teachers at Carrollton High School. I always remember he speaking fondly of his cars. I remember he helped Ms. Hartley for a period of time when she needed help with transportation. What a kind and wonderful soul! Rest in Peace.
Amazing teacher he was & always could depend on someone to bring a hot rod magazine to get us off subject, we invited him to a track meet once because it was in Louisville he & his wife came in matching leather coats it was hot out be he was always cool lol, Prayers to his family & may heaven be like the movie American Graffiti.
Definitely a great guy and teacher .. always was happy to help with school work or just talk about a things outside of school and hotrods .. heartbreaking to hear of his passing .. sending positive thoughts to the family ❤️
I am so sorry for your loss ! I always loved seeing you walking into Louisville holding hands. It was a wonderful testament of your love.Praying for you !
What a wonderful tribute to him. I didn’t have him for anything in school, but remember him well. So sorry for your loss. Carol Yoder Guess
So sorry for your loss . We were students of his at Carrollton high school. He was definitely our favorite teacher ,as I’m sure he was to many others! Our thoughts are with the family.
My deepest condolences to Mr Von Kanel’s family. As you have lost such an honorable man. I was one of his students at CHS. He was definately my favorite high school teacher. He respected us and most respected him I believe. He taught but he also listened. He was an awesome teacher! Remember running into him at Time out so many years ago. Was with my friends parents. RIP
My favorite teacher in high school, by far. Rich treated the kids with dignity and respect.
I will always cherish the few times I stopped by his home to talk cars after graduating.
I will watch American Graffiti in his honor this week.
Rest in peace
I think of you all the time
“Mr. Clip On”. American Graffiti lives on because of you.
So sorry for your loss. I was a former student of his, and he was definitely one of my favorites! He is fondly remembered. Prayers to family and friends. RIP Mr. Von Kanel. ❤
I am so sorry for your loss. He was a great teacher and yes will always remember watching American Grafitti in his class. I am so sorry to hear this. Your family will be in our thoughts and prayers.
So sorry for your loss. Rich was a great teacher & friendly to all. Lo u
Mr Von Kanel was the person who kick started my husband’s passion for War History. Now they will be able to have war themed Jeapordy tournaments in Heaven..( or haunt battlefields all over the globe) R.I.P.
So sad to hear of Rich’s passing. He had a friendly nature and was a colleague at Carrollton schools.I remember a time in ‘82 when he and I had our positions changed… we shared a common feeling of being displaced from our comfort zone. Luckily it was reversed after one year. Rest In Peace,Rich!
I was fortunate to have him as a teacher in 7th grade as well as a senior in high school. He was always smiling & was a bright spot in our day. The discussions on cars will always be remembered especially about his Camaros. The world lost a real good person & I m sure he will be missed. American Graffiti was his favorite movie. RIP & sincerest thoughts & prayers to his family!
Rch was the best step brother a guy could have! My deepest condolances to all my extended family and Loretta. The talks we had at the farm will forever be missed. Rest in peace Rich
Sending my sincere condolences to you all during this difficult time. I had Mr Von Kanel in high school, he was a wonderful teacher and always had a smile on his face. Like so many others have commented I recall his fondness for cars, it wasn’t unusual for the final moments of class to be spent discussing various cars, and American Graffiti. How fitting for such an amazing retired teacher to pass during teacher appreciation week, RIP Mr Von Kanel!
So very sorry for your loss, I’m a former student of his, he was one of my favorites, he could turn the worst day upside down ❤️
Prayers to your family in this difficult time.
One of my favorite teachers at CHS. He had the best sense of humor and somehow made English class fun.
Sorry to read this. I was also one of his student’s at CHS. May God comfort his family during this tough time.
Mr. Von Kanel was one of my very favorite high school teachers. I had him my junior year in high school in language arts. He always made our class fun and enjoyable. The boys would always try to get him off topic and get him talking about cars. His class is where I first saw the movie American Graffiti. My prayers and thoughts go to all of the family and friends. May God bless you all.
Class of 1992 Carrollton High School
So sorry for your family’s loss. I knew him when I was in high school and spoke with him several times regarding the farm and Rex’s proposed activities there. RIP and comfort to the family.
Would see this couple walking in town. Never knew their names. But I saw their love. Sorry , so sorry for your loss.
I had the pleasure of teaching with Mr. Von Kanel at Bell-Herron for several years before he went back to the high school to teach. Rich was a fantastic person that everyone liked so very much and that includes both staff as well as students. Nothing ever seemed to frustrate him as he was so smooth. I will miss him so very much at the Carrollton teachers retirement breakfast which we have every month. God Bless Him!!!
The coolest teacher by far. Rich you were one of the last old school teachers to roam the earth! I loved the fact that you would not tolerate disrespect. Myself being part of the male population at CHS I learned a good bit more from him than just English. He showed us that it was ok to demand respect as long as it was given. Discipline was important but at the same time a little knowledge here and there about muscle cars never hurt. I am sorry to here this news. I always thought when my boys were old enough I would introduce them to the cool teacher that they heard stories about. RIP Mr. Vonkanel.
I was stunned tonight (May 6th) when my wife was told by one of her friends at church that Rich had passed away. I had just got home from an evening fishing trip and I could not believe it. I went to school with Rich, went hunting with Rich, and we even worked briefly together at Protecto Car Wash when we were still in High School. When we were kids we played baseball together in the good old summer time of the 1950’s and 1960’s. Rich was always the best baseball player and football player we had in the neighborhood. Others from the neighborhood have passed before Rich such as Jim Peterman, Rex Gero, Patty Williams, Tom Mitchel and my brother Dave Poparad. Sorry to hear of your loss.
I had Mr. Von Kanel as a teacher at Carrollton High School. He was a wonderful teacher and I really enjoyed his class (literature has always been one of my favorite subjects.). I’m sorry to hear about his sudden passing.
So sorry for your loss 💔🙏 you was a great teacher! Leopards/Warriors ❤️❤️💪
Rich will be remembered so fondly by our family. He and Loretta were wonderful friends to share glorious summer days with. They opened their arms to all who knew them. The obituary was such a true and loving tribute to a man who deserved the best. Thank you for your friendship
God bless the family in your sorrow. I’ll always remember that if you weren’t really feeling like studying whatever the lesson was for that day all you had to do was ask a question about cars and he would just talk for an hour. Another day he called Bruce Springsteen a poet. I don’t know why that stuck in my head but it does.
So sad. Great teacher.
I loved having him as a teacher. I can still hear his laugh and picture his smile when he talked about Photoshop in class the one day. It still makes me giggle. He will be missed by many. My deepest condolences to his family and loved ones.
Mr. VonKanel was one of my high school teachers, and I remember him well. He was always kind, dedicated, and such a stable presence in the classroom. Please accept my condolences in your loss.
So sorry for the loss of Mr. VonKanel he was an amazing teacher! Always had a lot of fun in his English class. He was a kind soul! Many condolences to his family!
I remember one day he stopped me in the hallway at CHS and told me my shorts were too short. He was right.
I had him in class, and he was always kind and respectful. He will be missed.
My heart felt really heavy yesterday when I learned of Mr. Von Kanel’s passing. I didn’t just have him as a teacher but EXPERIENCED him as a teacher. My junior year was Mr. Von Kanel’s final year, and he agreed to teach history instead of language arts that year. Maybe he didn’t agree, but he rose to the challenge. Almost 20 years later, and I can’t tell you how many vivid memories I have from his class. He has to be one of the fairest, most compassionate teachers I have ever had. I can still hear his soft-spoken, questioning and concerned voice, see chalkboard upon chalkboard of notes that he filled up each morning before class, and feel the empathy he showed for student athletes and students deeply involved in extra-curricular activities.
Some of the memories worth sharing:
1. Mr. Von Kanel showed us his tattoo on his arm.
2. His black jeans (I think he only owned 4-6 pairs of them)
3. The story about how he accidentally peed on his shirt or tie (pretty sure it was his shirt) one day at school and had to use a pair of scissors in the bathroom to cut off the wet, peed-on fabric to return to teaching. 20+ years later, he was still wearing the same shirt with that he cut a sizable portion of the fabric away.
4. July 20, 1969. Everyone was watching the moon landing, but Mr. Von Kanel wasn’t. As I recall his story, he was more interested in painting the white letters on his tires than watching the moon landing when his mother tried to call him inside to witness history.
5. Mr. Von Kanel always had little “stories” that would make you smile and say to yourself–“You know what? He’s right!” One that I recall was his example of how to make your week go faster. He said that you can stay up until the stroke of midnight on Tuesday night, and as soon as the clock struck midnight, you could say to yourself–“The day after tomorrow is Friday.”
I have dozens of other memories of Mr. Von Kanel that I will forever cherish. I’m grateful that I had the opportunity to know such a charismatic and intriguing human being and excellent teacher. He is the one teacher, above all others, who has left such an indelible impression on me. If I remember all these tales from 20ish years ago, I can only imagine how many more incredible memories of his legacy the masses will be talking about forever.
My sincere condolences are extended to his family and closest friends. Mr. Von Kanel was a legendary, and I hope that you realize that the reach of his impact was far beyond anything you could imagine. What a human being! Gone too soon but certainly never forgotten.
We are so very sorry for your loss. Rich was a long time regular customer at the Strasburg Antique Mall. One of our favorites, always friendly and kind. He will be sadly missed. Prayers for Loretta and his family, Dave and Deb
He was the only teacher, in all of my academic pursuits, that ever made Shakespeare intelligible. I still am amazed how he transformed a bunch of farm kids and burnouts into, a group of young adults eagerly waiting for the next installment of Macbeth. Now that’s a hell of a teacher. Gods speed where ever it may lead my good man.
Mr. Von Kanel made an impact in the world. As someone else mentioned in their posting, he was one of the coolest guys and had a very friendly personality. I never enjoyed going to school ( besides playing football) but I did look forward to going to his class. There is something to be said about a person who can reach the youth and inspire them to be better. For that I will always be thankful. I pray for Rich’s family and encourage them to know that they are loved.Below is a link to when my pastor gave a sermon (his wife passed) that I believe will encourage and bless you all during this tough time. https://youtu.be/87ynuyV415U
Dear Loretta, I am so sorry for your loss. I never met your husband but I know you as being Lori’s sister. Please accept my condolences and prayers. Love, Auldine Tovissi
I was so shocked and sorry to hear that Rich had passed away. He was truly a wonderfully kind-hearted, genuine person who carried that into the classroom. He was well-respected and loved by everyone. I will always remember his smile and easy going nature. It was my pleasure to have known him. My deepest condolences to you, Loretta, and your family.
We didn’t know Mr. Von Kanel except for seeing him walk in Louisville and holding hands with his Sweetheart, we would honk and wave and they always waved back. We are sorry we didn’t get to know him, he sounded like a wonderful friend and teacher. Rest in Peace Rich.
The Stories you have left behind is a true testament to the wonderful man you were.
May God Bless Loretta and family,
We are saddened by the news of Rich’s passing. He and Loretta were so wonderful to us on our trips to Louisville. We hold such fond memories of our visits to their home and sharing his love for his collections especially his passion for his cars as this is one of ours too. We spent a lot of time sitting around the pool swapping stories while enjoying some of Lorettas home baked cakes and pie. Rich was such a nice guy and has left such a hole in the hearts of everyone we had the pleasure of knowing him. Sending our love from Australia to you Loretta and all the Von Kanel family. Love from Garry and Sue ❤️
Mr. Von kanel was a great man teacher and friend. I am going to miss going to see him and spend time with him talking about school cars and life in general. As a student I had him for English and he taught us about Shakespeare Macbeth and what not. I have to admit I always gave him a hard time and said what will I ever need this for???? I always thought he took a liking to my friends and I as he actually came to our graduation and shook our hands congratulating us. (He was probably shocked we graduated) lol. Loretta I am so thankful that you and Rich took me and my family into yours. I will forever cherish every moment we have shared. I’m going to miss Rich so much… Our hearts are heavy and hope you can soon find peace and comfort. I’ll always love you guys for being you. Rich… I told you this every time we talked… I still haven’t needed Macbeth yet!!!! But this time I’m going to say thank you for teaching it to me… Rest in peace my friend …
After reading all the tributes from Rich’s many students, I remember how much Rich liked our former teacher, Mr. Beale. That’s when Rich decided he wanted to be a teacher just like Mr. Beale-cool, relatable, and fair. I have so many memories of good times with Rich. He was a wonderful person who was always happy, smiling and friendly with everyone! He will be sorely missed by everyone that knew him!
Thank you to EVERYONE who wrote all these loving and heartfelt messages about my husband Rich. He’s definitely “one of a kind” in every great way. We have always loved when kids came to visit and anytime we’d run into one of his students. They’d always say “You were my favorite teacher” and I could tell they really meant it and just loved him. He could usually tell them where they sat in the classroom and other things he remembered about them, which usually got them laughing! His memory was remarkable. I was always so proud:-)of him and I considered myself the luckiest girl in the world that he picked me. I know he’s still with me and we’ll be together forever in heaven. Again, thank you all so very much.
Loretta, Traudy and I did not known Rich well but he was as, I remember a humble and good person. I wish I could offer to you the kindness you showed to me when my father was diagnosed with cancer. When I told you, told me it would be ok and I would get through it. You then gave me a hug. I have remembered that moment for over 40 years. With all of my heart I wish I could give you the same comfort you gave to me.
I’m so very sorry for your loss. Mr. VonKanel was, without a doubt, my favorite teacher. This is crazy because I had just been trying to look him up on social media a few weeks ago.
My condolences and prayers to you and your family. We’ve definitely lost an amazing soul.
Since the service was limited to only 30 people due to the coronavirus restrictions, I wanted to share the eulogy delivered by Dylan Wymer since I’m sure a lot of people would have liked to attend. Dylan is our neighbor that we’ve known since he was a year old. -Loretta VonKanel
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Rich VonKanel to many was a relative, a mentor, and a friend…but to me, he was my next-door neighbor. Rich and Loretta have lived across the street from me for the past twenty years as I have grown up to where I stand today. The funny thing about most neighbors to me is how all our life we can live so close together, and yet our lives are so far apart. We say hello while getting the mail, or maybe we have taken meals to each other in times of need, but for most neighbors I’ve seen, the interaction often stops there. This, however, was not the case between Rich and his dear wife Loretta. Countless times the two of them would invite my family and the neighbors beside us to come swim at their home in the summer. I had some of the best memories there, as we would jump off the diving board or have cookouts by the fire. He and Loretta never forgot one birthday and were always so generous with their time and love, always supporting me when I went overseas for mission’s work or had a need with my church. Rich in particular taught me so much about life. I can remember one year, my family and I went to the VonKanel’s farm in Carrolton with some of the neighborhood families that would gather with us in the summer. When we pulled in the drive by their farmhouse it seemed like the land never ended. The acres and acres of field and beauty got me so excited as I stood looking out past their barn. We spent most of that day swimming in their pond as Rich showed us the immense size of the fish beside us, and later carved pumpkins with us as the fall was approaching. The real thrill came, however, when Rich pulled out some four-wheelers and one of our neighbors brought their go-cart for us all to use that day. All the men with us decided to get on the four wheelers and race around the property together. So, Rich came up to me and asked if I would like a ride with him to which I responded yes quickly. As I rode beside him in the go-cart, he pushed the gas down taking it’s speed to the max. My hair flew back as Rich pointed to different birds flying around us in his field, telling me what kind of birds they were and taking me on the trails where he would often feed the deer on his property. He smiled next to me as I clutched the side of the cart in fear and excitement. But the one thing I distinctly remember him saying in our time as we raced past the trees with the sun shining a spotlight on us was, “We really have to cherish each day, Dylan. That’s for sure.” And in all the years I knew Rich growing up, it seemed like he didn’t just say statements like this, but he lived them. While so many people lived life as if it were a go-cart race, Rich would simply smile and cherish each day, sipping them slowly. Oftentimes when I would see him out doing lawn work, he would have a smile on his face, waving at just about every car that passed his home, and no matter the day, he genuinely cherished life with a grin. Rich taught me what it meant to enjoy the moments that are often looked over and to live life with gratitude beyond words. From his love for his wife and family down to the very food and drink he tasted, I witnessed through him what it means to sip life slow.
And I think if we are being honest, all of us can learn something from the legacy that Rich left. In this life of busy schedules, busy places and busy people, it seems that taking some time to slow down and love one another, as he did, is exactly what we need. Maybe living a life of wonder and curiosity is just want we need in times like this. Where so many are rushing to simply get by and survive, Rich lived differently. He realized life was much more about thriving than just surviving in the short time that we all receive. King David in the Bible wrestled with this similar idea when he wrote, (Psalm 39:4-7 NLT) “Lord, remind me how brief my time on earth will be. Remind me that my days are numbered – how fleeting my life is. You have made my life no longer than the width of my hand. My entire lifetime is just a moment to you; at best, each of us is but a breath. We are merely moving shadows, and all our busy rushing ends in nothing. We heap up wealth, not knowing who will spend it. And so, Lord, where do I put my hope? My only hope is in you.” Today, as we reflect on Rich’s life, we are called to the same. To place our hope and trust in the Lord in these times where sickness runs in our nation and hope is a word everyone is looking for. Jesus said, “Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” (John 13:35 NLT) as all of you in this room can attest to this love that Rich showed. So, today we can take comfort in the fact that for all those that place their belief and love in Christ, life does not end at the grave, but continues into eternity. Today is not the end for Rich VonKanel nor does it have to be for any of us who have this faith. And I would go as far to say that if Rich was standing here beside me he would tell us all to love well, have hope and until we see him again…to cherish each day.
Loretta, the song that really epitomizes Rich for you should be a 1967 song by the Seekers called “I will never find another you”. I have adopted that song as Rich’s theme song for me as well. Here are the lyrics:
There’s a new world somewhere
They call the promised land
And I’ll be there someday
If you could hold my hand
I still need you there beside me
No matter what I do
For I know I’ll never find another you
There is always someone
For each of us, they say
And you’ll be my someone
Forever and a day
I could search the whole world over
Until my life is through
But I know I’ll never find another you
It’s a long, long journey
So stay by my side
When I walk through the storm
You’ll be my guide, be my guide
If they gave me a fortune
My pleasure would be small
I could lose it all tomorrow
And never mind at all
But if I should lose your love, dear
I don’t know what I’d do
For I know I’ll never find another you
But if I should lose your love, dear
I don’t know what I’d do
For I know I’ll never find another you
Another you, another you
Dear Von Kanel Family,
I was sorry to hear of Mr. Von Kanel’s passing. I didn’t have him as a class teacher but remember him well. I sat in his homeroom for two years but I had met him before I went to the high school. My “adopted” grandmother was a teacher with him in the high school and middle school. She had braces on her legs because of polio and Mr. Von Kanel was the kind soul who took the time to pick her up in the winter to drive her to school and see her safely into the building and then back home afterwards. I rode along with them one year that I was going to her house after school. Then I landed in his homeroom in high school. He was always the nicest guy and always with a smile. I remember feeling lucky that I got him for homeroom two years in a row because he was so easygoing and friendly. May your warm memories comfort your loss.
With deepest sympathy,
There are very select people in life that become so positively memorable to others with such ease. The kind of ease with the ability to offer simple words of advice that become so individually profound. Sincere words offered with no need of anything in return. Mr. Rich Von Kanel was one of those very select people. My profession puts me in contact with thousands of people, but I’ll never find another like him. A profession he told me as a young man I would be good at. I remember telling him he was crazy! I would never do that! Well….almost 16 years now I have been in that profession. At the time he knew me better than I knew myself. I sit here feeling sorry he is gone and sorry for those who will not know him. He probably wouldn’t want any of us sulking too long though. A powerfully humble man who inspired so many to live their mightiest life. I’ll be pushing my mower, cooking out and playing American Graffiti this weekend trying to live my best life as he did. Thank You Sir.
I wanted to share the eulogy delivered by our nephew, Steve Ecrement. Since the service was limited to only 30 people, due to Covid-19 restrictions, I’m sure a lot of people would have liked to attend. -Loretta VonKanel
From as early as I can remember until about 2nd or 3rd grade I thought that every kid had an Aunt Loretta and Uncle Rich. Not just aunts and uncles but literally an Aunt Loretta and Uncle Rich. It took me several years to realize how unique and lucky my situation really was. Not only do I have amazing loving parents, but I have an amazing and loving Aunt Loretta and Uncle Rich.
From about 4 years old to about 15 years old, I spent what now feels like nearly every weekend and most of my summers with Aunt Loretta and Uncle Rich. Uncle Rich would often pick me up on Fridays after school in the CJ5 jeep or Volkswagon rabbit. Every visit with them was an adventure. Scavenging for auto parts in the junk yard, annual trips to Geauga lake, football in the front yard, the annual reunion, trick or treat. The list goes on and on.
My siblings and wife have been saying for years now that I am becoming more and more like my Uncle. Similar outlook and interests, our value of the simple things in life, mannerisms, and laugh. A reflection of how close we were and the influence he has had on my life. Last Friday, my wife, Mariamar, asked me a question and immediately after my response she said, “you’ve become your uncle!!” In true Uncle Rich fashion, I said “well Isn’t that something”.
I called Uncle Rich the next evening, last Saturday, and told him what Mariamar said. He laughed his contagious laugh and responded, “Oh Boy well that’s something else.” We then talked about beer for about 5 or 10 minutes as we often did, exchanged I love you’ s and said good-bye.
Uncle Rich, I’m going to miss you so much!! You were always one of my best friends!!