David G. Rich, 69, of 4129 Alm Road, Bemus Point, formerly of Falconer, N.Y., went home to be with his Lord and Savior following a courageous battle with cancer on July 11, 2013, at 12:20 p.m. His beloved wife, family and friends were by his side.
Dave is survived by his wife, his high school sweet-heart, Dr. Cynthia (Gable) Rich, whom he married on Aug. 26, 1967; a sister, Marcia (James) Anderson of Randolph; two nieces: Shelley LaForte and Karen Senn; eight nephews: William Rich, Brian Rich, Gary Lawson, James Klinger Jr., Phillip Klinger, Steven Boyd, Christopher Boyd, and Matt Anderson; and many great-nieces and nephews.
He was born on Aug. 30, 1943, in Corry, Pa., the son of the late Charles and Doris Rich. Besides his parents, he was preceded in death by his brother, Charles Rich Jr.; his sister, Barbara (Orm) Lawson, Mary Alice (James) Klinger, and Sandra (Vince) Boyd.
Dave was a graduate of Falconer Central School in 1961 and the State University of New York at Fredonia, earning his bachelor's, master's and superintendent's degrees.
In 1966, he enlisted in the U.S. Army serving as a first lieutenant in Vietnam, First Air Cav Division. In 1968, he was critically wounded, but he continued to lead his platoon to safety and helicopters before being lifted on the helicopterhimself. A tree in Ellery Park was dedicated to Dave for his heroic duty. A plaque with his name and rank are also on the wall at the park. Dave has spoken at several Memorial Day celebrations, the last being May 2012, at Pine Hill Cemetery and Mount Olivet Cemetery.
In 1970, Dave began his
teaching career at Cassadaga Valley Central School.
After only his second year of teaching, he was honored by having the school yearbook dedicated to him. While teaching, he served as student council adviser, junior and senior class advisor, chess club adviser, and he appeared in numerous CVCS plays.
The most significant roles were Don Quixote in the Man of La Mancha and Linus in You're a Good Man Charlie Brown.
Because of his love of theater, he was a season member of Lucille Ball Little Theater of Jamestown, Struthers Theater of Warren, Repertory Theater of Fort Myers, Broadway Palm Theater of Fort Myers, Cultural Park Theater of Cape Coral, Barbara Mann Theater of Fort Myers, and Players of The Glen of N. Fort Myers. His most recent performance was the lead in Same Time Next Year.
Dave was a member of the Kiwanis Club of Falconer, in which he was the first president and a couple more times after that. He also was Kiwanis lieutenant governor and foundation coordinator.
He was a member of the Carroll Masonic Lodge, Ismailia Temple Jamestown Shrine Club, the Falconer American Legion, Eastern Star, life member of Disabled American Vets, AMVETS, War Vets at Fluvanna, Lakewood Rod and Gun, American Veterans of Florida, Travel Club of Herons Glen, Veterans of America, and Vietnam Veterans. He is also very proud to be a "Legacy of Love" member of the Chautauqua County Humane Society. His love of animals and especially Westies is unsurpassed. His "four girls," as he called them, are constantly by his side, Shawndi I, Misha, Shawndi II and Heather.
As a devoted Christian, he has been a member of Christ United Methodist Church since 1966 and Grace United Methodist Church of Cape Coral, Fla., since 2005. He also attend-ed Chautauqua Institution Ecumenical Services during the summer season so he could hear his wife, Cindi sing in the choir.
Dave enjoyed classic cars and sports cars, touring on his Honda "trike" in which he was a former member of Goldwing Riders of America, traveling in the U.S., cruises, getting together with his many friends and family, going to Florida each winter but coming back home in the summer, playing cards with his Cassadaga fellow teachers and golf.
The funeral will be held at Christ First United Methodist Church of Jamestown on Tuesday at 10:30 a.m. A celebration of life will immediately follow the funeral in Darrah Hall at the church. The Rev. Natalie Hanson will officiate. Entombment will be at Pine Hill Cemetery, Falconer, following the celebration of life with full military honors.
Visiting hours will be at the Falconer Funeral Home on Monday from 4-7 p.m.
A masonic service conducted by Carroll Lodge will be held at 3:30 p.m. in the Falconer Funeral Home.
Memorials may be made to Chautauqua County Hospice, Chautauqua County Humane Society, Christ First United Methodisy Church or Kiwanis Club of Falconer.
Visit our website at www.falconerfuneralhome.net to light a candle in remembrance.