On January 31st, 2020, Richard Lee McElroy was called home to be with his Lord and Savior surrounded by his loving family. Richard is an Ohio native, born in Smithfield, Ohio and graduated from Carrollton High School and Kent State University B.A. M.Ed. He is retired, having over 40 years as a teacher and coach in North Canton City Schools and a professor at Malone, Walsh, and Mt. Union. He has published hundreds of stories and articles, as well as more than 14 books. He is a recipient of numerous awards, including the Distinguished Service Award for Outstanding Citizen and the McKinley Award by the McKinley Presidential Museum and Library. He is also an Inductee in the Stark County Softball Hall of Fame (founder and first President), a Canton City Councilman, North Canton and Plain Township Jaycees (President-Director), Stark County Literacy Commission and Stark County Regional Planning Commission, an active member of Christ Presbyterian and John Knox churches. He was a passionate fan of Cleveland Indians, Cleveland Browns, and Ohio State, having attended 52 consecutive home openers for the Cleveland Indians. The lives that Rich touched and positively influenced cannot be measured by any means. His students, athletes, colleagues, friends, and family were all recipients of his lessons and compassion. Everything he did was with honor, integrity, and thoughtfulness. It was evident to all that were in contact with him that he was a true disciple of Christ. His legacy will always be his unique gift of finding the best in everyone, especially those that had wronged him. He proved that kindness does not have a color, religion, gender, nationality or political party. He would smile knowing that everyone that knew him went out of their way to show kindness to a stranger or someone in need.
He is survived by his devoted wife of 53 years Pamela (Harris) McElroy, son Matthew and Tammy McElroy, daughter Rachael and Turk Knisely and son Luke and Jackie McElroy. Four grandchildren: Cody (Bailey), Cole (Kalyn) McElroy. Jacob (Madison) and Emma Knisely. He is also survived by his sister Patty (Darrell) Locke, sisters In- Law, Claire McElroy, and Jennifer Miller; several cousins, nieces, and nephews. He is survived by a countless number of devoted friends, his North Canton teaching family and close family friend Tom Hayes. Preceded in death by his parents, Lee and Virginia McElroy, brother Raymond McElroy, In-Laws Charles and Wilma Harris and Sister In- Law Penny Harris, and his beloved dogs Hannah and Quinn.
Our special thanks to the Cancer Center at Cleveland Clinic, Dr. Chester Bartram and nurse Carrie at North Canton Medical Clinic and the nurses at Aultman Hospice. Their love and compassion can not be measured.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to The Patriot Project 525 North Main Street North Canton, Ohio 44720 or John Knox Church noted for local school ministries 5155 East Lake, North Canton, Ohio 44720.
Private family interment is in North Lawn Cemetery.
A celebration of Richards life will be on Saturday, February 8th at Christ Presbyterian Church 530 Tuscarawas Street W, Canton, Ohio 44702 at 11:00 am family will receive guests at the reception following the service.
To send flowers to Richard's family, please visit our floral section.