Norwalk, Ohio – Greg Richards, 92, of Norwalk, Ohio died peacefully on Friday, August 25, 2017 at the Gaymont Nursing Center. Born January 6, 1925 in Cleveland, Ohio, he lived most of his life in Norwalk. As a first-generation American, he was extremely proud of his Hungarian heritage and traveled on two occasions to Hungary.
In 1942, shortly following America’s entry into WWII, Greg was inducted into the Army and served as a bulldozer operator as part of the 58th Army Corps of Engineers. First stationed in North Africa, he participated in the invasion of Italy, southern France and the eventual liberation of Dachau in southern Germany.
At the conclusion of the war in 1945, he returned home on the Queen Mary. Once home, he achieved his GED and eventually met the love of his life, Eleanore Marchel, while working at the local five and dime store (F.W.Woolworth). Married on July 4, 1953, at the Collins United Methodist Church, they enjoyed 60 years of marriage.
Greg is survived by his daughter Dawn of Brea, California, her husband Dr. Robert McGuire; and two sons – Gary Richards of Norwalk and Dr. Steven Richards of South Charleston, West Virginia; and his brother, Joseph J Sohajda of Tiffin, Ohio. Also surviving him are numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Eleanore (Ellie) in 2013, by his father Joseph Sohajda (1976), his mother Elizabeth (Haydu) Richard (1990), step-father Edward Richard (1990), and step-mother Emerenci Sohajda (1983).
Community minded, Greg was actively involved in numerous organizations and with many causes. He was a lifetime member of the Friends of the Norwalk Public Library, played several acting roles for the Shoestring Players, was an active member of the National Postmark Club at Historic Lyme Village, and served several terms as President of the Firelands Coin Club.
With a passion for veterans and veteran’s affairs, Greg was a lifetime member of the Norwalk V.F.W. (Post 2743) and a member of the Norwalk American Legion (Post 41). Serving several terms as Commander of the V.F.W., he ultimately advanced to become 9th District Commander for the state of Ohio.
A lifetime Democrat, in the Fall of 2014, Greg received the Chairman’s Award, an award given each year to two Democrats who have made outstanding contributions and service to the Huron County Democratic Party. For many years, he set up voting machines for the Huron County Board of Elections.
After 30 years employment as a quality control supervisor with Ford Motor Company in Sandusky, Ohio, he retired, later becoming Service Officer for the Huron County Veteran’s Service Commission. He enjoyed gardening, competitive bowling, and domestic and international travel.
Friends and family will be received Thursday, August 31 at The Chapel, 156 S. Norwalk Road W, Norwalk, Ohio 44857 from 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM; funeral services to follow at The Chapel from 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM. Internment with Christian and military services to follow at Woodlawn Cemetery in Norwalk.
Memorial contributions may be made to The Chapel in Norwalk, Ohio (Children’s and Youth Ministry), the Norwalk Public Library, the National Postmark Club at Historic Lyme Village, or the Flat Rock Children’s Home in Flat Rock, Ohio.