Richard O. Way, 86, of Franklin, passed away early Sunday morning, October 23,2022.
Born March 18, 1936 in Kingston, New York, he was the son of the late Eugene C. & Arlene H. (Smith) Way. He was married to Letitia M. Premru on March 28, 1959 in Cincinnatus, New York by Tish’s father, the Rev. Emil Premru.
Mr. Way served in the U. S. Army from January 20, 1959 to January 19, 1961. His final active duty post was Ft. Leonard Wood, where he served with the 208th Military Police Company.
Following his military service, he worked for The Howard Johnson Company as a restaurant manager in New York State for a period of 6 years, after which he was a manager of the Tom Sawyer Motor Inn and restaurant in Albany, New York for another 5 years.
After accepting employment with Coates Field Service, of Oklahoma City, OK as a Land Man, he worked in the Mohawk Valley of N.Y. under contract to Niagara Mohawk Power Company. He was then sent to the lower peninsula of Michigan where Coates had him working for Shell Oil Pipeline Company for several months. He was then sent to Oil City where he worked under contract to The United Natural Gas Company for about one year after which he was hired by UNG as a regular employee. It was at that time he moved his family from the Catskill mountains of eastern New York to Franklin.
Some six years later (July 1979) he and Tish decided he should leave UNG rather than accept a move to Erie as a result of the NFG merger. This period of being an independent Land Man led to an involvement with drilling local oil wells. While drilling and operating the oil wells, he conceived and operated “Balloon Express” and “GroWay Lawn Care”. After a severe decline in oil prices, he sold “Balloon Express” and concentrated his efforts on GroWay, which he then operated for 28 years until July 2013. During the 80’s and 90’s many young people got to play on a GroWay sponsored ball team. He and Tish also enjoyed following the Franklin girls basketball teams for 36 years.
Never one to sit back and relax too much, in July 2014 he successfully completed courses that are required for licensure in the field of Real Estate sales after which he took the state exams for his real estate license and worked for Gates & Burns Realty.
In the meantime, he worked as a part-time “court crier” for President Judge O. J. Lobaugh from January 2014 until 2019.
Dick was a member of Christ United Methodist Church in Franklin, where he sang in the choir; and served on the board of Trustees and Long Range Planning and Building committees.
He served on the Board of Directors of the Visiting Nurses for 11 years; Visiting Nurses Foundation for 24 years; 11 years on the Board of Directors of UPMC Northwest Hospital; 10 years on the Board of Sugarcreek Station. He also served on the Board of Community Concert Association for many years including Chair for two terms and served on the Board of Franklin Meals on Wheels for many years, including Chair for two terms.
He is survived by his four children, Richard Jr. and his wife, Mary of Johnstown Pa.; David and his wife Patty of Franklin; Kathleen of Culpeper, Va.; Karin Siebold and her husband Jeff of Oak Island, NC.
Also surviving are his grand-children, Cody & Julie of Johnstown, Emily and her husband Evan of Pittsburgh; Nicole of Culpeper, Va; Rachel and her husband Tyler of N.Y.; Nathan of Rolla, MO. and Daniel and Maelene of Oak Island, NC.
In addition to his loving wife, Letitia (Tish), parents and his brothers Douglas and Robert, he was also preceded in death by their infant twin boys, John Raymond and James Robert.
Funeral arrangements entrusted to Huff-Guthrie Funeral Home & Cremation Services Inc., 312 West Park St. Franklin.
Visitation will be held from 1:00 – 2:15 P.M. Sunday at Christ United Methodist Church, 1135 Buffalo St. Franklin where a Memorial Service will follow at 2:30 P.M. with Rev. Sam Wagner and Rev. Darrell Greenawalt, officiating.
Those wishing to watch the service via livestream can use the following link https://christchurchfranklin.com/ and click on the livestream link.
Memorial donations may be made to Christ United Methodist Church by visiting this link https://secure.myvanco.com/L-Z38T/home or to the Oakwood Heights, 10 Vo-Tech Drive, Oil City, PA 16301.
Dick will receive full military honors rendered by the V.E.T.S. Honor Guard.
He will be laid to rest at Franklin Cemetery next to his wife.
Online condolences may be sent to the family by visiting www.HuffFuneral.com.