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Richard T. Sidwell

Obituary for Richard T. Sidwell

April 18, 1920 - May 7, 2017
Elyria, Ohio | Age 97


Richard T. Sidwell, age 97, was born in Lafayette, Indiana on April 18, 1920. He lived the first 22 years of his life in West Lafayette, graduating from Purdue University in 1942 from the Pre-Med program.
In September of that year he was drafted into the US Army and served as an enlisted man until September of 1943 when he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant of the Medical Administrative Corps. He served with the 80th Infantry Division in the European Theater from 1944 to 1946, having risen to the rank of Captain, his last duty was as company commander. He was awarded stars for his involvement in all four major battle campaigns in Europe and was awarded the Bronze Star as well. In Germany he attended to the victims of Buchenwald Concentration Camp who were dying of Amoebic Dysentery. He was discharged honorably in October of 1946 and served with the Reserves until 1952.
Richard came home in March of 1946 and moved to Cleveland where he was enrolled as a graduate student in Psychology at Western Reserve University (now Case Western Reserve University) from 1946 to 1950. He was awarded a Master degree in Psychology in 1949 and completed all but the dissertation for a PhD. He became a licensed Clinical Psychologist working with children and adults with all kinds of disabilities throughout his career. Some of his professional highlights included working as a Research Director, Superintendents of Blossom Hill School for Girls, and the Bessie Benner Metzenbaum Center for Children; the Director of the Deep Woods Children's Center; Chief Psychologist and Assistant Superintendent of Western Reserve Psychiatric Hospital in Sagamore Hills, and finishing his career as the Assistant Director of Adult Services with the Cuyahoga County Board of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. He was a Surveyor for the Commission of Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities. CARF is a certifying agency of the Wesleyan Village where he had lived the last 20 years of his life.
One of the highlights during his time as a graduate student was meeting V. Jane Moore, a nurse, whom he later married in 1950. Together they had two daughters, Diane, born in 1952 and Jane born in 1955. He was blessed to have two granddaughters, Margo born in 1989 and Carolyn in 1992. He was a loving a devoted and involved family man whose passing is leaving a hole in their lives.
After moving to the Wesleyan Village in 1996 with his beloved wife and best friend, Jane, he began the Stephen Ministry in 1997 with then Chaplain Stacy Terrell having been a Stephen Leader since 1994. In the 20 years he has lived at the Wesleyan Village he was the awarded Volunteer of the Year, having accumulated more than 3,500 hours of volunteer service to the Village, as well as having served as the President of the Resident Association. He continued his service to the Village volunteering in various committees until his last days.
Richard was always a kind, patient and considerate gentleman who never spoke ill of people and could enjoy the humor in absurd situations. One story he told was after the end of WWII, he and his army buddies decided to dive off the cliffs in Monaco into the Mediterranean Sea. He thought to himself during the first dive, half-way down, that here he was having survived a major world war, and he'd die in a diving accident afterward. That had been the one and only dive he took.
Although a devout Christian, Richard, with his wife Jane, were accepting of other religious views, having been involved in interfaith talks with Muslims following the 9/11 attacks. He believed the true path to peace was through open and diplomatic discussions. He did not believe in hate and destructive rhetoric that could only lead to the horrors of war, having witnessed the inhumanity of man toward man during World War II. He was as good an example of following Christ's mission of love toward his fellow man as any man could humanly be.
"The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance." (Galatians, 5:22-23)
Richard is survived by his daughters Diane Sidwell Jehle (Bill) of Bonifay, Florida; and Jane Sidwell-Coniam (Robert) of Avon Lake, Ohio; and by his granddaughters Margo and Carolyn Coniam of Avon Lake, Ohio; his brother, Phillip Sidwell (Donna) of Roswell Georgia, and sister, Virginia (nee Sidwell) Kienly of West Lafayette, Indiana. He was predeceased by his wife V. Jane (Moore) Sidwell (2006) and his brother William Sidwell (1974).
Memorial contributions may be made to the Wesleyan Senior Living Foundation, 807 West Ave., Elyria, Ohio 44035. Graveside interment with military honors will be held at Sunset Memorial Park, 6265 Columbia Road, North Olmsted, on Friday, May 12, at 2:45 pm. A celebration of Richard's life will be held, with military honors, at Cascade Hall of the Wesleyan Village, 807 West Ave., Elyria, on Saturday, May 13th at 1:00pm, with Chaplain Beth McKee officiating. (440)933-3202

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  • Wesleyan Senior Living Foundation
    807 West Ave
    Elyria, OH 44035

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