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Obituary for Richard Karl Gillman

Retired Operator and Owner of Gillman Funeral Home

Richard Karl Gillman, 86, of Rittman, went home to be with his loving wife of 63 years, Dorothy, surrounded by his loving family on Saturday, March 2, 2024 at LifeCare Hospice following a brief illness.

He was born February 22, 1938 in Wadsworth to the late Karl L. and Bessie M. (Dempsey) Gillman and was a life resident of Rittman.

Dick graduated from Rittman High School in the class of 1956 and married his high school sweetheart, Dorothy Blackburn, on September 10, 1960; she preceded him in death on November 20, 2023. A match made in Heaven, Dick and Dorothy grew up together, living across the street from one another.

He was owner and operator of Gillman Funeral Home in Rittman for over 50 years. Upon completion of college and obtaining their degrees from the Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science, Dick, and his brother, Bob, assumed ownership and operation of the funeral home. In 1974 the new Gillman Funeral Home was constructed at its present location on Sunset Drive. Dick retired on April 1, 2003, but continued to help with services for several years.

Dick ran Rittman’s ambulance service for many years with his brother, Bob.

He was an active member of the Rittman Rotary Club, Rittman United Methodist Church, served on the Chippewa Valley Bank Board of Directors, Habitat for Humanity Re-Store Board and volunteer for Habitat for Humanity. He enjoyed working in the Re-Store every Tuesday for many years. He loved spending time with his family, trips to Maine, sailing and bicycling.

Surviving are daughters, Joan Gates and Jennifer (Mike) Patterson; grandchildren, Jonathan (Ashley) Patterson, Chelsea Patterson and Heather (Chris) Rusher; great grandchildren, Ben Patterson and Cayden Rusher; sister, Jayne (Rob) Rupe; brother-in-law, Michael (Jane) Blackburn; sisters-in-law, Alice Gillman and Elaine (Chris) Groom; and several nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents; infant daughter, Susan Kaye; brother, Robert L. Gillman; father-in-law, Robert Blackburn; mother-in-law, Lela Blackburn; and son-in-law, Steve Gates.

Services will be held Thursday, March 7, 2024 at 11:00 a.m. at Auble-Gillman Funeral Home, 360 W. Sunset Dr., Rittman with Pastor Kirk Fairhurst officiating. Burial will follow at Rittman Cemetery.

Friends may call from 4 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, March 6 at the funeral home.

Memorial contributions may be made to Habitat for Humanity, 2700 Akron Rd., Wooster, OH 44691.

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