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Published: Sunday, 7/21/2002

L-O-F retiree was a football standout

Richard W. Penrod, a Libbey High School football star who became a skilled tradesman at Libbey-Owens-Ford Co. and who, in retirement, was an instructor for an AARP driving safety class, died Friday in his South Toledo home from complications of cancer. He was 72.

“People would specifically sign up for his class because he was such a good teacher,” his son Terry Penrod said. “He was very gregarious.”

Mr. Penrod retired in the early 1990s from L-O-F, where he was a welder and machinist for 38 years.

“He loved working with his hands, and he loved seeing something completed that he [had] something to do with,” his son said.

Mr. Penrod was a star back on the Libbey High School football team.

His children, growing up, often were asked “`Are you Dick Penrod's kids?' because people remembered him from those days,” his son said.

Mr. Penrod had a football scholarship to Ohio State University, but received his military draft notice while in Columbus. He was in the Air Force during the Korean War, serving as a cook in Newfoundland.

That duty began a lifelong hobby. He helped at weekly breakfasts for the poor at the Good Samaritan Outreach Center. He whipped up hearty meals for family and friends - barbecued chicken, hamburgers, spaghetti, soup, chili - “big meals; stick-to-your ribs kind of food,” his son recalled.

He was a volunteer for Boy Scout and Salvation Army activities. A Mason, he was a member of Pyramid Lodge. He liked to golf and to play the banjo.

Surviving are his wife, Bonnie Northrup, whom he married June 23, 2001; sons, Terry and Tony Penrod; daughters, Tami Decator and Tina White; stepsons, Tom and Tim Best; sister, Dr. Ruth Morris, and 18 grandchildren.

There will be no visitation. Memorial services will be at 11 a.m. Tuesday in the Church of St. Andrew United Methodist. A gathering will be held from 3 to 7 p.m. Tuesday in the Embassy Estates clubhouse. Arrangements are by the Newcomer-Farley Mortuary.

The family requests tributes to Maria's Cupboard Mission at the Church of St. Andrew.

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