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Published: Tuesday, 2/18/2014

Richard E. Karcher [1928-2014]; Vet sold real estate with wife


Richard E. Karcher Richard E. Karcher

FOSTORIA — Richard E. Karcher, 85, a retired 35-year employee of the former Ohio Farmers Grain Corp., who, along with his wife, sold real estate in retirement, died Saturday in St. Luke’s Hospital.

Richard Karcher said his father suffered a broken arm after falling on Feb. 10 in his home in Fostoria and was eventually taken to St. Clare Commons in Perrysburg Township, where his condition deteriorated.

A Fostoria native, Mr. Karcher joined the Ohio Farmers Grain Corp. in 1950 to begin a 35-year career with the grain elevator cooperative. He held positions of accountant, controller, and manager of credit and finance.

His wife, Garland, also worked at the company as an executive assistant to the president and general manager.

Mr. Karcher said that his father began his career with the company during the era when farmers brought grain in wagons pulled by tractors, and by the time he retired, the grain arrived in tractor trailer rigs to be shipped out in train cars.

Mr. Karcher and his wife left the company in 1985 when the elevators controlled by Ohio Farmers Grain Corp. merged with another farm marketing cooperative to become Countrymark.

The couple, who had obtained real estate licenses, sold homes in the community in retirement, working as a team, Mr. Karcher said.

“They had a very tight bond,” he said. “It takes a special mixture of humor, tolerance, and patience for people to live and work together.”

Mr. Karcher was born April 26, 1928, to Charles and Bernadette Karcher. His father owned and operated a neighborhood grocery in Fostoria.

The oldest of five children, Mr. Karcher peddled magazines at 5 cents each to stores and books shops in Fostoria and was recognized for his outstanding salesmanship by the company that distributed the periodicals, his son said.

He attended St. Wendelin High School, where he lettered in three sports. After graduating in 1946, he entered the Navy. Mr. Karcher said his father hoped to get accepted into the medical program, but he ended up chipping paint off ships in the Mediterranean Sea.

After the service, he met the former Garland Peeler of Kansas at a girls softball game in Fostoria. She was in town visiting a friend and Mr. Karcher was the first-base coach. She got a hit and was told by Mr. Karcher to stretch the single into a double but was ultimately thrown out at second base. They were married Nov. 24, 1949.

He attended Tiffin University, earning a degree in accounting.

Mr. Karcher was active in St. Wendelin Church, where he had been an Eucharistic minister.

Surviving are his wife, Garland; son, Richard A. Karcher; daughter, Cheryl Adams; five grandchildren; one great-grandchild, and three sisters, Patricia Lauzau, Barbara Nye, and Janet Kirian.

Visitation will be from 2-8 p.m. today in the Hoening Funeral Home, 242 W. Tiffin St., Fostoria, where wake services will begin at 3:45 p.m. The Rosary will be recited at 10 a.m. Wednesday in St. Wendelin Church, 323 N. Wood St., followed by the funeral Mass at 10:30 a.m.

The family suggests tributes to the Karcher Music Scholarship through St. Wendelin Catholic School.

Contact Mark Reiter at: markreiter@theblade.com or 419-724-6199.

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