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Published: Sunday, 3/23/2014 - Updated: 4 months ago

Richard M. Scheiber, 1919-2014: WWII flight instructor became National Machinery rep

BY JIM SIELICKI
BLADE STAFF WRITER

TIFFIN — Richard M. Scheiber, a longtime executive with National Machinery Co. and a civic leader who developed a passion for aviation as a flight instructor during World War II, will be commemorated with services Friday and Saturday in Tiffin.

Mr. Scheiber, who died Jan. 30 at age 94 in St. Francis Home, Tiffin, was passionate about flying and sharing his knowledge by teaching aviation to youngsters, his family said.

His service with the Tiffin YMCA, including as president, was instrumental in the construction of the Community YMCA Recreation Center at Hedges-Boyer Park, his son Robert said.

He was devoted to fitness and continued to play tennis until about two months before his death. He often rode his bicycle to the courts.

He retired as foreign sales manager for National Machinery in 1979 after 30 years. Five of those years were in Nuremberg, Germany, where the company had a plant and sales office.

The company, now National Machinery LLC, was once Tiffin’s second-largest employer. He traveled the world in his role.

“He went all over selling machinery, including Moscow,” his son said.

The family’s children attended school in Nuremberg.

Mr. Scheiber was born Aug. 27, 1919, in Tiffin, to Richard and Helen Scheiber. He graduated from Calvert High School, Tiffin, and St. Joseph College in Rensselaer, Ind. and in 1941 joined the Navy.

He served stateside during World War II as a flight instructor at the Pensacola, Fla., Naval Air Station. He specialized in ship-based, catapult-launched seaplanes. He left the service in 1945 and returned to St. Joseph’s to teach English, but soon took a job with National Machinery.

His love of flying continued, resulting in the acquisition of several Beachcraft airplanes and a biplane.

From 1987 to 1999, he taught aircraft history and flying to children in a program sponsored by Expanding Horizons in Learning.

The local chamber of commerce used his expertise as an airport planner.

When his daughters and granddaughters played tennis, he volunteered as an assistant with the Columbian High School girls tennis team, a position he held for 23 years.

In the 1980s he volunteered at Calvert, his alma mater, to work with seniors on a variety of topics.

While with National, he was a loaned executive with the United Way, working with Mercy Hospital in an advisory capacity.

He was a founding trustee for the former Betty Jane Center, a local counseling center, for 10 years, and he served 13 years with Family Counseling Services.

He was active in seeking vocations to the Catholic Church and was a three-term governor of Serra International District 51, a Vatican-recognized lay organization, and a past president of Tiffin Serra.

His wife, the former Phyllis Fleck, whom he married in 1944, died June 26, 2010.

Surviving are his sons Richard and Robert; daughters Margaret Swanson and Cathy Larmer; sister, Mary Carbone; nine grandchildren, and 11 great-grandchildren.

His body was donated to the University of Toledo Medical Center, the former Medical College of Ohio.

Visitation is 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. Friday at Traunero Funeral Home and Crematory, Tiffin, and a Mass will be at 11 a.m. Saturday at St. Joseph Catholic Church, where he was a member.

Memorials are suggested to Calvert Catholic Schools, Tiffin Sisters of St. Francis, or Community Hospice Care.

Contact Jim Sielicki at: jsielicki@theblade.com or 419-724-6050.



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