Richard G. Wyckoff, who bought 40 acres of land in Perrysburg Township to practice his golf game and ended up creating Tangle Wood Golf Course out of the wooded and rocky property, died Thursday in Hospice of Northwest Ohio in Perrysburg Township. He was 91.
He had lung cancer, his wife, Esther, said.
Mr. Wyckoff was a mechanic and had a lawnmower repair shop and blade-sharpening business within a Perrysburg hardware store in the 1950s when he took up golf, said his son, Richard “Butch” Wyckoff. A customer who was a real estate agent showed Mr. Wyckoff a parcel on Dowling Road as a place to live and to plot two or three practice holes, with room to stretch.
In short order, Mr. Wyckoff was clearing the land — on his tractor at 5:30 a.m. most days before work, he told The Blade’s Don Wolfe in 1961 — for a nine-hole course.
Tangle Wood opened in 1962 and became known for its plentiful trees. He became a PGA professional, offered lessons, and carved out a full 18-hole course, which opened in 1972. His first wife, Irma, ran the pro shop and, when a restaurant opened in 1977, his son was in charge.
49df92d5-7713-4d7e-872e-74b40ae22c45Mr. Wyckoff’s aim was to enjoy his work and the surroundings.
“He was pretty big on nature — squirrels, and birds,” his son said. The bluebird houses he built attracted residents, and he was thrilled when each year’s class of fledglings took to the sky.
“I can remember a lady who used to come out. She told my dad one day, ‘I don’t come here to play golf. I come out to see the bluebirds,’” his son said.
Mr. Wyckoff retired at age 72, and his son took over day-to-day operations. The property was sold five years ago, his son said. Mr. Wyckoff and his second wife, Esther, spent a month each winter in the Bradenton, Fla., area.
“Basically, he was at the golf course all the time. It was his full-time job, and it was the love of his life,” she said.
He was born June 29, 1923, in Swanton. He grew up in Fulton County near Assumption, Ohio, and in the Wayne and Bradner area of Wood County, where he attended high school. He was a corporal in the Army during World War II, serving in reconnaissance with Gen. George Patton’s Seventh Army through North Africa, Italy, and in the Battle of the Bulge.
He was a member of St. Rose Church in Perrysburg, although most recently he attended Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Toledo, where his wife is a longtime member.
He and his first wife, Irma, married in 1942. She died April 27, 1995.
Surviving are his wife, Esther, whom he married Dec. 10, 1999; son, Richard H. Wyckoff; daughter, Patricia Dorfner; stepsons, John Sarchiz and David Mills; stepdaughters, Deborah Nelson and Janice Bari; brother, Fred Clayton Wykoff; 11 grandchildren, and 19 great-grandchildren.
Vistation will be from 2-8 p.m. Sunday in Witzler-Shank Funeral Home in Perrysburg, with a recitation of the Rosary at 7 p.m. Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. Monday in the mortuary.
The family suggests tributes to Hospice of Northwest Ohio or Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish.
Contact Mark Zaborney at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-724-6182.