Richard “Red” Caldwell Guyton, who for decades coached Sylvania athletes and mentored students who shared with him a tough path, died Sunday at his Toledo home. He was 86.
Son Thomas Guyton said his father died of complications from dementia.
Born in Toledo in 1928, Richard Guyton grew up in the Scott High School neighborhood during the Great Depression. His father went blind while Mr. Guyton was young, forcing his mother to find work to support the family.
The tough times didn’t inhibit his ambition. At Scott and later in life, Mr. Guyton was a standout athlete, quarterbacking the football team, wrestling, boxing, swimming, and more, son Thomas said.
At the University of Toledo, where he received a bachelor’s and master’s degree in education, Mr. Guyton competed for coach Dick Torio, the standout wrestler who heralded Mr. Guyton’s athleticism.
After Navy officer candidate school, Mr. Guyton was about to be deployed to the Korean War when a reaction to shots he was given forced him to stay stateside. He served as a technician for Link Trainers, a flight simulator.
Back in northwest Ohio, he began a more than three-decade teaching career in the Sylvania school district.
He started as a science teacher, then moved to vocational teaching and job training.
There, son Thomas said, Mr. Guyton worked with tough kids or those who had difficulty learning.
Half the day, he’d teach. The other half, he’d hustle the city, asking businesses to hire his students. He’d teach night courses so students who were behind could get their GED.
A quick wit and jovial spirit helped endear him to students. So did his dedication. One day, a younger teacher told Mr. Guyton that he was becoming like his students. It was meant as an insult, but he took it as a compliment.
“The setbacks and the obstacles that these kids have,” father told son, “it just amazes me how much they can accomplish and how well they can do, despite all those things that are kind of against them.”
Tom Gschwind, chaplain at American Legion Post 587, was coached by Mr. Guyton as a wrestler.
His brother, who wasn’t the fastest learner, was befriended by Mr. Guyton.
Mr. Guyton is survived by a brother, Robert Guyton; sister Jeanne Galliers; children Jeffrey Guyton, Darcy Hanna, Laurie Fasbinder, Lizabeth Ales, and Thomas Guyton, and 12 grandchildren.
Visitation will be from 4 to 8 p.m. today at Reeb Funeral Home, 5712 Main St., Sylvania, with a 7:30 p.m. American Legion service. His funeral will be at 1 p.m. Friday at the funeral home.
The family suggests memorial contributions to the Scottwood Community Garden at the Old West End Mansion View, 2035 Collingwood Blvd., or to Helping Hands of St. Louis Outreach Center, 443 Sixth St. in Toledo.
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