DOYLESTOWN - Richard Dann First passed away peacefully at home surrounded by his loving family on January 26, 2020. Richard had battled prostate cancer for 20 years with courage and grace.
A lifetime resident of the Doylestown area, Richard (“Dick/Rick”) was born on October 28, 1945, to the late Alfred and Ethel First. He was a graduate of Doylestown High School and a proud veteran of the U.S. Navy. He earned his B.S. degree in Industrial Management from the University of Akron, completed the University of Michigan Advanced Human Resource Executive Program and went on to a nearly 40- year career in Human Resources.
Richard retired from GenCorp in 1996, having served as Vice-President of Human Resources for the International Division of the company. He greatly enjoyed the opportunity provided by his role to see the world, and travelled to many countries in South America, Europe, Africa and the Middle East. Not ready to stay retired, Richard began a second career in 1997, founding his own independent consulting business, FirstSource Human Resource Services. He counseled and served clients throughout the U.S. and Canada until 2008.
Richard felt that one of the greatest blessings of his life was his family. Nothing brought him more joy than watching his children and grandchildren grow up, and having the house filled to overflowing when they all came “home” for the holidays and summer visits. Richard is survived by his wife of 53 years, Joanne (Bebesi), and his four children: Susan (Chas) Withers of Lakewood; Brian (Kris) First of Canton, CT; Beth Cahill of Cincinnati; and Lisa (Steve) Willis of Ocean View, DE; his twelve grandchildren, Emma, Sarah, Maggie and Grace First; Juliana Withers; Sean and Paige Cahill; Ethan Franetovich, Shelby, Hailey, Chloe and Richard Willis. He is also survived by his sister Pat (Chuck) Breitenstine. He was preceded in death by his brothers Kenneth and Edward First and Edward’s wife Pat.
Richard strongly believed that an integral part of life is public service. He served several terms on the Doylestown Village Council and the Chippewa Board of Education. At the University of Akron, he was a member of the College of Business Administration Advancement Council, Tech Prep Advisor, Student Mentor and Professor-for-a-Day. He also served on the Executive Board of the Wayne County Red Cross. Richard was inducted into the Chippewa High School Alumni Wall of Fame in 2009, and he was a longtime member of Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church.
A very special thanks to all of his golfing buddies for the many years of great golf and friendship and for the unfailing support and kindness throughout the course of his long illness. The family also deeply appreciates the caring, prayers and thoughtfulness from our relatives, friends and neighbors. We are also thankful for the wonderful care provided by Cleveland Clinic Hospice that eased the final weeks of Richard’s journey.
Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Saturday, February 1, 2020 at 10 a.m. at Sts. Peter & Paul Catholic Church, 161 W. Clinton Rd., Doylestown, with Fr. David McCarthy, Celebrant. Burial with military honors to take place at the church cemetery. Calling hours will be Friday from 4 to 8 p.m. at the Zak-Thacker & Monbarren Funeral Home, 132 N. Portage St., Doylestown. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Sts. Peter and Paul School or the Chippewa Excellence in Education Foundation, 56 N. Portage St., Doylestown, OH 44230. Online obituary and guest registry are available at www.zakmonbarrenfh.com
(Zak-Thacker & Monbarren, 330-658-2211)
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Sts. Peter & Paul Catholic School
169 W. Clinton Rd., Doylestown OH 44230
Chippewa Excellence in Education Foundation
56 N. Portage St., Doylestown OH 44230