Cover photo for Richard "Rick" Gonnella's Obituary
Richard "Rick" Gonnella Profile Photo

Richard "Rick" Gonnella

April 21, 1944 — January 7, 2022

Richard "Rick" Gonnella

Richard E. Gonnella, 77, went Home to be with the Lord, Friday, January 7, 2022. He’d been at Galion Community Hospital enduring a month of failing health.



He was born in Mansfield on April 21, 1944 and grew up in Galion, the only child of the late Mirando and Waverly (Smock) Gonnella. Rick attended Galion Sr. High for one year, graduated from St. Peter’s High School in 1963, and then, Mansfield Business College. Rick married Cheryl Downing on July 2, 1966. They settled in Bucyrus where he worked for Swan Rubber and the Bucyrus Telegraph-Forum in Advertising. In 1977, Rick and Cheryl moved with their young family to Galion where he was the Advertising Manager for the Galion Inquirer. Always a people person, Rick attended North Central State College where he studied social work. He finished his career as a social worker at The Center in Mansfield from which he retired.



Other than his relationship with his Savior, spending time with his family was at the top of his priority list. Rick enjoyed nice days on the porch with his wife playing cards or eating a meal. He encouraged his grandchildren by attending every piano recital, party, graduation, play, and special event possible. He was a good sport and enjoyed their antics and practical jokes. He would sit for hours hanging out, playing board/card games, or telling corny jokes. His unique laugh was infectious, and he relished spending time with the people he loved. As a gifted singer, he enjoyed choir and congregational singing. In 1971, he sang The National Anthem at Bucyrus’ Oakwood Cemetery for Memorial Day.



Rick also enjoyed his years of helping coach his son’s Galion Little League teams. In the late 1980s this led to a City Championship for the Jaycees. About that same time, he was the boisterous & enthusiastic voice of the GHS Marching Band at all Friday night football games. A highlight was announcing the band for the 1985 State Championship Game at Ohio Stadium when Galion's football team won the Division II title.



Rick was a member of the Bucyrus Bible Church and enjoyed Men’s Bible Study. Fervent prayer and encouragement from God’s Word are other things he’ll be remembered for. He sent daily Bible verses to many. Not owning a smartphone, it was a labor of love. His greatest desire was that everyone would come to know Jesus as Savior. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16



Rick is survived by his bride of 55 years, Cheryl Gonnella; three children, Julie (Rick) Fitzpatrick, Amy (Ron) Wagner, and Michael Gonnella; eight grandchildren, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Colleen (Sam) Endrizzi, Elizabeth Fitzpatrick, Craig Fitzpatrick, Johnny Fitzpatrick, Emma Fitzpatrick, Kay Fitzpatrick, and Jacob Wagner. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by granddaughter, Rebekah Wagner and a preborn sibling of hers.



Services will be held on Saturday, January 15 at Bucyrus Bible Church, 2151 St. Rt. 19, where the Gonnella family will receive friends from 11 am – 12:55 pm and the funeral will begin at 1:00 pm with Pastor David Layton officiating. Burial will follow in Oakwood Cemetery.



Memorial donations can be made payable to Pre-Born (Saving Babies and Souls) or World View Ministries (Bible Translation) and given at the church or Wise Funeral Service in Bucyrus. Memories and photos can be shared on Rick’s Tribute Wall.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Richard "Rick" Gonnella, please visit our flower store.

Past Services

Visitation

Saturday, January 15, 2022

11:00am - 12:55 pm (Eastern time)

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Funeral Service

Saturday, January 15, 2022

Starts at 1:00 pm (Eastern time)

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