Richard “Dick” H. Specht passed on January 10th, 2020 surrounded by family at the Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center.
Dick was born October 23, 1937 in Conneaut, OH, the third of eight children to Marion (Nickles) and Francis Specht, growing up in the Amboy neighborhood. Dick graduated from Rowe High School in 1957 and enlisted in the Navy that same year. While in the Navy he was trained and worked as a flight deck mechanic. He was honorably discharged in 1961 and returned to Conneaut to start his civilian career at Allied Resinous. He then took a journeyman position with Bob Soller at Soller Plumbing, then worked for Burdick Plumbing. During this time, he recieved his master plumber license. After Burdick, Dick took a pipefitter position at the P&C Dock Company, where he worked for the next 25 years.
Dick married Kathryn Anne Eriksen on July 24, 1965 and they had three children: Kenna, Joel, and Michael. Their children grew up to marry Russ Coltman, Jennifer Simpson, and Carleen Wharton, respectively, and all three families made Conneaut their homes. Dick was affectionately known as ‘Old Fart’ by his nine grandchildren, whom he adored and spoiled. His siblings also affectionately called him ‘Dicky-Doe,’ which he loved to hate, and he cursed the day his grandchildren learned of that nickname. At P&C Dock Company, he was known as ‘Scorch’ and wore that name with pride until the day he died.
Dick was a very active member of the Conneaut community throughout his life. From the time he was 16 until his retirement (sans his Navy years) he was a volunteer firefighter at Amboy Station 4, serving as Chief from 1994 to 2000. He remained as active member of the West Lakeville Hose Boosters until his death as well as a member of the Lake Erie Boat Club and American Legion Cowle Post 151.
After retiring 20 years ago, he remained a constant handyman who could fix anything but a dishwasher. He loved building onto his house to make it more suited to host his large family, playing cards, and going along with any crazy plans that he, his kids or grandkids came up with. From building rocking motorcycles with his brother Paul, to a ‘Bass Cajon’ with his grandson Bennett, to building too many bookshelves to count and an entire addition to his house - he left a physical memory that will last generations.
He was preceded in death by his parents, as well as his siblings F. Gerald, Kathryn (Sackett), Robert, and Christine (Ingersoll). Dick is survived by his wife, Kathryn; siblings Paul, Marion (McKinley), and Susan (McDonald); children Michael and Carleen, Joel and Jennifer, Kenna and Russ; his grandchildren Bennett, Elizana, Lily, Ethan, Quin, Emily, Andrea, Nathaniel, and Esta Mae; as well as a multitude of extended family, furkids, and friends.
Per Dick’s wishes, there will be no calling hours or service. Instead, all are welcomed to a celebration of life this summer to reminisce, talk, and support each other. The date and location are yet to be determined. In lieu of flowers and condolences, please donate directly to the Conneaut Band Boosters or the US Department of Veterans Affairs.
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Conneaut Music Boosters
P.O. Box 712, Conneaut OH 44030
U.S. Department of Veteran's Affairs