Defiance, OH, - December 17, 2006
Former City Schools Superintendent Dies at 81
GREENVILLE -- Former Defiance City Schools superintendent Dr. Richard L. Preston, 81, Greenville, died at 10:02 p.m. Friday, Dec. 15, 2006, in Wayne Hospital, Greenville.
He was born April 16, 1925, in Montezuma, the son of Harry and Cady (Carter) Preston. In 1950, he married Ann Nealeigh, who survives. He was a World War II veteran serving in the U.S. Marine Corps. He graduated from Miami University and received his master's degree from Michigan State University, his EDS degree in educational administration from Central Michigan University and his doctorate degree from Miami University. He was a member of the 1948 Sun Bowl championship team at Miami University. He was a teacher and coach eight years in Bradford and Beavercreek schools and served as elementary principal at Chesaning Union schools in Michigan for three years.
He served as superintendent at Lake City, Mich., Schools from 1960-63, superintendent at Union City, Mich., Schools from 1963-66, and Centerville City Schools from 1966-72. In 1972, he was hired as superintendent at Defiance City Schools and served in that position until 1981. Physical improvements made and programs implemented during his tenure included renovation of school buildings, construction of Fred J. Brown Stadium, reorganization of the high school into a four-year system, expansion of special education services and career development programs.
"One of the gravest mistakes superintendents make is staying in the office all day," he said in 1981. "A superintendent should circulate and know all of the employees by name. And he should have contact with the district so he knows what makes it tick."
Following his retirement from Ohio public school education, he accepted a position as associate professor at East Carolina University and later served as associate superintendent of schools at Pitt County Schools in North Carolina. He was a member of Greenville Missionary Church, Greenville.
Also surviving are a son, R. David (Gaylene), Denver, Colo.; two daughters, Liz (Syd) Doyle of Blissfield, Mich., and Elaine (Jeff) Theus, Greenville, N.C.; a sister, Irma Perry, Columbus; and seven grandchildren and a great-grandchild.
Preceding him in death were four brothers and five sisters.
Services will be at 10:30 a.m. Thursday in Zechar Bailey Funeral Home, Greenville, with Rev. Gary Oser officiating. Burial will be in Oak Grove Cemetery, Fort Jefferson. Visitation is from 5-8 p.m. Wednesday.
Dayton Daily News - Sunday, December 17, 2006
DR. RICHARD L. PRESTON
Dr. Richard L. Preston, age 81 of Greenville, Ohio passed away Friday, December 15, 2006 at Wayne Hospice, Greenville, Ohio. Born April 16, 1825 in Montezuma, Ohio. Son of the late Harry and Cady (Carter) Preston. Dr. Preston was a "Faithful Follower of Christ" and a Member of the Greenville Missionary Church. He received his Bachelor's degree from Miami University of Oxford, Ohio; his Master's degree from Michigan State; his EDS degree from Central Michigan University and his Doctorate of Philosophy from Miami of Ohio. In 1948 he was a member of the Miami University Sun Bowl Championship Team. Dr Preston had been a teacher/coach at Bradford, Ohio and Beavercreek, Ohio schools. He served 9 years as superintendent of schools in Michigan, 6 years as superintendent of Centerville Ohio Schools and 9 years as superintendent of Defiance Ohio Schools retiring from there in 1980. Following retirement, he became an Associate Professor at East Carolina University and Associate Superintendent of Schools in the Pitt County School System. He was a veteran of WWII serving in the U.S. Marine Corp. Preceded in death by 4 brothers and 5 sisters. He is survived by his wife Ann E. (Nealeigh) Preston of Greenville, whom he married December 23, 1950; son and daughter-in-law, R. David and Gaylene Preston of Denver, CO.; daughters and sons-in-law, Liz and Sid Doyle of Blissfield, MI., Elaine and Jeff Theus of Greenville, N.C.; 7 grandchildren; 1 great-grandchild; sister, Irma Perry of Columbus, Ohio; as well as numerous nieces and nephews. Funeral service 10:30 A.M. Thursday, December 21, 2006 at Zechar Bailey Funeral Home, Greenville, Ohio. Rev. Gary Iser officiating. Burial Oak Grove Cemetery, Ft. Jefferson, Ohio. Family will receive friends on Wednesday from 5 till 8 P.M. in the funeral home. Memorials; Greenville Area Rescue Squad or the Nation's Light Ministries of Dundee, MI.
NOTE: Son of Harry Franklin Preston and Cady Carter