Richard Allen Ellsworth, 88, of Macomb passed away at 8 p.m. Sunday, September 5, 2022 at the Lamoine in Macomb with his daughters at his side.
He was born August 17, 1934 to Robert C. and Norma R. Ellsworth in Canton, IL. He married Judith Ann Lidwell, the love of his life on July 31, 1960. She preceded him in death on December 21, 2011. They were happily married for 51 years.
Surviving are their two daughters, Richelle (Matt) Glaser and Shari Paisley, both of Macomb. Richard and Judy were both very proud of their 4 grandchildren: Kyle (Elli Anne Karras) Glaser, Brett (Lorna) Glaser, Meg Paisley, and Karyn Paisley.
Also preceding him in death were his sister and brother-in-law, Barbara and David Russell, and his brother and sister-in-law, Donald and Marcheta Ellsworth. He is survived by many loving nieces and nephews.
Richard grew up in Canton, IL where he was a proud member of the Gear Jammers, a racing club, in 1949. He graduated from Canton High School in 1952 and joined the Naval Reserves that same year. Next he worked at Caterpillar in Peoria until he joined the army in 1957. He completed his basic training at Fort Leonard Wood and advanced Combat training at Fort Riley. Serving as Specialist Third Class in the Army from 1957-1959, he was stationed in Bahmholder, Germany in the Artillery Unit. Upon returning to the states, he was employed as a policeman from 1959-1963, at Prudential Insurance from 1963-1965, and then in November of 1965 he went to work for C.I.P.S in Canton. Starting in the gas department, he then moved on to the tree crew, and in 1970 he took a position as the Area Administrator Supervisor, where he worked until retirement in 1995. In November 1981, he transferred to the office in Macomb, taking on more territory and responsibilities.
Always interested in public service, Richard proudly was a member of the Canton Union School District 66 School Board from 1975-1981, serving as president in 1978. During that time, he was instrumental in many improvements and growth in facilities and programs. An avid sports enthusiast and supporter, he served on the Canton Booster Club for many years, again serving as president. Because of his interests in photography and technology he served as team photographer for the football and basketball programs, along with official “pom pon squad photographer.” His service continued as he was a member of the American Legion and the Elks Lodge, both in Canton and Macomb. A man of faith, he served on the Fellheimer Trust Board and Wesley United Methodist Church.
Anyone who knew him, knew that Richard loved sports. Rarely did he miss a Chicago Bears or Bulls game, he loved the Illini, and in the 1970s he went to many Bradley Brave Basketball games. He continued that love of basketball and football when he moved to Macomb and became a member of the Western Athletic Club. His love of sports did not end at the professional or collegiate level as he did not miss one Macomb Bomber football, basketball or baseball game, and he learned to love cross country meets and marathon track meets because of his grandchildren. Loyal Fan truly described Richard as he never gave up on his Chicago Cubs, serving as a proud member of the Chicago Cubs Die Hard Fan Club. One of his happiest moments was their World Series Win in 2016.
Boating was an important part of Richard’s life as he spent many days driving a speed boat on Canton Lake, Lake of the Ozarks, and later in life at Little Swan Lake. Also later in life he developed a love for golf and enjoyed many days with friends on the course, where he was known to have a “killer drive.”
Nothing was more important to Richard than his family, and he was adored by them and will be missed terribly. The last year of Richard’s life he chose to move to the Lamoine in Macomb, where he met and was surrounded by his second family, a group of dedicated and loving people who made every day of his life there happy and will miss him just as much.
Funeral services will be held at 1 p.m. Sunday, September 11, 2022 at Clugston-Tibbitts Funeral Home in Macomb. Visitation will be held from 11 to 1 p.m. Sunday at the funeral home. Full military rites will be conducted at the funeral home by the Macomb American Legion and Macomb VFW following the services. Burial will be held at 3 p.m. Sunday at Greenwood Cemetery in Canton.
Memorials may be made to The Macomb Bomber Boosters or the Canton Little Giant Booster Club or the Lamoine Retirement Living Center.