Funeral rites for Wesley Howland Rich, Jr., 75, of Lawton will be held at 11:30 a.m. on Thursday, October 7, 2021, at Lawton Ritter Gray Funeral Home Chapel.
Mr. Rich passed away on Friday, September 24, 2021, in Lawton.
Burial will follow at Fort Sill National Cemetery, Elgin, Oklahoma.
Wes was born on December 4, 1945 in Newton, Massachusetts to Wesley Howland Rich, Sr. and Dorothy M. (Delaney) Rich. He grew up in the Boston area and attended Junior College there. Eventually he traveled to Valley City State College in North Dakota where he earned a BS in Educational Science.
Wes came to Lawton courtesy of the U.S. Army in 1971 and upon discharge became Youth Director of Lawton's YMCA. Patrons of the YMCA urged him to become a teacher because of his magical way with children. This he accomplished three years later, becoming a Title 1 Reading Specialist for the Lawton Public Schools, which allowed him to work in many different elementary schools. The last several years of his teaching career were spent as the Computer Teacher in MagnaTech and then Pat Henry Elementary Schools. There he was an essential booster of school morale with his jokes and his creative take on the world. He retired in 2001. Wes was employed by the Art Therapy Association of Oklahoma as Webmaster at the time of his death.
Teachers leave an indelible imprint on the lives they touch, never knowing just how much their influence means to the people they spend their days educating. Wes spent endless hours helping friends, colleagues and students at their homes and in school with the technical anxieties and dilemmas the computer age brought with it. Many would not have achieved computer literacy without the patience and kindness of Wes' direction.
Wesley H. Rich was a member of the Gold Wing Riders Association and Mission Village Neighborhood Watch.
A truly unique human being, Wes was quick-witted, enjoyed laughter, and being goofy with friends. He was a private person who loved technology, music, motorcycles and cats. Wes showed his feelings through his actions, always being willing to go out of his way to share his knowledge to help his many friends.
Survivors include: brother, Richard and his wife, Maureen. A legion of longtime friends and colleagues will cherish the memory of Wes, including: Betty Foster-Kurashige, Kay Foster, Ann and Frank Love and Jake Meyers.
Those who attend the funeral are requested to wear masks for the safety of all.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Lawton YMCA or to the Lawton Public Schools Foundation.
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