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Richard's Story

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Richard F. Neff, 68, of Canton, passed away Sunday, June 11, 2017, at his home while surrounded by loved ones.
Richard was born Nov. 13, 1948 in Palo Alto, Calif., a son of the late Frederick E. and Leah V. (Messimer) Neff.
In early years, Dick attended a one-room school in Larryville, where he met the love of his life, the former Betty Edwards. After graduating from Lewisburg, high school in 1966, Dick received his bachelor's in elementary education at Kutztown University, and his master's at Bloomsburg University. He then earned a Post-Master's Certificate at Bucknell University.
On July 25, 1970, he and Betty were married in Larryville.
Richard began his teaching career with the Muncy Area School District as an elementary teacher and their head wrestling coach. He also was instrumental in starting their elementary wrestling program. In 1981, Richard was named its first "Coach of the Year" by Mid-Penn. He then served as elementary principal at Cameron County School District in Emporium, Pa., before joining the Canton Area School District as superintendent of schools in 1987, until retiring in 2001.
He then enjoyed five years of seasonal employment at Walt Disney World's Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando. Richard also owned and operated the Pennsylvania Quilter from 1999 - 2017, which restored vintage Singer Featherweights sewing machines. He and Betty were vendors at four national quilt shows. His memberships included the Muncy Lodge No. 299 F&AM, Canton's Lion's Club and numerous professional and academic organizations.
Richard enjoyed spending time at Sharbot Lake, Canada, with family. He also was an avid hunter and fisherman, but times he appreciated most were while watching his grandchildren participate in their many interests.
Surviving is his wife of nearly 47 years, Betty; two children, R. Frederick Neff of Beaver Falls, and Dr. Amy (Gary) Martell of LeRoy, Pa.; five grandchildren, Mason, Kaden and Carmya Martell, Wyatt and Abigail Neff; and his sister, Jane Yorks and family of Lewisburg, Pa.
The Rev. Mike Gaiotti will officiate a memorial celebration of Richard's life at 1 p.m. Saturday, June 17, at Canton High School's Nelle Black Westgate Auditorium at 509 E. Main St. Burial will be privately held at the convenience of the family at the Jersey Shore Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, consider a donation to the Richard F. Neff Scholarship Fund, c/o Canton Area School District, ATTN: Mark Jannone, 509 E Main St., Canton, PA 17724. Pepper Funeral Home in Canton is assisting the family. Share condolences at www.pepperfuneralhomes.com.
Published on June 14, 2017
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