Richard A. “Coach” Thurnes, 91, of St. Clairsville passed away peacefully at his home on Monday, November 4, 2019. He was surrounded by his family and faithful companion, Buckeye.
Richard was preceded in death by his parents, Clarence and Hannah Thurnes; son, Dean Thurnes; and sister, Betty Wetzel.
Richard is survived by his beloved wife of 66 years, Dorothy (Lewandowski); his children, Leslie Gloin of St. Augustine, Fl, Troy, of St. Clairsville, and Kerry Formick (Scott) of Rootstown, OH; grandchildren, Alexandra Quellhorst (Nate) of Baltimore, MD, Dylan Gloin of St. Augustine, Connor and Garrett Formick of Rootstown; and great-grandson, Lincoln Gloin.
Richard is a graduate of Union High School in Benwood, WV and West Liberty State College, where he played starting center in the Pythion and Smoky Mountain Bowls. He served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War as a member of the Military Police stationed in Okinawa, Japan and later in Indiantown Gap, PA.
Richard is a football coaching legend in the Ohio Valley. He began his illustrious career at Cameron High School. He then coached Warren Consolidated High School for 12 years. He moved onto Buckeye South High School for two years. In all, Richard coached five undefeated seasons and had a record of 112-36-7.
Richard earned “Coach of the Year” awards from the Wheeling Intelligencer in 1964, the Times leader in 1967, the Eastern Ohio Athletic League in 1961, 62′, 65′, 67′, and the AP Eastern District in 64′ and 67′. Coach Thurnes was inducted into the OV Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 1987 as well as the O.V.A.C Hall of Fame in 2011. Richard also coached basketball, baseball, golf, and track throughout his career.
Coach was a dedicated fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers and The Ohio State Buckeyes. He loved to talk football — past, present, future — with anyone, especially over a nice cold beer.
Richard was more than a coach to the many men he mentored through the years. He was a teacher, motivator, and an inspiration. No one could fire up a team like Coach when they took the field, they were ready to take on the world.
Although Coach Thurnes received many awards and accolades in his life, his greatest achievement was his 66-year marriage to his wife, Dorothy. His children were his pride and joy, but his grandchildren were the center of his world. His legacy lives on in them and in all whose lives he touched.
Friends will be received Friday, November 8, 2019 at Wilson Funeral Home, 920 National Road., Bridgeport from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Military honors will be offered by the Belmont County Veterans Association at 1:45 p.m. The funeral service will follow at 2 p.m. with Fr. Thomas Chillog officiating. Private interment will be held at the convenience of the family.
To offer online condolences please visit wilsonfuneralhomes.com.