Richard J. Gensheimer

Born: Tue., Apr. 21, 1953
Died: Mon., Nov. 5, 2018


6:00 PM to 8:00 PM, Fri., Nov. 09, 2018
Location: South Shore Wine Company


8:00 PM Fri., Nov. 09, 2018
Location: South Shore Wine Company

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Music by The Piano Brothers

Richard J. Gensheimer, Jr.
Richard J. Gensheimer, Jr., 65, of North
East, died at home, on Monday, November 5,
He is survived by his best friend and wife of 23 years,
Lisa Gensheimer.
Rich was born in Erie, on April
21, 1953, the son of Mary Alice
Gensheimer and the late Richard J.
A true renaissance man, Rich
mastered everything he put his
mind to, whether it was deciphering
enemy code during the Vietnam
War for the U.S. Navy Security
Group, driving a Formula 2000 racecar
at high speed, wiring and plumbing homes, tying
exquisite fly fishing bugs, hiking and photographing
landscapes in the American West, making Windsor
chairs by hand, creating stunning photos, taking apart
the entire dashboard of his Subaru station wagon (and
putting it back together) in the snow, or at the age of
63, playing hockey on a team called the Flatliners in
an 18-and-over league.
Whether regaling coworkers with his travel adventures,
performing magic tricks for the children of Guatemala,
or bringing history to life through powerful
documentary films, Rich was a gifted storyteller. His
work continues to inspire audiences to discover their
better selves as they explore important principles –
truth, social justice, and our responsibility to care for
one another in challenging times.
Rich attended St. Luke’s School and Cathedral
Prep and earned a degree in business and marketing
from Mercyhurst University, working his way through
college as an electrician at Firch Baking Company. He
became a creative force in the local advertising scene,
working for Mitchell Advertising and GTE, and serving
as president of the Erie Ad Club. He was a pioneer
in video production, establishing Parrot Productions,
Main Street Media, and the first media department at
Erie Insurance, where he served for 27 years before
retiring in April 2018.
His greatest joy came from spending time with his
children and grandchildren. They were drawn to him,
as people of all ages were, because he was always into
mischief and magic, all the while teaching them how
to live.
Rich was, and still is, a shooting star in universe that
is often devoid of light.
In addition to his wife, Rich is survived by his
mother, Mary Alice Bougie Gensheimer; children,
Emily Ferko (Jared) and Beth Newman (Brian);
and their mother, Marcia Izbicki Gensheimer;
stepdaughter, Emily Johnson (Jamie); grandchildren,
Lincoln, Olive, and Ezra Ferko, and Julian, Lily, Ella,
Nico, Meadow, and Silas Johnson; sisters, Amy Patsy
and Ann Wilkes (John Gennaro); uncle, Dr. James
Bougie; mother-in-law, Marilyn Garfield; brothers-inlaw,
Jim Garfield (Gina) and Paul Garfield (Crystal);
nephews, Andrew and Christopher Patsy, Dave and
Nick Wilkes, and Evan Garfield; and niece, Maura
He was preceded in death by stepson, Jonathan
Miller in 2017.
Community Nursing Services of North East provided
loving hospice care for Rich and his family when he
returned from Cleveland Clinic. Cardiac amyloidosis,
the rare terminal disease that so quickly claimed
his body, did not take his spirit. When he was told he
could go home, the first words out of his mouth were
“Let’s do this.”
The family will receive friends at South Shore Wine
Company, 1120 Freeport Road, North East, Pa., on
Friday, November 9th, from 6 p.m. until a sendoff at 8
p.m. that will include a few moments of reflection.
Friends can honor Rich’s memory with a donation to
an organization he cared deeply about, Vision for the
Poor, 300 State Street, Suite 202, Erie, PA 16507.
Funeral arrangements are being handled by the
William D. Elkin Funeral Home, 65 South Lake Street,
North East.
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