Richard "Ding" Croucher, 85, passed away very peacefully in Largo, Florida, on July 19, 2012, surrounded by his children and the loving care of his wife, Bonnie. Ding was born in Gloversville on Nov. 25, 1926. He was a graduate of Gloversville High School and Potsdam State Univesity with a bachelor's degree in Elementary Education. He served his country during WW II in the U.S. Army Air Corps.
He was a beloved teacher, vice principal and football coach for many years in local schools and later a teacher/counseler at Tryon Residential Center. He later started a successful sales representative firm. He was active in the community as a Boy Scout leader, co-director of a Y camp, in Pop Warner Football, co-created a private elementary school (The Free School) and was a member of the North Main Street Methodist Church, and, later, the Congregational United Church of Christ. His professional career remained varied and interesting, spending his remaining years with his wife, Bonnie, a travel-nurse, finally settling in Largo, Fla.
Ding is survived by his wife, Bonnie Jo Croucher, and his former wife, Marjorie Croucher; his six children, Cathy Paige (Michael), Dean Croucher (Jane), Steven Scot Croucher, Kim Croucher Goodier, Kelly Tommell (John) and Christie Duck (John); his three stepchildren, Brett Whipple, Amy Whipple, Hollie Whipple Croucher (Faith); twelve grandchildren, two stepgrandchildren, and four great-grandchildren; brother, Kenneth Croucher (Arden); cousins, nieces, nephews, friends, and the large number of children and teenagers that "hung out" at Ding's self-made table in the kitchen of Prospect Avenue, Gloversville.
Ding was a lover of family and friends, great conversation, politics, knowledge, sports, teaching, his pets, great books, a sunny beach, food and a good laugh. He loved to travel abroad, visiting Europe, the British Isles, Mexico and the Caribbean during his retirement years. He was a great dad, a great husband and a great friend. We adored him and will hold him in our hearts forever!
The family will receive callers at Harold's Restaurant, 176 W. Fulton St. in Gloversville on Saturday, August 11, from 4 to 6 p.m. with a memorial service to be held on Sunday, Aug. 12, at 1 p.m. at the First Congregational Church, 31 E. Fulton St., Gloversville.
Donations may be made to the American Heart Association or flowers delivered to the First Congregational Church on Friday, Aug. 10, 9 to 11 a.m.