NEW WATERFORD - Richard L. Best, 80, of New Waterford, died Monday morning at his residence.
Mr. Best, affectionately known as "Dick," was born September 6, 1932 in Youngs-town, a son of Peter and Irene Burkhart Ernst. For two years Dick was raised by his grandparents, Ben and Della Burkhart. In 1937 he was adopted by his father, Harry W. Best.
A 1950 graduate of Wilson High School, Dick founded in 1967 the R.L. Best Company on Bev Road in Boardman and in 1985 the second location in Sanford, Fla. In May 1951, Dick became a collector of antique vehicles including cars and trains, but mostly historical trucks. Dick and his wife, Evie, gave tours of their antique vehicles and would hold an annual open house at their residence. The last one was just this past Saturday.
Dick was a member of Poland Lodge No. 766 F&AM and a 32nd degree Mason of Valley of Youngstown Scottish Rite. He was a member of Al Koran Shrine of Cleveland and Youngstown Shrine Club. He was also a member of Salem Golf Club, Saxon Club, former member of Youngstown Club, and Charter President of Poland Optimist Club. Dick was a member of Canfield Christian Church.
With his love of collecting antique vehicles, Dick was active in many organizations including ATHS National Club, ATHS Northeast Ohio Club, ATHS Steel Valley Club, Austin Bantam Society, ATCA Historical Society, ATCA Greater Pittsburgh Chapter, TCA Club, Old Time Trucks, Classic White Truck Group, Mahoning Valley Historical Society, AACA Antique Auto Club, Coolspring Power Museum, Canton Museum, Packard Museum and a former member and past president of Youngstown Model T Club.
Dick leaves his wife, the former Evie M. Wallace, whom he married August 10, 1990; three sons, Ted A. (Laura) Best of Sanford, Fla., Mark R (Kimberly) Best of Greenford and Randall L. Best of New Waterford; three step-daughters, Jeanie (Tony) Salem of Columbiana, Deborah (Dennis) Dickson of Columbus and Joan Quaranta of Indiana; two brothers, Ray (Liz) Best of Austintown and Carl Best of Tampa, Fla.; eight grandchildren, Jeff, Katie, Royce, Kelly, Karen, Cassandra, Tony Jr., and Candace; and his loving dog, Maxi.
Funeral services will be held Thursday, 11 a.m. at Cunningham-Becker Funeral Home in Poland. Entombment will follow at Poland Riverside Cemetery.
Friends will be received Wednesday from 4-7 p.m. and Thursday from 10-10:45 a.m. at the funeral home.
Condolences may be sent at www.beckerobits.com.