Richard McLewis Hemmerly

February 5, 1948April 19, 2021

Richard McLewis Hemmerly, 73, Kokomo, Indiana, passed away at 11:52am Monday, April 19, 2021. He was born February 5, 1948 in Tiffin, Ohio to Cecil and Mary Etta (Bell) Hemmerly.

Growing up in Bowling Green, OH, Dick was a star athlete who excelled in football, wrestling, and baseball. He graduated from Bowling Green State University where he met his soon to be wife. On July 21, 1973 he married Janice Marie Grimaldi and she survives.

Rico was a KC-135 pilot in the United States Air Force and flew in Operation Desert Storm. He retired after 21 years of service as a Lieutenant Colonel. This lead to his civilian career as a Flight Instructor for FlightSafety out of Grissom Air Force Base. Even after retirement he found a way to give back by volunteering as a driver for the Disabled Veterans (DAV). He was an avid deer hunter who also enjoyed playing golf with his family and friends.

He cherished time with his children coaching and cheering them on at their various sporting events. Most recently, his greatest joy was being “Papa” to his grandkids. All who knew him found a lifelong friend. Rich knew how to laugh, have fun, but most importantly, was a man of God.

Richard is survived by his wife Janice Hemmerly; children Michael (Pamela) Hemmerly, Kelly Hemmerly Ortiz (Luis), and Mark (Jordan) Hemmerly; grandchildren Lucy Hemmerly, Leighton Hemmerly, Landon Hemmerly and Abram Hemmerly, sister; Jane Hemmerly Browne (Dave).

He was preceded in death by his father, Cecil Hemmerly; mother, Mary Etta (Bell) Hemmerly; son, Brian Hemmerly; brother Daniel Hemmerly; sister Roxanne Green.

Funeral Services celebrating Rich’s Life are scheduled at Eller’s Funeral Home (3400 South Webster St., Kokomo, IN. 46902). Visitation is scheduled for Sunday April 25th from 2-6pm and again on Monday April 26th from 11am-1pm with funeral services starting at 1pm. Burial will follow at Sunset Memory Gardens in Kokomo where Military Rites will be performed.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to a College Memorial Fund for the benefit of Richard M. Hemmerly’s Grandchildren at Solidarity Community Federal Credit Union, 201 E. Southway Blvd., Kokomo, IN 46902, or to the Kokomo Disabled American Veterans (DAV) Chapter #28, 3706 South Lafountain St., Suite C, Kokomo, IN 46902. Dick’s funeral service will be streamed live on Ellers Mortuary’s Facebook page starting at 12:55pm on day of service.


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Richard McLewis Hemmerly

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Larry Carr

April 27, 2021

I first meet Dick and Janice in fall of 1969 at my first rush party at the Phi Delt house. They were the first people that greeted me and left an indelible mark on me. Their friendly, welcoming and outgoing personality helped me make the decision to pledge Phi Delta Theta and my life changed for the better by meeting Dick and Janice. I will keep the family in my prayers. God Bless you all.
To Rico I say
Yours in the Bond
Larry Carr
BGSU ‘73
Ohio Kappa Chapter
Phi Delta Theta Fraternity

Jennifer & Brian Hale

April 26, 2021

Kelly & Family,
Brian and I are so very sorry for your loss! We watched the very beautiful service online and cannot get over how great of a man your dad must have been. It's terrible to lose a parent and we're sorry you're having to go through this. We've got you in our thoughts and prayers and are here for you if you need anything! Love you!!
Jen & Brian

Jeffrey Mercier

April 24, 2021

I met Rich at Grissom through various groups and efforts there. He was a man of substance who cared about others in a broader sense. While he was associated with the with the Flight Safety Office, I would occassionally run into him out there in what was a distance relationship do to our work environments, but he was again always one that was positive and easy to communicate with. It was a pleasant surprise when I took a job and ran into him during his time serving as a DAV driver. He contributed to many, in all of his taskings for the good of all. An honor to have known him, Condolences to his family and close friends, may God ease and aid you all during this difficult time. Rest in Peace sir.

Cindy McGaffney

April 24, 2021

My sincere sympathy to you Jan, and all your family on the loss of Rich. May knowing he and Brian are together help give you peace. God Bless you all.

Mike Moran

April 23, 2021

Deep condolences for Rico’s passing. Having worked with Rich in the 70th and with the simulator I was shocked to read about his death. I am so sorry and I am praying for the family.

Steve Miller

April 23, 2021

My most sincere condolences to Jan and the Hemmerly family. When we were growing up, we loved going nearly every Sunday to our grandparents for family gatherings, good food, playing with all the cousins and watching our parents get beat at cards by grandpa! Dick was a great part of our growing up memories. I am not at all surprised he gave his career to serve our country so effectively and admirably. In recent months, he became a great encourager to me as he gave supportive comments on my Facebook messages every Sunday. I'm sure the Lord has greeted him into the Heavenly Kingdom with a hearty "Well done, Good and Faithful servant!" You are already deeply missed cousin! Steve Miller, first cousin

Mike McCarty

April 22, 2021

To Rich’s family and friends:
Rich and I were roommates in the fraternity house our sophomore year. Rich was a great friend and brother during our time together at BGSU! Always there with support. While we were separated after college and he went on to the USAF, I am reminded of his welcoming attitude and openness. I know he will be missed by all of those of us who had the opportunity to spend time with him. Thanks for your service and your commitment to those who knew you. Rest well and carry on...YITB. MIKE.

Thomas Merlitti

April 21, 2021

It was my pleasure to know you during our Bowling Green days.
Thanks for your service...
God Bless and RIP!
Thomas Merlitti

Jeff Koehler

April 21, 2021

I did not know Dick well. I was class of 74’ at BG. What I did know was he was a good man and a Great Phi Delta Theta Brother. RIP Dick.

Mark Adams

April 21, 2021

I am so sorry to hear of the passing of my good friend "Rico". I will have lasting memories of our high school days playing football and our class reunions. Most of all I will remember our class golf excursions! I will forever be blessed to have Dick as my friend. I thank GOD for all the times I enjoyed with him.
My thoughts and prayers will be with you as you go through a very difficult time.
God bless!
Mark Adams