Richard Clevidence


The late 1900s, released children from the work world with labor reforms and social reforms in the United States and around the world . Richard Clevidence being one of these children, experienced these days of early school years similar to many other children, with a sense of hope and wonder about the massive world. No one could have seen this healthy, young man’s life change so early for him. In high school, Clevidence became injured while diving at a party and from then on used a wheelchair. Nothing could bring his spirit down though, after attending his beloved Medina High school, Clevidence further studied at Kent State University and went on to receive his masters’ degree from Ashland University. Especially in a time when more people were able to go to college, not just the upper class of the United States.
There he shared his passion of teaching and coaching for 25 years with all around him. Having no children himself, he considered all students his children and staff his extended family. His legacy still lives on in the high school today through his memorial scholarship for seniors as well as being a member of the Medina County Sports Hall of Fame. As we can see, the school system has been greatly influenced by Clevidence’s accomplishments and determination to thrive in life as he wants all who come after him to spend their life.

Images

Inspiring

Inspiring

Kristen Hollamon, former gymnast of Medina High School, said, "He was a second father to all of us". When he wasn't helping the girl™s gymnastics team, he was helping students with their academics by serving as a tutor. Melissa Popovich, a member of the gymnastics team, would often go to his room to talk about gymnastics. She started slacking in her school work and Clevidence noticed. Whenever she came up to his room, he would always say, "Come on, let's do some math!” He founded two gymnastics programs at Medina High School and he was a member of the first boys™ team in 1966. He later served as head coach of the girls gymnastics team for 8 seasons, then served as an assistant until he resigned in the spring of 2000. Image Courtesy of Medina High School Yearbook. View File Details Page

Paralyzed

Paralyzed

Rich was paralyzed from the waist down due to playing football and swimming. During his junior year of high school, he suffered injuries to his neck from football. After his high school graduation, at Caro's Party Center, he caught his foot on a tow rope as he was diving into the water. The angle at which he hit the water and the shallowness of the water left him paralyzed for life, but this didn't stop him from helping others. John Kelly and Jim Winkowski, friends of Rich, always helped him with anything after his accident. Image Courtesy of Medina High School Yearbook. View File Details Page

Caring

Caring

Clevidence said his purpose for being here was to help others. Five months before his death, at a gymnastics meet in Dublin, he told then-seniors Melissa Popovich and Beth Spires when it came to his funeral, he didn't want flowers "because flowers die". He wanted stuffed animals so that after his service the toys could be taken to children at Rainbow Babies and Children Hospital. Image Courtesy of John Clevidence. View File Details Page

Battle with Cancer

Battle with Cancer

Popovich and Spires went to the store, where Popovich bought an octopus and Spires got a tropical fish. Both of the toys were for Clevidence. Clevidence didn't want anyone to know about his battle with cancer. Kaysie Hollamon, senior member of the gymnastics team, saw Clevidence coming home from the hospital one day. She called him and he said "I'll be fine". She thought it was right for him not to tell anyone because everyone would have worried about him. Clevidence, 51, passed away on August 6th, 2000 from his battle with thyroid cancer. Image Courtesy of The Medina Gazette. View File Details Page

Audio

John Clevidence talking about his brother

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Cite this Page:

Marie Houghtaling, Prince Singh, “Richard Clevidence,” Discover Medina, accessed June 23, 2017, http://discovermedina.org/items/show/163.

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