Last Updated on December 4, 2023 by Gundrum Funeral Home
On Saturday, December 2, 2023, Richard Wild rounded third and slid into home for the final time. He was cheered on by the prayers and tears of family that surrounded him as he entered the eternal luxury suites to be with his Lord and Savior Jesus.
On December 10, 1938, Rich entered the game as the fourth of a team of thirteen children of Judge Clifford and Mary Wild in Logansport, Indiana.
After a childhood where he spent a lot of time sitting on the bench for irritating his mother/manager when he wasn’t on an adventure or working with his father/umpire, he was caught looking at the first pitch from his eventual wife Karen, but he worked the count and drew a walk with her. She filled his field of dreams and became the love of his life, and they began their own new team in July 1959.
Rich didn’t have a “single” focus in life, as his interests were wide and varied. He was a diehard Cubs fan since age 9. He always loved and appreciated nature and camping. He built and tended a large garden and fruit tree orchard, and he filled his yard with landscaping and flower beds at each residence he owned. He always kept neighborhood birds and wildlife fed. He attended Faith Community Fellowship Church and First United Methodist Church. He was a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon. He enjoyed golf, fishing, photography, telling and retelling bad jokes. He especially loved travelling and spending time with Karen and their family.
Rich’s passion for mentoring kids caused him to develop a “double” duty strategy, teacher and coach. Coach Wild became one of three coaches for Logansport High School baseball, along with Jim Turner and Butch Jones. Together, they guided the golden age of this legendary program for over three decades. Coach Wild shared his love of both his students and the Lord as a long-time leader of the Logansport Fellowship of Christian Athletes. He was also a strong supporter and advocate for the local YMCA.
Rich and Karen were “triple” blessed, loading the bases with three sons. The fundamentals of family, integrity, service to others, and a witty sense of humor were always on deck. Four RBIs were added to the score book with four grandchildren, followed by a grand slam with four great-grandchildren. Coach and Karen welcomed their new team names as Papaw and Mammy “Holy Cows!”
Remaining on the playing field after Rich was called up to the Big League are three sons: Michael (Lori Hines) Wild of Mapleton, IL, Jeffrey (Dawn) Wild of Burnettsville, IN, Kevin (Melissa) Wild of Indianapolis, IN; four brothers: James Wild in Arizona, Victor (Carri) Wild in Massachusetts, Phillip Wild in Arizona, John (Barbara) Wild in Oregon; three sisters: Ramona Higel in Oregon, Barbara Jaxel in Oregon, Debra (Gary) McAninch in Oregon; half-sister, Bettie Lu Wild in Indiana; four grandchildren: Brandon (Morgan) Wild, Sarai (Grant) Quimby, Evan Wild, Alanna Wild; four great-grandchildren: Mason Wild, Annabel Wild, Paylin Quimby, Olivia Quimby.
Preceding Rich into the grandstands were his wife, Karen Lynne Wild, father, Clifford O. Wild, mother, Mary E. Wild, brothers Clifford Wild, Jr., Robert Wild, Edgar Wild, Stanley Wild, sister Mitzi Clayton, half-brother, Jack Wild.
A celebration of life will be held at 11:00 a.m. Thursday, December 7, 2023, in the Gundrum Funeral Home, with Pastor Mike Montgomery officiating. A short visitation will be held that morning starting at 10:00 a.m.
A visitation will also be held from 4:00-7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, December 6, 2023, in the Gundrum Funeral Home.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Cass County Family YMCA, 905 E. Broadway, Logansport, IN 46947, in memory of Coach Wild.
You may sign Coach Wild’s guest book and send online condolences to the family at www.gundrumcares.com.