My precious, precious child, I love you and I would never leave you. During your times of trial and suffering when you see only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you. -Your Heavenly Father
Speedy ‘Jake’ Rubben Read, 67, of West Salem, earned his Angel wings and went home to be with his Lord and Savior on Thursday, December 30, 2021, after a strong and well fought fight from complications of Covid-19 with his daughter, Camee and his brother, Pete by his side while his wife, Sherri and the rest of his children’s (Frank and Shannon’s) voices close by via virtual call. He was in the Intensive Care Unit at the Wooster Community Hospital. He was born April 7, 1954 in Lodi to George S. and Margaret (nee Sampsel) Read.
He is and was a superhero to his family. He did it all. He survived cancer, heart issues and so much more that puts his family in awe of him. He was also a Veteran and proudly served in the United States Army as an E4 Specialist in the Eighth Infantry Division in Fort Carson, Colorado. He could always be seen in his Army or Veteran hats if seen anywhere outside his house thanking all fellow Veterans for their service. He made many friends at the Akron and Cleveland V.A. hospitals and loved doing Christmas fundraisers for his fellow Veterans. He passed out blankets, gloves, scarves, food and other various items every Christmas and during other times of the years that he chose, just because he felt like it. Dad was a member of the VFW and the DAV.
He tried Karate out when he was younger and did pretty well while participating. He graduated from West Holmes High School where he wrestled and played football. When he was younger, he tried baseball and basketball, but found wrestling as his favorite sport. When he had his son that decided to follow in his footsteps and try the sport out, it made him so happy. He would go to every meet yelling out moves and twisting his body to match what his son was doing. The pride in his eyes made his son overjoyed. But, going back he met his ‘hot’ future wife when she was ‘knee high to a grasshopper and hiding behind her mom’s skirt’ as he would say. Her parents knew his parents for years. As shy as he was, it took him until adulthood to finally ask her out.
He married the love of his life on March 30, 1985. Dad being shy, he had a grin when he tossed mom the ring box and said, “Just open it.” Mom remembers he taped the box all up so she had to work for it. Mom looks up after opening it and then he asks, “Will you marry me?” 36 years later they couldn’t have been happier. Dad joined the Methodist Church shortly after marrying. They accomplished much together. They had three children and lived in West Salem for most of their marriage (just a short time in Big Prairie, Ohio at the beginning). Dad always helped mom with all her fundraising ideas and helped many organizations succeed beyond belief (Veterans, Schools, Food Pantries, Parks and other programs). He may be quiet, but he always got the job done. He was so proud of his children excelling in sports and school. He was at every event possible and would assist with math homework when he was needed (and he was often). He was brilliant in mathematics. Dad retired from bus driving at Ida Sue/Nick Amster Workshop.
Dad’s favorite things included: watching Hallmark movies and the History Channel; he loved movie nights with his family as he ran the small family concession stand; he loved game night with his family as well (with him creating some new games the family couldn’t wait to play); he loved building Legos with his children (especially with his daughter, Shannon when it came to Harry Potter Legos while listening to Randy Travis); he loved math challenges with his daughter, Camee and playing Sudoku games; he enjoyed building Battlebots and flying drones with his son, Frank; he read some comic books; he loved his Cleveland Browns and teasing his Pittsburgh Steelers fan family; he loved the Cleveland Indians, as his dad tried out and made the team and then decided to walk away because his friends did not make it; he loved more than anything doing anything with his wife, and it could be anything from going places to just sitting together and watching a show. Dad and mom did not pass each other without a quick kiss or grasp of their hands. It was the sweetest thing to set eyes on.
In the end Covid attacked this strong man. When he went into the ER he was more worried that his daughter didn’t eat, telling the doctor to make sure she ate. When she said she already got something he wanted to sneak a drink and snack. He later was rolled to the Covid unit and our lives were flipped upside down. He was worried when he found out his wife was admitted to the hospital and his younger two were also diagnosed. He worried more about his family than his declining health. When he was moved to the ICU things changed. He was given 24 hours and he would be put on a ventilator. Not even 24 hours later he called Camee early in the morning to say ‘Camee, I need to go get on that machine,’ like it was just another thing to do. No big deal. He did not have enough time to let her get her brother and sister out of bed to hear his voice. He continued saying, ‘I need to get on this thing so that I can fight this and live longer. Tell everyone I love them.’ After he was promised she would, he finished his last words to anyone saying ‘He loves us more. Click he wins.” Although he fought hard, opening his eyes for his daughter and squeezing her hand, he took a turn for the worse and passed away in the early hours leaving his whole family shook. The doctors and nurses said to the end he was one of the unique cases, a one of a kind man.
Those that survive him and cherish their every moment with him are his wife, Sherri (nee Osborn) Read; daughters, Cameron ‘Camee’ and Shannon Read; son, Franklin ‘Frank the Tank or Plowboy’ Read; brother, George ‘Pete’ (Stacy) Read; sister-in-law, Judy Smith; brother-in-law, Thomas ‘Tom’ (Linda) Osborn; aunts, Oneta Fetzer and Madeline Pierce; uncle, Clyde (Nancy) Sampsel; nieces, Brenda (Don) Cherry, Julie Sheridan, Sabrina and Alyssa Read; nephews, Jeff (Teresa) and Todd (Debbie) Smith, Mike (Julie) and Tommy (Heather) Osborn, George (Jody) Read; special great-nieces, Freyja (that brought a smile to his face) and Abby (that he didn’t get the chance to meet); many great-nieces and nephews, great-great-nieces and nephews, cousins, extended family and close friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents, George S. and Margaret (nee Sampsel) Read; grandparents, Lewis Read, Edna (nee Hubler) Steele, Frank Steele, William JB and Ellen (nee Rhinehart) Sampsel; brother-in-law, Robert ‘Bob’ Smith; great-niece, Erika Sheridan; many uncles, aunts and extended family.
The family would like to thank the nurses and doctors in the ICU at the Wooster Community Hospital. They were honest and worked their best to keep dad comfortable and fought as hard as they could to save his life. We cannot imagine seeing this every day. The hurt and pain in our family is so strong we cannot imagine these men and women doing this over and over. We thank you for what you do and tried to do with our superhero.
A private family service will be held at a later date for close family and friends at Matteson Funeral Home at 40 Congress St. in West Salem. Pastor Paul Bartholomew will be officiating the service. A Celebration of Life for all who wish to attend will be announced at a later date. He will be inturned at West Salem Cemetery with Military Honors held. The family asks masks to be worn. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be given to Matteson Funeral Home in the family’s name to help offset costs, but knowing dad’s love of helping others you can also donate to the West Salem Police Department or the West Salem Town and Country Fire Department (as they were always there for him).
Please visit the funeral home’s website to leave condolences at mattesonfh.com
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