Long-time Bethel baseball assistant Siler dies
By- Steve Krah
Richard “Dick” Siler, who was a coach since the 1950’s including 23 years at Bethel University, has passed away.
Siler died in his Mishawaka home around 1:45 a.m. Monday, July 20. He was 84.
A native of Ashland, Ohio, where his family was in the poultry business, and a 1957 graduate of Manchester University. He played football for the Spartans.
Siler taught and coached football at Jimtown High School in Elkhart before moving to the Elkhart system.
He became the Elkhart High head baseball coach in that school’s last five seasons (1968-72) and led the Elkhart Memorial High School program for its first 25 (1973-97). He also coached football for many years and taught social studies. He was an avid reader, especially of history.
Siler was a member of the Ashland County Sports Hall of Fame, Elkhart County Sports Hall of Fame and Indiana High School Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame.
Sam Riggleman, then the Bethel head coach, invited Siler to join the Pilots staff and he was in that position at the time of his death, though his health had not allowed him to be around the team much in the last year or so.
Last fall, Manchester honored Siler as its Claude Wolfe Coach of the Year.
Siler was a lifelong fan of the Cleveland Indians. He also pulled for Ohio State University football.
Marjorie Louise Thompson Siler, Dick’s wife, passed away in 2002. She is remembered with a plaque at Patterson Field at Jenkins Stadium on the Bethel campus and with a scholarship.
The Silers had three children — Scott, Laurie and Julie — and several grandchildren.