The obituary for R. F. Albery
~Monday March 12, 1962~


COVINGTON - Services for Richard F. Albery, 82, pioneer in the electric utility field and former village and school official here, will be conducted at 2 p.m. Tuesday in the Routzahn Funeral Home. The Rev. R. K. Higgins will officiate and burial will be in Sugar Grove Cemetery. Mr. Albery died at 5:20 p.m. Friday at Miami Valley Hospital from a cerebral hemorrhage suffered over a month ago. He was first hospitalized at Piqua Memorial and later moved to the Dayton Hospital. A native of Covington, he was born April 14, 1879, to Richard and Hannah Fowler Albery. His wife, the former Margaret Crook, died in 1948. He was associated with electric light and power utilities over 30 years. His family purchased the Falls Electric Company at Greenville Falls in 1897 and, as general manager, he expanded electric service to Covington and vicinity. In 1913 the company was sold to Buckeye Light and Power. He continued as general superintendent and in 1921 started construction of several hundred miles of rural electrification in the Stillwater Valley. He retired in 1930. Mr. Albery served a term as mayor of the village about 1910 and was a member and president of the Covington Board of Education during two building programs. He was a director and president of the former Stillwater Bank and a director of the old Dayton, Covington and Piqua Traction line. He was a 60-year member of the Covington Masonic Lodge and 55-year member of the Scottish Rite in Dayton. Since his retirement he has operated a farm near Union City and built several small houses. Surviving are six children, three sons, Richard, George and Max, all of Dayton; three daughters, Mrs. Alice Conklin of Riverside, Calif; Mrs. Esther Hartzell of Tucson, Ariz., Maribelle Albery of Covington, and several grandchildren. Friends may call at the funeral home until the hour of services and Masonic services will be held there at 7:30 p.m. today. Following is a copy of the editorial upon the passing of R.M. Albery. This was written by Hugh C. Marlin, Publisher of the Stillwater Valley News, Covington, Ohio, January 4, 1928.


Richard F. Albery has passed on. I shall never forget him. While others will remember him for his various activities, his honest manhood, and his pioneering which brought electricity to Covington, I shall remember him for his quaint philosophy and his unusual kindliness to me as a boy. When boyhood scenes flash their way across the pages of memory, I shall never forget him as he stood in the sawmill with his hand on the lever that controlled the great saw that ate its way through mammoth logs, converting them into rafters and logs for capacious barns or snug farm homes in our community. At such times he would let me ride on the carrier, or play about the mill. The impression was always present there that someday I would grow up and be a sawyer and be able to handle the saw and the carriage and to read the chalk marks on the logs as he did. And when in the balmy spring days he would put me astride one of the big gray horses and let me ride while he walked behind the furrow, as he guided the plow, I had an over whelming desire to become a farmer. Always when I was with him, he was telling quaint stories and jokes and laughing with that kindly chuckle of his. In the mill he told me the secrets of making a good grist and showed me how they grooved the great stones between which the corn was ground. And would let me put the sacks on the sacker, and show me how to hook them on so they would hold fast as the grist fell in. On other days, when the snow was deep, he would sit beside the crackling wood fire in the mill and tell of many wonderful experiences of his boyhood and let me hold the tame coon on my lap, or he would let me stand beside him at the forge while the sparks flew upward and he would shape marvelous things from the red iron on the anvil. He would let me make boats and use his carpenter tools, or sharpen my knife on his oilstone. And once when I was sick he sent me the first pup that I have ever owned. He knew a boy's heart. He knew how many melons a boy could eat and I always had my fill! He taught me how to fish for sunfish, carp and bass, and told me how to swim and row a boat, and where to get good bait. But the joy of it all would be in the twilight, when he would take down his old "Fiddle" and play me "Home Sweet Home." Without a hint of humor he would play it "off key" just as solemnly as anyone ever played the great products of the Masters, but when that was over he had chuckled a little and his fingers were "limbered up a little", he would sit down for an hour and play the old heart-tugging tunes of the past, so rapt in the music that tears came in his eyes and would sometimes flow unheeded down his cheeks and I would resolve to become a great violinist, and so apt a pupil was I, that today I still play "Home Sweet Home" as he played it to me. My last conversation with him was in the old Covington Mill and as we talked, he was hunting for a nest of kittens which the mother cat had hid in a bin, and I can see him now as he stood in the door with his arms full of kittens as I jumped in the car and drove away. Yes, I shall remember him. He is enthroned in boyhood's hall of fame in my heart as the one man who understands a boy's heart. Who never wearied of countless questions, who never failed to thrill me by the numberless duties he was able to accomplish in the daily routine of his life. Mr. Albery is gone; one of those sturdy, hardworking pioneers; able to perform the work of a dozen different craftsmen; a great contribution to one community, and if I dared to write the words that shall be carved upon the stone that shall mark his last resting place I would write "The Kindliest Man I Ever Met."

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