Richard C. “Skip” First Jr., 62, of Painsville, formerly of Solon, went home to his Lord Jesus, Sunday, October 4, 2020. He was born January 9, 1958 in East Cleveland to Richard and Carol (Hamm) First. Skip graduated from Solon High School in 1976, received a bachelor’s degree in biblical studies from ICW (Institute of Christian Works) in South Carolina, and was working on a master’s degree in Christian counseling. Known as “the horse whisperer,” he was a blacksmith and horse trainer in Geauga County and in most western states. He wrote a book on his method of horse training, Energy Dance. He had a passion for Native Americans and was an honorary member of the Lakota Sioux Tribe. Skip was also a gifted horseshoe and blacksmith artist.
Most importantly, Skip was a minister whose love for Jesus was apparent in his work and his relationships. He was able, in Christ, to have victory over alcoholism and spent time helping those with the same addiction. He embraced and lived among those who found themselves without hope. He gave them hope in Jesus by sharing the Gospel and met practical needs as he was able.
He will be greatly missed by his father, Richard C. First Sr.; siblings Cari (Benjamin) Rosen and Christopher Matthew (Julie) First; daughter, Aschli (Jeff) Negus; granddaughter, Sloan Negus; mother of his daughter, Kelly First; and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his mother, Carol H. First, and his sister, Jonna Reed.
In accordance with Skip’s wishes, a private family graveside service will be held at Munn Cemetery in Newbury, Ohio. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Project Hope for the Homeless in Painesville, The Ecumenical Shelter Network of Lake County, Inc., P O Box 2035, Painesville, Oh 44077.
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Project Hope for the Homeless in Painesville, The Ecumenical Shelter Network of Lake Co.
P O Box 2035, Painesville OH 44077