He was born in Toledo Sept. 30, 1942 to parents John & Evelyn (Gesaman) in Canfield. David’s love of sports was evident by playing baseball in Scio, Ohio with the little league and his high school as a pitcher and quarterback. David’s leadership and personal values were reflected early on as Class President for several years.
After David was graduated from Scio High School as the Valedictorian of the 1960 class, he furthered his education at The Ohio State University earning a bachelor’s degree in Optometry in 1966.
David’s military service began when he entered the Army Medical Corps in October 1966. He proudly served his country by joining the U.S. Army at the 24th Evacuation Hospital in Long Binh, Vietnam, earning the rank of Captain. Surviving injuries during the war, he was honorably discharged and returned to his Alma Mater, Ohio State, to earn a Doctorate in Optometry in 1970.
He began serving communities in Virginia and southern Ohio before moving to the Mansfield area where he practiced for 27 years most recently at Shawnee Optical.
David was a member of the American Legion Post #16 in Mansfield, the American Optometric Association, the Ohio Optometric Association, National Rifle Association, Ducks Unlimited, the United States Junior Chamber, and the Rotary Club of Mansfield.
He was also a member of Owl Creek Church of the Brethren in Ankneytown and served as a member of the choir and ministered by visiting those who were ill. David so enjoyed the sermons by Pastor Charles Barnhill and thought that every sermon was for him.
During his life David greatly enjoyed hunting, and fishing, golfing, travel, and fine dining. For many years he had season tickets to watch his alma mater, The Ohio State Buckeyes, football team. Dave and Jan were generous to charities and their community. Since his retirement he, with his wife Janet, continued to plan special family vacations each year to locations both near and far from their home in Mansfield.
David is survived by his loving wife and companion of sixteen years, Janet (Buzzard) Canfield of Mansfield; five children (& spouses): Mary Susan & Stuart Klein of Wake Forest, N.C., Jeff & Monica Zellner of Albuquerque, N.M., Amy & John Kennel of Albuquerque, N.M., Rob Runnels of Virginia Beach, Va., Kimberly Ebmeier of Virginia Beach, Va.; six grandchildren: Elizabeth Klein, Carolyn Klein, Elizabeth Zellner, Margaret Runnels, Nicholas Ebmeier, and Christopher Ebmeier; four siblings (& spouses) Myrna & Richard Hugh of New Philadelphia, William & Paula Canfield of Canal Winchester, Christine Mills of Arlington, Mass., Marge Michalski of Monticello, Ind.; four brothers-in-law Robert & Vicki Buzzard of Mansfield, Edward & Edith Buzzard of Mansfield, Arthur & Becky Bolding of Apple Valley, Calif., Paul Bolding of Norfolk, Va.; a special friend Shirley Roberts; and numerous nieces, nephews, extended family and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his sister-in-law Sue Bolding, and was greeted in Heaven by his fishing buddy and brother-in-law Charles Michalski.
His family will receive friends 3-8 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 21, in the Marion Avenue Snyder Funeral Home where a service celebrating his life will be held 11 a.m. Thursday. Pastor Charles Barnhill will officiate and burial will follow in the veteran’s section of Mansfield Cemetery with the Richland County Joint Veterans Burial Detail performing military honors.
Contributions in his memory to National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Ohio Buckeye Chapter or Ohio Health MedCentral Palliative Care may be made at the funeral home.
Snyder Funeral Homes is honored to serve Dr. Canfield’s family and encourage expressions of support and sympathy at SnyderFuneralHomes.com