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Obituary for Charles Spielman

Charles Spielman
The life of Charles Edward "Sonny" Spielman, Jr., one that made an indelible impact on local high school, college and professional football, began anew in his heavenly reward October 14, 2008. Sonny was born at Canton, January 5, 1937, a son of the late Charles E. and Charlotte M. Franz Spielman. Sonny was a longtime resident of Stark County, and most recently was a resident of Miami, Florida, who summered at Atwood Lake. His legendary football career began in 1952 with the Canton Central Catholic Crusaders when the football team, lead by Tony Fabiano, posted the best record in the school's history. The following year, as a junior, he earned the Canton Repository's all-star and all-county honors. He repeated the all-county honors during his senior year as a Crusader. Sonny attended Saint Joseph's College at Rensselaer, Indiana, from 1955 through 1959 where he earned his bachelor's degree in Health and Physical Education with a minor in Social Studies. The following autumn, Sonny was back at Canton Central Catholic where he taught history, physical education, supervised student attendance and became the assistant football and basketball coach and the head track coach. In 1965 Spielman accepted a position as an assistant football coach with the Bulldogs at Canton McKinley. There he also taught American History and assisted with special education courses. Sonny also served as the Bulldog's head track coach. The 1970 academic year began anew with Sonny at the Timken Vocational Senior High School, where he taught history, health and physical education, but also served as the head football coach and track coach. In 1974, Spielman began the girls track program at the school, and served as head girl's basketball coach for two seasons. In 1980, Spielman accepted a position as assistant coach for the Massillon Tigers. There, he loved the ensuing years as his sons Rick and Chris played for the Tigers. Throughout the '80's Sonny served as principal of Longfellow Junior High School, then as Massillon's Athletic Director, leaving the district in 1988. Since leaving education, Sonny has remained active, directing the human resources department for Howington Northern, later directing security operations for Glenmoor Country Club, and together with his son, operating The Stables Restaurant. In 1996, Sonny returned to the classroom on a part-time basis, serving as a substitute teacher in the Dover and New Philadelphia school districts. From 2001 until recently, he served as the assistant football and track coach for the Dr. Michael M. Krop Senior High School, where Sonny also served as a substitute teacher and para-professional. Sonny also coached the Conotton Valley Rockets form 1997 through the 1999 season. For decades, Sonny was a fixture at The Ohio State University football camps, ensuring talented athletes the ability to attend regardless of their financial need. Only those closest to him knew of his personal "scholarships" for needy, worthy young men. Sonny served Massillon as both a ward and later councilman-at-large, from 1982 until 1993. In the twilight of his life, Sonny became a Renaissance man. He enjoyed music and dancing, attending art shows, drawing, and admiring antiques. Sonny was especially fond of having a dog or two in his home, and always had a soft spot in his heart for pets. He leaves behind a family that includes his fiancée and companion of fifteen years; Berlinda Artzner-Gordon, of Dover, whom Sonny often referred to as "the love of his life". The couple committed themselves to one another at a Devotional Ceremony in August. Two sons, who made their father very proud both on and off the football field, Richard C. Spielman and wife Michele of Eden Prairie, Minnesota, and C. Christopher "Chris" Spielman and wife Stefanie, of Columbus, Ohio, also survive. A step-son; Jason L. Gordon and wife Deyse of Miami Beach, Florida, a step-father; Richard R. Baechel, ten grandchildren, one step-grandchild and a special cousin, Temta Spach of Stow, Ohio, completes the family. Sonny's family will receive friends Tuesday, October 21, from 1PM-3PM in the Geib Funeral Center, 5600 North Wooster Avenue, Dover. Father Robert Kaylor and Pastor David Wing will lead a memorial service, for Sonny at 3PM on Tuesday in the Geib Center. A reception for family and friends will follow the ceremony. Private entombment is planned in the Garden of Peace Mausoleum at Dover Burial Park. Those unable to attend are invited to share memories and condolences with the Spielman family by visiting Sonny's memorial online at Condolences from the GeibCares site will be printed and become a part of the family guest registry. Although Sonny has gone to a better place, his passion for local youth continues in many ways, including memorials to him at either the Canton Central Catholic High School Scholarship Fund, 4824 West Tuscarawas Avenue, Canton OH 44708, or to Timken Senior High School Football Fund, 521 West Tuscarawas Street SW Canton, OH 44702.Geib Funeral Center at Dover(330)

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