Richard H. Thut

Richard H. Thut

Richard H. Thut, age 75 of Orrville, died Wednesday, March 6, 2019, in the Apostolic Christian Home near Rittman, following a short period of declining health.

Richard was born Aug. 4, 1943, in Wooster to the late Harold and Louella (Miller) Thut. He graduated from Smithville High School in 1961, and he attended R.G. LeTourneau University in Longview, Texas. He married Shirley I. Pifer on April 10, 1965, in Wadsworth.

Richard founded MIRK Inc. in 1972 with just one truck, and over the course of the next 47 years, he expanded the company beyond Orrville to other locations.

Over the years MIRK expanded from the original bucket trucks to deal in digger trucks, cranes, aerial man lifts and numerous other tools utilized by the utility and construction industries. From the beginning he felt it was important to include his family in the business. When deciding on a name for his fledgling business, he and his wife created the word MIRK by using one letter from each of the names of his then-family of four: M for Michael, I for Shirley’s middle name Irene, R for Richard and K for Kimberly. His son, Mark, was born later, and his name used most of the letters of MIRK.

Richard grew up on a dairy farm in Northern Green Township. He remained involved in the family farm for years, even as he delved into buying and selling utility trucks across the country. He was a member of Augsburg Lutheran Church in Orrville, where he enjoyed listening to his wife play in the bell choir.

Surviving in addition to his wife, Shirley, are his daughter, Kimberly (Darryl) Rogers of Bexley, Ohio; two sons, Michael (Kathy) Thut of Orrville and Mark (Kathy) Thut of Wooster; 10 grandchildren, Sarah and Andrew Rogers and Katelyn, Chase, Brock, Lauryn, Kirstyn, Grady, Hailey and Evan Thut; siblings, Gwen (Mahlon) Schmucker of Wooster, Timothy (Margaret) Thut of Goshen, Indiana and Kay (Ray) Nussbaum of Salem, Oregon; and foster sister-in-law, Beverly Plessinger of Wooster.

Richard was preceded in death by a foster brother, Victor Plessinger.

A memorial service will be at 1 p.m. on March 23 at Augsburg Lutheran Church, 140 W. Water St., Orrville, with Pastor John Furno officiating.

The family will receive friends at a reception following the service at the church.

Burial previously took place at Smithville Cemetery.

Auble Funeral Home in Orrville is assisting the family with arrangements. Online registry and expressions of condolence may be made at the funeral home's website at

The family wishes to thank the staff at the Apostolic Christian Home for the love and care extended to Richard in his last weeks.

Memorials may be made to the music fund at Augsburg Lutheran Church, 140 W. Water St., Orrville, OH 44667; Habitat for Humanity, P.O. Box 874, Wooster, OH 44691; or Hospice of the Western Reserve, 17876 St. Clair Ave., Cleveland, OH 44110.

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