Jon was born on March 21, 1952 in Huntington, WV, son of the late Verla Mae Rothgeb Myers. He was the eldest of three children who lived and attended school in Cheshire until he graduated from Kyger Creek High School in 1970. He went on to earn a Bachelor’s Degree from Marshall University and his Masters of Science in Education from the University of Dayton.
On 7-7-77, Jon married Becky (Rebecca) Naskey of Gallipolis. Together they raised their son, Heath, and daughter, Tessa. The couple celebrated their 40th Anniversary in July, 2017.
Throughout his life, Jon was recognized as an outstanding athlete who went on to become a well-respected coach. His best two sports were baseball and football where he tallied numerous awards at every level which earned him a full scholarship to play football for Marshall University. In the fall of 1970, the NCAA still prohibited Freshmen athletes from traveling, which saved Jon and his fellow Freshmen teammates from MU’s fatal plane crash that killed all other traveling team members, coaches, cheerleaders, and many Big Green Supporters. The following fall Jon was on the now infamous “Young Thundering Herd” Team.
After graduating from Marshall, Jon’s teaching and coaching career began at Gallia Academy where he coached the Freshman Football Squad, and was an Assistant Varsity Football coach with Bill Wamsley, and Head Coach Buddy Moore. Throughout his lengthy career, Jon coached basketball, football and baseball to hundreds of young athletes from the grade school level through high school and Legion baseball. With every team, Coach Rothgeb instilled in his players both his intense knowledge of the game, as well as his passion and love for baseball and football.
For Jon personally, his favorite award came when he was named as one of the first Inductees into the Kyger Creek Little League Hall of Fame. His merit for receiving this honor was due to his pitching a “Perfect Game” as a ten-year-old, in their Little League tournament held in July 1962. The newspaper article is quoted saying: “Jon . . . did not give up a hit, a walk, nor did a runner reach first base . . . he also established a new strike out record by whiffing 17 of the 18 batters he faced in the six inning game ….the only batter who did not strike out was thrown out at first base by a fellow named Jon Rothgeb.”
As a professional educator, Jon taught for the Gallipolis City Schools, the Gallia County Local Schools, Buckeye Hills Career Center, and retired from Meigs Local Schools after serving many years as a Principal at Eastern Elementary. After retirement, you could usually find him working at O’Dell Lumber, one of his favorite fishing spots, or with his wife and friends almost anywhere there was a live or recorded football or baseball game on.
Surviving Jon are his wife, Becky; son Heath T. Rothgeb and wife Jodi Lynn of Bailey CO; daughter Tessa R. Rothgeb Tandal and husband Tyler of Lewis Center, OH; brother and sister-in-law Carl H. and Karen Myers of Chillicothe, OH; first cousin Marty Evans Huestis (Bob) of Columbus, OH; several cousins; and numerous friends that Jon considered as part of his family.
Jon was preceded in death by his grandparents Otto and Nancy Pearl Rothgeb, mother Verla Mae Rothgeb Myers, sister Carla Mae Myers, aunt and uncle Mary Jane and Rucker Neal and cousin James Neal, aunt and uncle Betty Lou and Tim Evans, cousin David Evans and mother-in-law Katy (Carole) Naskey.
Services will be held at the River City Fellowship, 252 Third Ave., Gallipolis, with visitation at 4:30 p.m. and the Memorial Service officiated by Pastor John O’Brien from 5:15 – 6 p.m. on Friday, November 10, 2017. Following this service, a Celebration of Life will be held at the Elk’s Lodge on 2nd Ave., starting at 7 p.m. Jon’s family invites all his friends and relatives to join them and to share their favorite “Jon” story with us all. A private burial at Gravel Hill will occur at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Jon’s honor to the American Cancer Society, Central Region Office – GALL, 5555 Frantz Road, Dublin, OH 43017.
Willis Funeral Home is assisting the family.