New Richmond swim coach, teacher killed in lawn mowing accident

Joe Middeler, 63, was killed at his home in Moscow on April 18 in a mowing accident.
Staff report

The New Richmond Exempted Village School District lost a popular coach and loyal district supporter April 18 when Joe Middeler, 63, was killed in a mowing accident at his home in Moscow.

According to a release from Clermont County Sherriff A.J. “Tim” Rodenberg, Middeler was mowing his lawn with a Scag Tiger Cub Zero Turn riding mower when it rolled over an embankment and came to rest on top of him. Middeler’s wife, who was not home at the time of the accident, called 911. The Clermont County Coroner ruled the death an accident.

“This is a tragic loss for our district and the NR community,” NREVSD Supt. Adam Bird said in a statement released by the school district. “Joe was a popular coach and school supporter for decades and will be missed.”

Middeler was a 1970 graduate of New Richmond High School. He had just completed his 15th season as the varsity boys’ swimming coach. Middeler started the middle school program in the early 1990s and coached at that level until moving up to varsity. He also taught swimming for the NRHS PTO and has been an Ohio High School Athletic Association swim official for more than 30 years.

During his time as a coach, Middeler helped develop recent Division I college swimmers Nate Kramer (University of Cincinnati), Alex Lewis (Cleveland State University) and 2014 state qualifier, Tyler David. He was inducted into the New Richmond High School Sports Hall of Fame in 2006 and has been a substitute teacher at New Richmond for the last 25 years.

“Please keep the Middeler family as well as our NR family in your thoughts and prayers as we all lost a very special person,” NRHS athletic director Doug Foote said in a statement.

Middeler earned a bachelor’s degree of education in physical education and health from Xavier University. He also served his country in the U.S. Army and was a veteran of the Vietnam War, a member of the New Richmond American Legion and VFW as well as a lifetime member of the Operating Engineers Union.

Middeler was the owner/operator of the Pt. Pleasant Food Market for over 34 years.

Middeler is survived by his wife, Denise, his daughters, Jennifer Slone (Rodney) and Katie Middeler (Christopher Flaugh) and his sisters, Judy Middeler, with whom he coached at New Richmond, Joyce Webb (Mac) and Janet Bishop (Paul).

Memorial contributions may be made to the New Richmond Food Pantry in Middeler’s honor.