Albert Ray Christopher, age 87, of Zanesville, Ohio, died Saturday, September 3, 2022, at Genesis Hospital in Zanesville. He was born October 9, 1934, in Caldwell, son of the late John and Bessie Christopher. Al was a 1953 graduate of Caldwell High School, a 1957 graduate of Ohio University, where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree, and he earned a Master’s Degree from Xavier University. He was employed by Wyoming High School in Ohio, where he was assistant football coach from 1957-1960 and New Philadelphia High School, where he was head football coach from 1960-1967. He went on to Kent State University, where he was offensive line coach from 1967-1970, and then served for 25 years at Muskingum University, where he was head football coach, head golf coach, and athletic director. Among his accomplishments, Al was president of the Ohio High School Coaches Association in 1966. He coached the Muskingum University football team to the Ohio Athletic Conference title and named Ohio Athletic Coach of the Year, both in 1975. He coached the Muskingum University golf team to the Ohio Athletic Conference Title in 1978 and 1987. Al was inducted into the Muskingum University Athletic Hall of Fame, the Mid-Ohio Valley Sports Hall of Fame, the ZDGA Hall of Fame, and the Ohio Valley Athletic Conference Hall of Fame. He loved golfing with lifelong friends at the Zanesville Country Club. He achieved many golf accolades, including winning the country club’s Senior Classic three times and shot his age or better around 1,700 times. Al was a member of the North Terrace Church of Christ in Zanesville.
In addition to his parents, he is preceded in death by his wife, Linda Sue McVay Christopher, whom he married June 7, 1957, and who died July 29, 2019; and his siblings, John Christopher, Jr., Wanda Hartley, George Christopher, and Dolores Christopher.
Surviving are his children, Mindy (Carl) Schleich, Gwen (Steven) Mannarino, and Paul Christopher; his grandchildren, Christopher (Kristin) Schleich and Philip (Allison) Schleich; great-grandchildren, Cora and Josephine Schleich and Andrew Schleich; step-granddaughter, Gina Mannarino Gerads; and siblings, Bill (Peggy) Christopher and Evelyn Davis.
Friends may call Wednesday, September 7, 2022, from 4-7PM at Bolin-Dierkes Funeral Home in Zanesville and Thursday, September 8, 2022, from 10-11AM at McVay-Perkins Funeral Home in Caldwell, where the funeral service will follow visitation at 11AM with Ken Perkins officiating. Burial will follow at Olive Cemetery in Caldwell. Memorial contributions may be made to the Muskingum University Scholarship Fund, 260 Stadium Drive, New Concord, Ohio, 43762. An online guestbook may be signed at www.mcvay-perkins.com