Daniel Emmett was always busy — whether he was teaching or coaching in the Twinsburg school district, farming land off state Route 303 or serving as a Richfield Township trustee.

He also was active in discussions about the deer population in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park and steadfast in his opposition to the township merging with the village of Richfield.

“He was a tireless public servant and always cared about what happened out here,” Richfield police Lt. Joe Davis said Monday.

Emmett, 85, died Friday night in a two-vehicle accident on Route 303 near his home in the township. He was being driven home by a caretaker when the vehicle traveled left of center and struck an oncoming car head-on.

The accident remains under investigation.

“Dan Emmett dedicated his life to serving the community, first as a longtime teacher and coach in Twinsburg and then as a Richfield Township trustee,” friend and former Summit County Councilman Bill Roemer said. “He and his family also preserved many acres of farmland for over 130 years.”

Emmett was well known in Summit County.

He was a popular high school physical education teacher in Twinsburg for decades. He also served as athletic director and coached track, cross country and soccer during his time in the district.

For many, Emmett and his wife, Alice, were best known for refusing to sell their farm along state Route 303 in the early 1970s to make way for the former Richfield Coliseum.

The farmland had been in the family since the 1880s, and the Emmetts didn’t want to give up their home.

National television networks covering Cleveland Cavaliers games were fond of showing the Emmetts’ sheep grazing in the fields outside the former arena.

Sick of concert-goers trespassing on his property, Emmett vowed in 1975 that he would sell and move. He later changed his mind.

“We saw it go up. We saw it come down,” Emmett later said with a chuckle about the Coliseum, which is now a bird sanctuary.

The Emmetts once raised beef steer, and before that ran a dairy farm.

“As long as I can get up, I’ll farm,” Emmett told the Beacon Journal in a 1995 story about his sheep farming.

He was a township trustee from 1990 to 1997. He also served on the board of zoning appeals and zoning commission over the years.

Emmett also taught 4-H for many years.

Trustee Bob Luther, who served alongside Emmett, said he was dedicated to the community.

“He was just an all-around great guy,” he said. “He was a very honest guy.”

Rick Armon can be reached at 330-996-3569 or rarmon@thebeaconjournal.com. Follow him on Twitter at @armonrickABJ.