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August 21, 2018

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August 21, 2018

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 Memories & Condolences
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April 15, 2017
Dick's heart and mind was intense and engaged in life. And what he chose to engage in, as I knew him mostly through work was work and time he spent on helping others.

In business which is where he and I met and I knew him best, Dick's compassion and empathy for those in need (healthcare) is rare. He gave his time without hesitation to understand and solve problems for others. It is hard to communicate how distinctive and unusual was his approach except to say that it was a virtue I rarely run across. With intractable problems he helped solve, there was no braggadocios offered, no self-congratulations - customers and coworkers used and were appreciative for all the service, copious time and ideas he offered and they took from him. Random complements would come forth concerning the efforts he put forth.

And those problems he went to solve were the very problems they sought to fix. Dick was focused on that be it customers, Donna's, his coworkers, his staff any who were in need and merely asked him for help.

You know, sometimes it's the mundane technical annoyances of others that sucked him in, that gripped him. And when that happened there was no extent he would not go to solicit help from others, iterating solutions on his own until things felt right. Dick's work was never slipshod and his solutions never half-baked.

Dick was a lot of fun when a lull occurred in the seriousness of daily work. Dick didn't go off and rest, Dick was ready for play and even played hard. I don't ever remember Dick succumbing to work or pain. That's why I still have such pause to only hearing, never speaking with him in his last month of this aggressively debilitating cancer. When we spoke in January, Dick did not let on to what he must have known or the discomfort and pain he was dealing with.

Dick was a story teller. Where I may have heard some of his stories more than once, they were always memorable the first time. And even after the years we were hanging out together, often there was yet another I hadn't heard. No doubt I missed many, and many that live here in this room today.

Most ironic was that we lost Dick on the day we lost a funny many Don Rickles. There was a kindred spirit amongst the two. That's because sweet hearted Dick had no hesitation in taking my inexcusable boneheaded ideas or comments, as well as his own, to the front and center of a light conversation. He would tease them out but turn it to funny with memorable comments. With comedic timing, after our blush subsided - laughter and smiles were all that was left. Like the comedian I would face a demon of my own, or even his, take away its memory along with a laugh.

Donna, his sons, his mom, dad, brothers and sisters were clearly his rock. The obvious center of his life, he would speak of them through their stories, vignettes and narratives. Many stories of his dad's work ethic, his mom's indominable mindful strength explained his work ethic and philosophies he lived by. They included hard work, service AND empathy towards others.

But without equivocation was the care and love he showed towards his partner, Donna. Having had the privilege of knowing Donna and meeting much of his family at various times, so many of blessed memory today, it was clear what family means to this special man and where he got these virtues I came to know.

Dick's work life with Donna, the unmistakable love of his life was extraordinary.
Working with them both in times that were so challenging became a pleasure. In the jiu jitsu of business, Dick's solutions to problems and our mutual attention to the calculus of business processes made the hard work palatable and sometimes enjoyable.

Donna, a strong and vital woman complemented Dick's ways of service to people and the commitments to helping others, in particular customers and prospects with needs. Customers would become their friends and would even be struck by their partnership, seeking not one or the other but either, as if they were one person we would all call with true respect, Dick&Donna.

Working so close to another as they did, 24/7 is a testimony to love and devotion we all can envy as so very few of us will ever know.

Dick's life and the memories I hold are and always will be a blessing in my life as long as I live.