Richard Robert Izold, 72, of Anchorage, Alaska, passed away peacefully at home on May 9th, 2014. He was born in Cleveland, Ohio on January 29th, 1942. At various times in his life he has been known as Richard, Dick, Dickie, and Large.
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Dick joined the Army in 1962. He was trained and served as a helicopter pilot in Vietnam and Germany and received the following medals: Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal (20th Oak Leaf Cluster), Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal, National Defense Service Medal, and the Bronze Star Medal. After his honorable discharge in 1969, he served in the reserves in Cleveland, in the 316th Medical Detachment (Helicopter Ambulance).
Dick moved to Alaska in the early 70's to work on the Alaska Pipeline. He became a contract helicopter pilot in the State, working mainly for Evergreen Helicopters, Alaska Helicopters, and Chugiak Aviation, until he landed permanently in Anchorage in 1990. Ultimately he started his own handyman business tract to Debenham Properties. He really didn't retire; he just picked up his screwdrivers and wrenches less frequently in the last few years. Friends and neighbors could count on him to help out until his last days. He also maintained his firearms license and enjoyed loading his own bullets and working on guns. Dick was a member of Amvets Post 49, the VFW, American Legion and the Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association.
He is survived by his wife of 32 years, Beth, aka The Warden; daughters, Jan Lemire of Litchfield, NH; Sheryl Czuchra of Mantua, OH; Debra (Michael) Lester, of Kingsport, TN. Grandchildren, Megan Czuchra, Mallory Czuchra, Tori Lester, Seth Lester, Dakota Lester, and Hunter Lester; sister, Marilyn Kirchner of Branson, MO, and brother, Donald Izold of Fairview Park, OH. He was preceded in death by his parents, Andrew Izold and Josephine Evans of Cleveland, Ohio, and his beloved black cat Felix. He was a good man, husband, father and grandfather.
Dick was a large man with a large personality. He was a devout patriot whose loyalty to this country never wavered. He felt a great sadness, and even more anger, at what he believed was happening in this country, and he wasn't quiet about it. Nobody had trouble guessing at his beliefs. In his many emails he expressed such pain and confusion at how the politicians, both local and national, have squandered the sacrifices of the men and women who have defended this country, and have allowed this country to wander so far from its intended path.
He loved his neighbors, and most every day at 3:30 p.m. could be found in the neighbor's garage, spearheading the neighborhood Safety Committee. Many a national crisis was discussed (and solved) in those meetings. Two of his favorite phrases were "Get the Money!!" and "Keep your RPMs up!" One of his closest army buddies wrote: "The first time I flew with him he was as solid as a rock and I've loved him from that day on." This is Dick in a nutshell.
The family would like to especially thank Dick's VA oncology nurse, Karyn, who gave him exceptional, compassionate care.
A graveside service will be held at 12:00 p.m. on Thursday May 15th, at Fort Richardson National Cemetery. At 1:00 p.m., there will be a Celebration of Life at the Avets Post 49 at 9191 Old Seward Hwy # 9. If you would like to attend the graveside service, be at the main gate to Fort Richardson at 11:30 a.m. Guest passes are not required if you are part of the funeral procession which will form at the Visitor Center.
Arrangements are with Kehl's Legacy Funeral Home.
Legacy Funeral Homes & Cremation Services - Kehl's Chapel
11621 Old Seward Highway Anchorage, AK 99515
Published in Alaska Dispatch News from May 13 to May 14, 2014