Richard G. Contreras March 15, 1947 - July 18, 2013 Richard G. Contreras, aka Dickie Joe, was born March 15, 1947 and passed away July 18, 2013 with family and friends at his side. He was the 2nd boy born in a family of 5 boys. He grew up in East Bakersfield on Drury Lane which became the object of a club of athletes and normal joes known as the Drury Laners later in life. He attended Jefferson, Washington and East Bakersfield High School where he excelled in swimming under coach Bill Houser. Richard's passion was music which started with playing the trumpet in the marching band at Washington Jr. High and later evolved into musical groups like the Diamonds, a Latin-rock group organized by his older brother Charlie, the Glanz, where he met his future wife Jann, and Soul Research Foundation. The Foundation developed such a big horn sound that the 70's groups Cold Blood and Tower of Power were treated to them opening their concerts when in town. Richard went to work as a draftsman for Tidewater Oil Company in the late 60's. He later worked as a Real Estate Appraiser for Great Western Savings and Loan and Santa Barbara Savings and Loan. He dabbled in Real Estate as a sales agent and loan officer and eventually went back to work as an Appraiser, which he did until his passing. Over the years, he developed friendships everywhere he went including the handball group at the Elks Lodge, Narducci's, Red Pepper, Amestoys and Pyrenees Cafe. Many of those friends came to his bedside during his final hours. Richard is preceded in death by his mother Mary Lou, his father Charles and his older brother Charlie. He cherished his sons R.B. and Jaime (his wife Jamie) and the wonderful grandkids they blessed him with including: Sabree, Rilynn, Paje, Diego, Ronin, Christian and Jace. In addition, he leaves behind his brothers, Bobby and wife Diane, Tony, Ruben and wife Debbie and niece and nephews which make up the future of the Contreras clan. The East Side was a better place because of "Dickie Joe", just ask anyone who knew him. A celebration of life will be held at Narducci's, 622 E. 21st Street on Monday, July 29th at 2 p.m. www.bakersfield.com/obits
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Published in Bakersfield Californian on July 26, 2013