CHATTERTON, Richard Marcel Sr. passed away in his sleep on Dec. 27, 2012. He is survived by six children, thirteen grandchildren, and nine great-grandchildren. The love of his life and companion for fifty-six years, his wife, Gloria, preceded him in death. His second wife, Marlene, also much loved, survives him. "Dick," as he is known by most, was born in Preston, ID, in 1923. Throughout his high school years he was Preston's best known athlete, lettering in five sports and gaining awards & trophies in all of them. He accepted a four-year football scholarship from Brigham Young University, and while there he was voted All-American in Collegiate football by the NCAA. He served a year as class president, and received the Knute Rockne award as the Most Popular Athlete in the Rocky Mountain region. World War II brought him to Florida, to Ft. Pierce Naval Training Station, where he was a member of the underwater demolition team, the original Frogmen, now known as the Navy Seals. He played football for the naval base, and caught the attention of George Halas of the Chicago Bears, who recruited him for pro football. After a year with them, Dick decided he could best serve Gloria and their children by developing a career in business. He already held degrees in accounting and finance, and quickly became a manager at Diebold Safes, where he helped them expand into Florida. In 1958, he and Gloria made Tampa their permanent home, where they brought up their six children and were active in developing this growing city, especially sports programs and playing fields for young athletes. He left Diebold to develop his own company, Florida Business Systems, which he successfully ran for many years before passing it on to a daughter and son-in-law. After retiring he engaged in his love of writing poetry and of gardening. A granddaughter writes of her "Buddy," Dick in this way: We have always been wrapped in awe by the gracious spirit that was so finely expressed by our friend, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. Dick led his life placing others before himself and his selfless love was seen by all. His family, which extended beyond blood ties, was his joy. He never knew a stranger and all loved him dearly within moments of meeting him. Although he passed in his sleep after spending Christmas day cooking his Cuban pork for all, he found his way to move on to another experience without causing worry to his family. Such was Dick's way to always care and never to look for anything in return. We LOVE you dearly, Dad, Buddy, Uncle Daddy Dick, (Marcel to those out West,) and we hold endless gratitude for all the qualities you express. Because of you, we all strive to live each day with even an ounce of the grace that you possess. A private memorial service will be held at a date yet to be set. Condolences may be expressed online at www.macdonaldfuneral.com.
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Published in the Tampa Bay Times on Jan. 6, 2013