Dec. 29, 1922 - Nov. 17, 2020
SOUTH BEND, IN - Former South Bend resident Richard “Dick” Lamar Pier passed away peacefully on Tuesday, November 17. Dick was born December 29, 1922, in New Carlisle, IN; to Frank V. Piergalski and Elsie Model Bennitt.
On December 31, 1940 Dick married his high school sweetheart, Nora “Louise” Cousins who preceded him in death in 1999. Dick and Louise were married for 59 years and had three children, Scott (Patricia) Pier, Marilyn (Jim) Nace, and Ann Pier Lemieux. His grandchildren include Paul (Sara) Williams, Garrett Williams, Christina (Patrick) McGovern, Colin Elizabeth (Joshua) Pier-Silver, Cambria Padgett, Mehgan Laveck, and Taylor (Tania) Laveck; great grandchildren, Ryan Williams, Jodi Williams, Tristan Boyd, Andrew McGovern, and Solomon Silver; and great-great-granddaughter, Arabelle Boyd.
He was preceded in death by five brothers, Virgil Smith, Donald Smith, Jack Pier, James Pier, and Robert Pier; and three sisters, Rachel Smith Young, Joan Smith Blankert, and Jean Smith Wedel; wife, Louise, daughter, Ann Pier Lemieux, son-in-law, Jim Nace, grandson, Garrett Williams, and his dear friend and companion of 10 years, Kate Dawson.
Dick lived his 97 years to the fullest and had an extraordinary life. He grew up in South Bend, graduating from South Bend Central High School in 1940, and served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1943-1946 as an aircraft crew chief stationed in the Philippines and China. Service in the U.S. Marine Corps was a family tradition. Two of Dick's brothers, Jack and Bob, and later his son Scott all proudly served their county in the U.S. Marine Corps.
After the war, Dick worked as a tool and die maker at Studebaker Corporation, but an entrepreneurial spirit led him to start his own business creating custom packaging business. Scotmar Manufacturing was named after two of Dick and Louise's children and the company had contracts with Studebaker, Kelsey Hayes, and Kaiser-Jeep. In the mid-1960's they moved to Port Clinton, Ohio, where Dick was employed by Matthews Yacht Manufacturing.
Dick and Louise had a fantastic group of friends and were charter members of the “Greene Twp. Flower and Fun Club”. Dick and Louise had one of the only inground swimming pools at their farm on Roosevelt Road and hosted many memorable pool parties. After moving to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Dick was able to incorporate his love of boating while working for Broward Marine. Over the years he owned a series of three 36' cabin cruisers which allowed him and Louise to explore the Florida Keys and Bahamas. Dick and Louise retired to a mountain top in Weaverville, North Carolina. They traded the boat for an RV and enjoyed traveling and “loafering” the hills surrounding the Blue Ridge Parkway and watching mountain sunsets. Dick was an avid reader and enthusiastically followed politics. He was very opinionated and loved to discuss current events. His legacy to his family included a strong work ethic, sense of justice, and love of country.
The family would like to extend our heartfelt appreciation to Dick's North Carolina neighbors Jimmy and Carlene Anglan, Michael and Elizabeth Mauney, VA nurses and staff at the Weaverville Medical Center for taking such good care of him during the last few years.
Graveside service will be Friday, November 20, 2021 at 2pm at Olive Chapel Cemetery, Timothy Road, New Carlisle. In accordance with Dick's wishes, in lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to support the Georgia Democratic Senate race https://secure.actblue.com/donate/2020gasenaterunoff
The HANLEY and Sons Funeral Home handled arrangements and extends our deepest sympathy and heartfelt prayers to Richard's family and friends.