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1930 - 2012 Obituary Condolences
DICK LEAHY Dick was born in Long Beach on November 18, 1930 to Marion and Richard Leahy. He died Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012 in Chico. His father's family came from Killarney, County Kerry Ireland in the 1890's to Ontario, California because it was considered a healthy place to recover from lung disease. When Dick's older brother John was just a baby, the young family moved to Long Beach, where Dick had an idyllic childhood a few blocks from the ocean. In 1933, Dick's younger brother, David was born. Dick always worked. His first job was a paper route, where he almost never missed a customer. If you had a perfect route then you got a donut. He got one every day, which made the other boys jealous. He also mowed lawns for a dime which, in the 1940's, was enough money to go to the show and get a free candy bar. Dick graduated from Wilson High School and joined the Marine Corps Reserve. He was attending Long Beach City College when, in June 1950, he was sent to the Korean War. Dick had never been away from home or in cold weather before. One morning after a battle, Dick thought he had burned his hand in the fire. A doctor took one look and sent him to the hospital for severe frostbite. Following his treatment, he was honorably discharged and returned to Long Beach City College. During the summers he worked trails in Yosemite with his best friend, Derek Jacobs, which he loved. In September 1954, Dick transferred to Long Beach State University as an Art major with an English minor. While there, he attended an Art Club Halloween party with his friend, Derek and met the love of his life, Mary Patt McOsker, who was sitting with her friend, Helen Hoover. In the summer of 1955, Dick and Derek worked as stream guards in Kodiak, Alaska, where Dick relished being on an island all alone. In 1956, Dick and Mary decided to marry after Dick graduated. Dick then became a Technical Illustrator for Douglas Air Craft Corporation, where both his father and his brother, John worked. After his son Brian was born, and while their second child, Nancy was on the way, Dick took a job teaching fourth grade in Bishop, California. When Dick's father died in 1959, he and Mary moved the family back to Ontario, California to be closer to their families and, in 1961, their fourth child, Sean was born. In 1959, Dick also started teaching Junior High School. In September 1960, when the new Imperial Junior High opened, Dick was its first art teacher and he continued teaching in Room 33 until his retirement in 1989. Dick was a lifelong artist who drew, painted and even taught silversmithing; art was so much of who he was. He also drove to Los Angeles to work on his master's program and helped raise four active children. Dick is survived by his loving wife, Mary of 56 years; son, Brian Leahy and daughter-in-law, Tina Leahy; daughter, Nancy Lodge and son-in-law, Tim Lodge; daughter, Rosemary Workman and son-in-law, Ken Workman; as well as grandchildren, Whalin and Madeline Harter-Leahy, and Cameron Cannon; Amber, Maria and Joseph Lodge; and Hanna and Sam Workman. Dick was predeceased by his beloved son, Sean Leahy. A memorial service will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, November 3, 2012 at Newton-Bracewell Chico Funeral Home. You may share your thoughts and memories of Dick online at nbcfh.com.
Published in Chico Enterprise-Record on Nov. 1, 2012
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