Richard Donald Boettcher

Richard Donald "Dick" Boettcher, 82, of Great Falls, a U.S. Navy veteran and a retired painter, died of sepsis Tuesday, Nov. 27, at a local hospital.

A memorial service is 2 p.m. Friday at Hillcrest Lawn Memorial Chapel. Inurnment will follow at Mount Olivet Cemetery. Schnider Funeral Home is handling arrangements.

Dick was born Nov. 10, 1930, and raised in Clifton, N.J., along with his siblings, Ethel and Raymond, by his Italian-born mother, Alice Quadrio and his German-descendant father, Richard Martin Boettcher.

He joined the U.S. Navy and served in the Korean War. It was while he was recovering at a naval hospital that he met Navy nurse, Dorothy Thares. They married April 16, 1955, in Portsmouth, Va., and settled in Dot's hometown of Great Falls, where they raised five children.

After working an apprenticeship in New York with his uncle, Dick started Boettcher Painting and Decorating in 1965. Although he retired in 1989, Dick continued to do decorative painting for a never-ending list of clients. For Dick, "retirement" still meant an eight hour work day, which he kept up until only recently. Dick's mastery of his craft earned him recognition and many awards. His excitement over technique and current style kept him constantly seeking new projects.

Dick served as the Marine Corps Toys for Tots program coordinator for over ten years. He thoroughly enjoyed the work he did with the Toys for Tots campaign each year.

Although Dick has passed, he will never be forgotten by those who love him.

Dick is survived by his wife, Dorothy Thares Boettcher of Great Falls; daughter Mary (Bob) Burton of Missoula; sons Rick (Edie) Boettcher of Great Falls, Glen Boettcher of Missoula, Brian (Carol) Boettcher and Mark Boettcher all of Great Falls; grandchildren Jill (Tim) Boettcher, Rick (Jami) Boettcher, Kellee Lensing all of Great Falls, Stephanie (Jonathan) Elliott of London, England, and Eric Pietrykowski, Karie Pietrykowski and Emily Burton all of Missoula; great-grandchildren Katelynn and Brianna Boettcher of Great Falls and Jayda and Kenzie Pietrykowski of Missoula; and numerous nieces and nephews.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Richard's name to Toys for Tots, c/o Marv Brewster, 1120 Ave. C NW, Great Falls, MT 59404 or toys may also be brought to the donation box at the reception.

Condolences may be posted online at and/or

Published in Great Falls Tribune on Nov. 29, 2012