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Richard J. Dempsey

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Richard J. Dempsey of Clarks Summit died Monday peacefully surrounded by his family. His wife is the former Mary Lou Lafferty. They were married for forty-eight years.

Born in Dunmore, he was the son of the late James G. and Mae Walsh Dempsey. He was a 1954 graduate of St. Paul's High School and a 1958 graduate of the University of Scranton. On Aug. 10, 1959, he co-founded Dempsey Uniform and Linen with his brother, Patrick. He was a member of the Textile Rental Service Association and the Institute of Industrial Laundries, where he served on many marketing, sales and service committees. He was a member of the Church of St. Gregory, Clarks Green, the Clemo Club and the Scranton Country Club.

Also surviving are four sons, Richard and wife, Barbara, Harrisburg; James, Jefferson Township; Timothy and wife, Mara, Clarks Summit; and Joseph and wife, Cindy, Clarks Summit; three brothers, James G. Dempsey, M.D., and Patrick J. Dempsey and wife, Karen, both of Jefferson Township; and Thomas P. "Tucker" Dempsey, Dunmore; six grandchildren, Brady, Timmy, Evan, Connor, Riley and Adam Dempsey; and several nieces and nephews.

Dick Dempsey moved through his 75 years of life with zest, with courage and with enthusiasm that was a great source of pleasure for his family to behold. Dick lived in the present, and he was quick to anger; and quick to forget. What he lacked in patience, he made up for in optimism. He liked to argue, to wheel and deal, to make a bargain, to hunt and fish and golf, then hunt and fish and golf some more, and then talk about hunting and fishing and golfing. Dick was a master story teller and an expert at spinning a yarn. Dick Dempsey lived with honor, fidelity, responsibility and duty. He instilled these qualities in his sons as well. His wife of 48 years, Mary Lou, was loved beyond measure. His four sons, Rich, Jimmy, Tim and Joe, surrounded him with love, respect and good humor. Barb, Mara and Cindy Dempsey, although in fact daughters-in-law, Dick considered them true daughters of his heart. His grandchildren, Brady, Timmy, Evan, Connor, Riley and Adam were bountiful blessings of his later years. Dick Dempsey was the kind of person that cannot be replaced. He was of a special class; he had a special grace. Our hearts are broken and our eyes are filled with tears. Dick Dempsey has died and we are sore with grief.

The funeral will be Friday with Mass of Christian Burial at 10:30 a.m. at St. Gregory's Church, 330 N. Abington Road, Clarks Green. Interment, St. Catherine's Cemetery, Moscow.

Friends may call today at St. Gregory's, 4 to 8 p.m. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, 262 Danny Thomas Place, Memphis, TN 38105; or Mercy Hospice, Scranton, 746 Jefferson Ave., Scranton, PA 18510. All those attending the funeral are asked to proceed directly to the church the morning of the funeral. Arrangements: Albert P. O'Donnell Funeral Home, 2025 Green Ridge St., Dunmore.
Published in Scranton Times from Apr. 13 to Apr. 14, 2011
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