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Richard "Dick" Uhl


1930 - 2019 Notice Condolences
Richard "Dick" Uhl Notice
Twins Dick and Jim Uhl, sons of Bill and Pansy (Wilson) Uhl, were born in Sacramento on May 15, 1930. Their older brother Bob was three years old. Following the death of Bill in 1932, Pansy married Bruce Kindig in 1933, and the boys gained another brother, Jim Kindig. Raised at first in Yreka, the family then moved to Benicia in 1940. From an early age the boys had been taught to hunt, and Dick and his friend would run home after school to fetch their guns to hunt ducks in the tulles. Sometimes a policeman would stop them just to remind them to be safe and wish them a good day. On Thanksgiving Day 1948, Dick and his sweetheart, June Gardner, married while they were still students at Benicia High School. Dick made $10 a week delivering groceries, and June dutifully wrote Dick's excuses when he was late to class. (Their marriage proved to be a success, lasting 61 years until June's death). Since boyhood, Dick had been rebuilding old, decaying fishing boats and trading them for engines to repair. Eventually he started repairing cars and doing body and fender work, which he continued to do at the Benicia Arsenal, before he became a welder at Mare Island and other naval bases. As an award-winning Master Welder, Dick was part of a task force working with structural engineers on challenging assignments. He also invented several pieces of equipment that saved the government a great deal of money, including a jack lift device that turned a four day job, involving the brute force of several men, into a half-hour job to service cranes. Two daughters were born to Dick and June in the early '50s, Wanda and Carolyn. In 1955 they bought a home in Vallejo. He was a talented woodworker and artist. He and his wife were also known for the part they played in so many children's lives as Santa and Mrs. Claus. Not only did they visit children of friends each year, but they visited poorer children too, delivering gifts to all of them, along with the story of the birth of Jesus Christ. In 1979, TV Reporter Jim Vargas rode around with the Clauses all day to do a feature Christmas story that evening. Dick continued to play Santa into old age. He loved his family and his friends. None of them will ever forget his infectious smile, gentle ways, and sense of humor. He passed on Dec. 30. As he drew his last breath, he closed his eyes. It reminded his daughter of something she often tells people when they have lost a beloved family member who knows Jesus as Lord and Savior: "When we close our eyes to this world, we immediately open them to see Heaven and Jesus himself welcoming us home". Dick is survived by his daughters and sons-in-law, Wanda and Carl Flowers and Carol and Dale Nerby; five grandchildren; 10 great grandchildren; two sisters-in-law, and many nieces and nephews from the Uhl and Kindig families.
Published in TimesHeraldOnline from Jan. 8 to Jan. 13, 2019
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