RICHARD N. DUBIN

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  • "Dicki was a very special man - I am so sorry to hear about..."
    - Jami Van
  • "All of us at Help at Home extend our deepest condolences to..."
  • "So sorry for your loss. I was Sales Manager for Richard..."
    - Marge Cavnaugh
  • "Dickie was one of the kindest and friendliest people I have..."
    - Eric Klun
  • "Dickie, I have not spoken to you in a while but my mother..."
    - Jay Dixson
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DUBIN RICHARD N. DUBIN A self-made developer and philanthropist who charmed generations of family and friends with his gregarious laugh, his thick Boston accent, and his outsize personality, passed away on Saturday December 25, 2015, at the age of 79. From a modest start selling Bibles door-to-door in his native Boston, "Dickie," as he was known, went on to build one of the biggest development companies in the Washington region. His Bethesda-based firm, Dubin Development, built thousands of residential and commercial units in the region beginning in the 1970s, including major high-rise projects like the Grosvenor complex along Rockville Pike in Maryland. He and Liz Dubin, his wife of 54 years, were mainstays at Washington political, social, and charity events, and they gave generously to a wide range of charitable causes, including Children''s Hospital, the Wilmer Eye Institute at Johns Hopkins University, the Kennedy Center, and many others. But his true love was his family, including his three children, six grandchildren, and two Shih Tzus, Max and Sam, whom he regarded as his "other" grandchildren. Dickie would regal his grandkids for hours with family stories, and the children would anxiously await the moment during Passover dinners at his home when Dickie would announce that he had hidden the ceremonial "Afikoman" matzoh. (He would give all the kids five dollars at the end of the search, whether they found the Afikoman or not.) "Dick Dubin was a man of extraordinary integrity, goodness, and charity - loved by all that knew him and the thousands that he helped," said John Dingell, the former Michigan congressman and a longtime friend. "Many friends will remember this man with great affection and the hope to meet him in heaven, where we know he rests in God''s arms." Dickie was a proud lifelong liberal who contributed to many Democratic causes and candidates, but Liz, a Republican, would prod him to go along with her grudgingly to Republican events and to write an occasional check himself. He even became a big fan of President George W. Bush. "We seldom agreed on political philosophy," said Fred Malek," a friend and conservative Republican, "but his ebullient spirit, love of life and closeness to both his and my family never failed to lift my own spirits. He was one of those rare people who was too scarce in this town-a friend for all seasons whose force and sense of humor put a smile on all our faces." Another longtime friend, Alma Gildenhorn, the wife of the former ambassador Joe Gildenhorn, remarked: "He embraced life to the fullest, and his presence could light up a room." The lavish parties that Dickie and Liz hosted at their Bethesda home were famous and well-attended affairs, but Dickie did not like them to run too late; when he would come down the stairs in his pajamas around 10 p.m. or so, it was a not-so-subtle signal to his guests that the party was nearing an end. Dickie was born in Newton, Mass., on August 27, 1936. He graduated from Brookline High School and attended the University of Miami; he returned home before graduating to help care for his ailing father. The collapse of his father''s pharmacy business left the family with little money, and Dickie worked odd jobs at country clubs and elsewhere to make money, even selling Bibles in Boston and along the East Coast - a professional stretch for an observant Jew. After marrying Elizabeth Myerberg in 1961, he moved to Washington a year later and, with the early help of his father-in-law, Harry Myerberg, got a foot in the door in the real estate industry. He went on to start his own development company in 1968, embarking on a series of ambitious residential and commercial projects in Washington D.C., suburban Maryland, and Annapolis. Through the 1970s and 1980s, he often partnered with national financing organizations like the National Housing Partnership, buying vacant lots to develop or converting existing rental units to condominiums. He was famous for his attention to the smallest details, from the design of the units and the types of windows that would be used to the marketing and publicity campaigns once the projects were completed. Summing up his usual work week, he would say: "Build five days a week and sell two days a week." An avid boater, Dickie belonged to the Annapolis Yacht Club, and he was a member of Woodmont Country Club and Washington Hebrew Congregation as well. Suffering from renal failure for the last year, Dickie had been awaiting a possible kidney transplant, and each of his three of his children were tested just last week to see if they were a match to donate theirs; he passed away from complications from renal failure before the results were known. He is survived by his wife, Liz; his three children - Louis Dubin, Harry Dubin, and Robin Avram; and his six grandchildren. A funeral service will be held Sunday at 1 p.m. at Washington Hebrew Congregation, 3935 Macomb St., NW, Washington, DC. Interment Garden of Remembrance Memorial Park, Clarksburg, MD. The family will be observing Shiva and receiving friends at their residence following the services and on Monday and Tuesday from 2 to 9 p.m. (with Minyan services 6 p.m. each evening). Donations may be made to the Wilmer Eye Institute at Johns Hopkins University. friend and conservative Republican, "but his ebullient spirit, love of life and closeness to both his and my family never failed to lift my own spirits. He was one of those rare people who was too scarce in this town-a friend for all seasons whose force and sense of humor put a smile on all our faces." Another longtime friend, Alma Gildenhorn, the wife of the former ambassador Joe Gildenhorn, remarked: "He embraced life to the fullest, and his presence could light up a room." The lavish parties that Dickie and Liz hosted at their Bethesda home were famous and well-attended affairs, but Dickie did not like them to run too late; when he would come down the stairs in his pajamas around 10 p.m. or so, it was a not-so-subtle signal to his guests that the party was nearing an end. Dickie was born in Newton, Mass., on August 27, 1936. He graduated from Brookline High School and attended the University of Miami; he returned home before graduating to help care for his ailing father. The collapse of his father''s pharmacy business left the family with little money, and Dickie worked odd jobs at country clubs and elsewhere to make money, even selling Bibles in Boston and along the East Coast - a professional stretch for an observant Jew. After marrying Elizabeth Myerberg in 1961, he moved to Washington a year later and, with the early help of his father-in-law, Harry Myerberg, got a foot in the door in the real estate industry. He went on to start his own development company in 1968, embarking on a series of ambitious residential and commercial projects in Washington D.C., suburban Maryland, and Annapolis. Through the 1970s and 1980s, he often partnered with national financing organizations like the National Housing Partnership, buying vacant lots to develop or converting existing rental units to condominiums. He was famous for his attention to the smallest details, from the design of the units and the types of windows that would be used to the marketing and publicity campaigns once the projects were completed. Summing up his usual work week, he would say: "Build five days a week and sell two days a week." An avid boater, Dickie belonged to the Annapolis Yacht Club, and he was a member of Woodmont Country Club and Washington Hebrew Congregation as well. Suffering from renal failure for the last year, Dickie had been awaiting a possible kidney transplant, and each of his three of his children were tested just last week to see if they were a match to donate theirs; he passed away from complications from renal failure before the results were known. He is survived by his wife, Liz; his three children - Louis Dubin, Harry Dubin, and Robin Avram; and his six grandchildren. A funeral service will be held Sunday at 1 p.m. at Washington Hebrew Congregation, 3935 Macomb St., NW, Washington, DC. Interment Garden of Remembrance Memorial Park, Clarksburg, MD. The family will be observing Shiva and receiving friends at their residence following the services and on Monday and Tuesday from 2 to 9 p.m. (with Minyan services 6 p.m. each evening). Donations may be made to the Wilmer Eye Institute at Johns Hopkins University.

Published in The Washington Post from Dec. 28 to Dec. 29, 2015