December 21, 1940-Januray 10, 2019
After an 8-year struggle with the effects of several brain injuries and the constant effort to remain there for his wife and family, Dick joined his parents in the hereafter. He had accomplished his last job, which was to get himself and his wife Kathy moved to a senior retirement home, Alta Vista, in Prescott, Arizona on December 31st, 2018 during a snow storm, which delighted him. This move to a lower altitude also put them close to their two youngest children and their families. It also assured them needed help from Good Samaritan Society Hospice in Prescott.
Dick had retired from Arizona Department of Transportation as the State Engineer in December 2002. Concluding a 42-year career in highway construction. Beginning August 1960 – March 1985, then June 1995-December 2002, he climbed the ladder of success by means of self-education using correspondence courses, junior college courses and would even bring in instructors to teach himself and his fellow employees. He achieved his highway engineer certification during this time. From April 1985-July 1995 he entered the private sector to work for Tanner Construction Co., Pulice Construction Inc. and O’brien-Kreitzberg. While at O’brien he prepared a “Constructability Guide” and then conducted training sessions. He also found the time to prepare himself (further education!) to take the Civil Engineering test, which he passed on the first try. Not bad for a non-college boy he used to say!
Retirement for Dick meant lots of time to do the two things he fully enjoyed, snow skiing, which he had learned to do at age 8 and hiking with family and friends. Hiking included going to the top of the San Francisco Peaks and the bottom of the Grand Canyon. In between these activities, he enjoyed doing odd jobs around the house, teasing all the neighbors and being with his family. Highlights of this time also include a cruise and train trip from Anchorage to Fairbanks in Alaska as well as a 2-night, 3-day train trip from Albany, NY back to Flagstaff after a family wedding.
In 1963, after a 3-month courtship, Dick married Kathy Jackson, a summer student at Arizona State College on September 14, 1963. That marriage, which began from a blind date, lasted over 55 years. While moving throughout northern Arizona, with various jobs at ADOT, they managed to have 3 children, Suzanne, Duane and Anita. As the children got older, they married and began their own families; Suzanne (Suzie) with Tim Trzaksa, Duane with Kerrie Boles, and Anita with Jeff Farrelly. Suzie and Tim have 3 children, Leneigha married to Andy Mell with Carson, Braelyn, and Dillon; Kambria; and Sequoia married to Mike Wilson. Duane and Kerrie have Ethan and Jonas. Anita and Jeff have Rayne and Reese. Survivors also include Dicks brothers: Stephen and daughter Jayne; and David and wife Pam. He is also survived by many cousins in California and Texas.
Arrangements were made by Ruffner Wakelin Funeral Home in Prescott, AZ. Services for Dick will be Wednesday, January 30th, 2019 in Flagstaff, AZ at Christ Church of Flagstaff; 3475 E. Soliere Ave; at 11am. Following the service, we invite everyone to join us for refreshments and a time to share memories.