Dick was a devoted husband and a gentle, loving father who took advantage of teachable moments. He was highly desirous of and nurtured a close relationship with his two granddaughters and was an attentive and playful great-papa to his 8 great grandkids. He accepted his son- and daughter-in-law as well as his grandsons-in-law as if they were his own.
He moved to Atria Covell Gardens in June of 2010 and quickly made friends with everyone. He thoroughly enjoyed the very full range of activities available, with his favorites being several of the classes, outings to the Davis Musical Theater Company, day trips on Friday excursions, wine and cheese socials, and the varied and high caliber of entertainment that Atria consistently provided.
He prided himself in staying physically fit. Twice in 2010 he had very debilitating illnesses. In each case he made a conscious decision to get well and live well, and did so with dedication and determination. It required a gargantuan effort on his part as he faced what seemed like insurmountable odds. Once he made himself able to walk again, he made it his mission to “walk his way to health.” With his wheeled walker he would circle the halls of the care facility every possible moment. He would visit the physical therapy room when it wasn’t his appointment time and ask which machines were not in use and then ask for permission to use them to strengthen his weakened muscles.
On January 27 he did all of his routine activities that he loved: his 1½ mile walk before breakfast, going to the group exercise class, attending the Brain Gymnasium class, and writing memoirs inspired by looking at his beloved photographs taken over the years.
On January 28 he awoke at about midnight, summoned help from the staff and told them he had a bad headache just before he passed out. A CT scan at the ER showed he’d had a massive brain bleed/stroke with no chance of a meaningful recovery. He never regained consciousness and died peacefully at about 4 a.m. with loving family members and praying over him.
He was very concerned about the areas of the world experiencing devastating climate impacts and weather occurrences due to global warming. He often wrote letters to the Governor and legislators expressing his desires for changes in practices such as fracking which he felt were harming the environment.
In lieu of flowers please consider donating to environmentcalifornia.org or to the Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund in his memory.
He is survived by his daughter Susan (and Jon) Ruth; by his son Craig (and Jan) Sargent-Beach; by his granddaughters Jenni (and Joe) Biggs and Megan (and Tim) Blewett; by 8 great grandchildren: Jack, Jada, and Jaron Biggs and Theo, Elena, Marcus, Luke and Kyle Blewett, as well as 6 nieces and 1 nephew. Betty, his beloved wife of 63 years, and his son Richard preceded him in death. Dick will be greatly missed by his dear special friend, Margaret Peterson of Walnut Creek.
We will all miss his smiling presence and gentle demeanor and cherish our bountiful and wonderful memories of times spent together.
A celebration of a life well lived will be held on Saturday, February 15 at 2:30 p.m. at Atria Covell Gardens, 1111 Alvarado Ave. in Davis, his beloved place of residence for the last 3 ½ years.
The family will be gratefully accepting hugs in commemoration of his 91 years on this earth.