On January 16th at Deer Lodge Centre, our dear dad, Dr. Richard (Dick) Dearing died.
He is survived by his children Kevin (Susan Barnett) and Robin (Jason Noordman) Dearing and stepchildren Geoff (Jill Cooper), Jacquie and Pauline (Darren Osadchuk) Ripat; his grandchildren Ben, Maureen, Emma, Sam, Brandon, Kieran, Nicholas and Alex; and his favourite nieces Janet and Jean Matzner and Julie Hoffman.
Dick was born on June 28th , 1937, in Lushton, Nebraska to William (Bill), Irma (Joy) Dearing. He had two sisters, Peggy (Don) Matzner and Kay Dearing. During the war, the family moved to Florida where his father served as an airplane mechanic, before returning to settle in York, Nebraska.
Dick graduated from York High School in 1955 where he played for the Duke football team and worked many jobs after school – delivering papers, collecting bottles, working as a theater usher and flipping burgers. After graduation he began working part time as a minister while doing a Bachelor of Theology degree at Nebraska Wesleyan University. He received his Master of Divinity at Iliff School of Theology in Denver and a Doctorate of Theology from Boston University. A good friend whom he met at Iliff (Harold King) recruited Dick for the University of Winnipeg’s Theology department in 1974. He was very proud of his work at the Interfaith Marriage and Family Institute – now Aurora Family Centre- which culminated in developing the internationally accredited Masters Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy at the U of W.
While working on his first degree, Dick met Kristin Linn. They married in 1961 and later adopted two adorable children, Kevin and Robin. They lived in Thornton, Colorado before moving to Winnipeg in 1974. They settled in Fort Garry, separating in 1978. Dick eventually met Rosalind through Fort Garry United Church. They married in 1983 and Dick became a step-parent to Geoff, Jacquie and Pauline. They lived for 34 years on D’Arcy Drive where we have many great memories of Sunday dinners, lively pool games, and weddings.
Dick retired in 2003 to enjoy time with Rosalind, his hobbies and grandchildren. He loved watching his grandchildren’s hockey games, ski races, concerts, and musicals. He loved taking naps, woodworking, making stained-glass projects for family and friends, gardening, golfing, canoeing, visiting with friends and traveling with Rosalind. The two of them picked a big trip every year and saw many parts of the world before Rosalind was unable to travel. Dad took great pride in taking care of Rosalind and fully supported her choice to use MAiD.
Dad’s last few years with us were both quirky and sad. The steady decline of dementia was a long and winding road. We spent a lot of time trying to keep him with us for as long possible. He drove us crazy; he made us laugh and he never lost his gift of therapy language.
The family would like to thank all staff at Deer Lodge Centre, especially 3 East and Tower 6, for their exceptional care and respect for the residents with dementia and family members who support them. The staff’s willingness to call him “Dr. Dearing” put him at ease every day.
Dad, thank you for picking us and being the best father, a kid could ask for. We will miss you.
A celebration of Richard Dearing’s life will be held at Fort Garry United Church, 800 Point Road on Saturday, February 10 at 2:00 p.m.
Throughout his life, Dad was a firm believer in serving the common good. He supported numerous charities and taught his children to do the same. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to the United Way (which supports dozens of vital organizations) or any charity of your choice.
Neil Bardal Funeral Centre is handling the arrangements in Winnipeg, Canada.