In memory of
Richard H. "Dick" (Dodge) WESTRICK
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In memory of
Richard H. "Dick" (Dodge) WESTRICK
WESTRICK Richard H. “Dick” (Dodge) Dick Westrick died peacefully in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, area on Monday, January 9, 2017, from sudden-onset renal failure, cutting short Alzheimer's long goodbye before it could claim every cherished memory of his loved ones. He was 82. Born Richard H. Dodge in 1934 in Toledo, Ohio, the son of Carl H. and Esther I. (Matlack) Dodge, he adopted the surname of his stepfather, Leo J. Westrick, in his early teens. He and his family moved from the Toledo area to Colorado while he was a teenager, but he returned after a year or two and lived with his brother-in-law and sister, Alton “Si” and Mary Sue Simonds, to graduate from Maumee High School in 1952. Dick worked as a casting inspector at Doehler-Jarvis from 1952-53 before enlisting in the U.S. Army and serving with the 3rd Infantry Regiment, “The Old Guard,” at Fort Myer, Virginia. It was at Fort Myer in 1955 that he married Jeanne M. Byrne of Toledo, with whom he returned to Toledo after his honorable discharge in 1956 to begin his long career with the Gulf Oil Corporation. His career with Gulf spanned four decades, taking the Westrick family from Toledo to Houston, Texas, then to Park Ridge, Illinois, and finally to Pittsburgh, where they settled in the North Hills suburbs. After retiring from his role as payroll manager at Gulf in 1986, Dick remained active for many years thereafter by managing the payroll of the Simakas Company of Mars, Pennsylvania, on a part-time basis. Known for his keen wit and sonorous tenor, Dick was extensively involved at church and in local community theatre. For decades, he and his wife Jeanne were fixtures in the choir at St. Alexis Catholic Church in Wexford, Pennsylvania, where he led the congregation in hymns and liturgical responses as cantor for hundreds of masses and, as a result, was asked to sing at scores of matrimonial and memorial services. He also acted in dozens of comedy and musical productions, first with the St. Alexis Playcrafters in the 1970's and increasingly, in later years, as a member of the Comtra Theatre Players in Cranberry Township, Pennsylvania. He gave his farewell performance in 2010 in his favorite recurring role at Comtra: Kris Kringle in “Miracle on 34th Street,” a musical by Meredith Willson based on the 1947 film. Dick was preceded in death by his wife, the love of his life, Jeanne, who passed away in June 2014; their firstborn, infant son, John F. Westrick; siblings, William H. Matlack, Mary Sue Simonds, Eugene T. Westrick and Cathy Westrick, all of Toledo; and beloved family Papillon dog, Cara. He is survived by his sons, Richard B. Westrick of Allison Park, Pennsylvania, and Jeffrey B. Westrick of Sewickley, Pennsylvania, and by his niece, Rita (Simonds) Stevens of Cincinnati, Ohio. Friends may call at the George A. Thoma Funeral Home, Inc., 10418 Perry Highway, Wexford, Pennsylvania, on Thursday, January 12, from 2:00-4:00 and 6:00-8:00 p.m. On Friday, January 13, a funeral mass will be celebrated in his honor at 10:30 a.m. at St. Alexis Catholic Church, 10090 Old Perry Highway, Wexford, Pennsylvania, followed by a committal service at his final resting place, Holy Savior Cemetery, 4629 Bakerstown Road, Gibsonia, Pennsylvania. Flowers are welcome, as are donations to the Alzheimer's Foundation of America (AFA) and St. John Specialty Care Center of Mars, Pennsylvania. As published in The Blade
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