Richard L. "Dick" Dukes O’66 (’58-59), 75, of Delphos, died at 4:47 p.m. Sunday, July 12, 2015 at St. Rita's Medical Center.
He was born April 28, 1940 in Lima, to Richard Edwin and Vera Louise (Rahrig) Dukes, who preceded him in death.
Dick is survived by 5 siblings, Renee L. Dukes of Round Rock, Texas; Kevin R. (Nancy) Dukes, Keith E. (Deb) Dukes, Maria M. Axe and Dodie M. (Gregory) Seller, all of Delphos. He is also survived by his loving Aunt, Carolyn Brandehoff; several nieces and nephews, great-nieces, great-nephews and cousins. His pride and joy were his two cats, Dusty and Sassy, who he loved dearly.
He is a life member of St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church, a 1958 graduate of Delphos St. John High School and a 1963 graduate of the Dayton Art Institute.
Dick retired after 45 years at the Birkmeier Monument Company in Delphos, where he served in numerous capacities. When first joining the company, Dick was instrumental in starting up and heading the design department where he innovated personalized artwork in monument design, thereby changing the entire industry using this concept. He continued to develop new ideas and techniques, being the first in the industry to do hand etching and color painting on monuments. Several years later he transitioned into sales and management, while continuing to focus on specialized monument design. He was well known, liked and respected in the monument industry.
His great talent as an artist is immortalized through his many landscape and still life paintings he gifted to his family, friends and St. John's Church. He was a member of and an award winner at the Wassenberg Art Center in Van Wert. He was honored to design the Coat of Arms for the late, Bishop Albert H. Ottenweller and the St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Navy Chaplain Medal for the late, Reverend Thomas W. Kuhn.
Dick served for many years on the Delphos St. John's Cemetery Board.
He was also a member of the F.O. Eagles Aerie 471 of Delphos; a past member of the B.P.O. Elks Lodge #54 in Lima; a past officer of the Delphos Club; and a past member of the Delphos Country Club.