Richard “Dick” Sauerwine.Image

He started out as just another big, strapping farm boy, but his life was anything but ordinary.

He became: a Pearl Harbor survivor; a Navy Seal before they were Seals, doing underwater demolitions to clear the way for the march across the South Pacific; a veteran of the Korean War; a long-time sheriff’s deputy; a South Florida cattle rancher with an affinity for the circus, who rented out the back-forty to Barnum & Bailey’s big animals every winter; and much more.

He was a stern father, but a loyal husband; he married the girl who grew up next door, and never loved another woman.  He quietly embodied the real-man qualities of respect for women, constancy, hard work, creativity, listening well, and thinking before you speak.  He had intuition and great instincts, and from him I learned to heed to my gut about people.  He wasn’t religious, but he lived by his own personal code of ethics.  He loved projects, but rarely finished one.  He was a reader, a road-tripper, and adored both gadgets and plants (seriously, African violets sprang up in his steps); he shared with me his love of Western movies, driving all day, puttering in the greenhouse, and cool new science.  He had a fantastic sense of humor; nothing was funnier than ImageGrandpa sticking his dentures out at me because I stuck my tongue out at him first.  He was often quiet, but his sneezes could be heard from space, and when he laughed it filled the whole house.  If you caught him in the right mood, he was a champion story-teller, and loved to tell about The War.

He was a fixture in my life for 35 years; he lived to the ripe, old age of 92, and lent some of his stoic German determination to this quick-tempered Scottish girl.  God-speed, Pops, you will be missed!