Richard P. "Dick" Bleck

Bleck, Richard Paul "Dick" 87 of Waukegan, IL passed away on June 30, 2013. He was born on December 8, 1925, with the help of a midwife (he was five lbs.). His first home was in Michigan City, IN, where his dad managed the farm while his mom worked in a cookie factory. They had no electricity or plumbing. The family picked grapes and corn and raised chickens, cows and horses that would trample the walnuts to open the shells from the walnut trees lining the farm. He attended school in a one-room schoolhouse in Laport, IN and at six was baptized in a pool behind a church. He began to play trombone in 4th grade, but the instrument was so big he had to move the slide with his foot. His family moved to Illinois, and in the mid- 1930's got electricity and plumbing in their Waukegan home. Dick graduated from high school in 1943 and he served in the Army Air Corps during WWII. During a stint in Texas, he played with the Glen Miller Band where he "had the time of his life." Dick married Mary Jane Ray in 1946 and they were together for 62 years before Mary Jane passed in 2009. After WWII, he worked as an air traffic controller at Chicago Municipal Airport, started his own successful TV repair business and worked for the Navy Electronics Command in Great Lakes, IL. An original and probably self-proclaimed "geek", he custom built the first computer model available to purchase from Radio Shack. He moved his family to the Washington, DC area in 1974 and resided most of the time in Springfield, VA. Dick had a very successful career working at various Navy commands and retired after 30 years of service. He once said," Nowadays people seem to take a lot for granted, but back then the hard times brought people closer together and we appreciated everything." Dick is survived by his six children; 10 grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren, who he always said were "beautiful," and who loved, respected, and will miss him. Dad/Grandpa, we truly did appreciate the time we had with you. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held Friday, July 5, 2013 at 11:30 a.m. at Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Church, 12805 Valleywood Dr., Woodbridge, VA 22192.

Published in News Sun from July 3 to July 9, 2013