Rogersville: Richard “Dick” Brickell, of Rogersville, passed away peacefully in the presence of family, Saturday, October 1, 2022. Dick was preceded in death by his high school sweetheart and wife of 57 years, Jean Kendall Brickell, and his parents, Herschel and Lillian Brickell.
Survivors include daughters Shanna Obelenus and Dawn Brickell Bryant (Chris); sons Sean Brickell (April) and Michael Brickell; five grandchildren Joshua Obelenus, Tristan Brickell, Brynn Brickell, Trinity Brickell, and Austin Brickell; countless family, including his brother-in-law Don Kendall, and cousins Jay Brickell and Marlene Nicholson, all special to him, keeping in touch over the years; and a dear friend that became a brother to him, Don Broome.
Dick met the love of his life while a junior in high school. They dated throughout high school and during his service in the U.S Navy, marrying after he was honorably discharged in 1962. Their marriage was filled with much love and four children he loved and provided for throughout his life. He also loved being Pop to his five grandchildren.
Dick will be remembered for his love of fishing, cooking, and stories about his time in the Navy and his business career in the casket and funeral industry. Oh yes, he will also be remembered for his limited ability at sarcasm despite Jean’s and his children’s best efforts to teach him. For all those wondering, sarcasm is difficult to teach. He had assisted attempts at sarcasm, but they were often delivered with a smile and explanation that he was joking.
Dick’s love of fishing started with his dad, Herschel. They loved spending time together fishing such that when his dad was too weak to reach a fishing spot, Dick carried him down so they could fish one last time. Jean also told a story how Dick and Herschel, whenever she caught more fish than they did, would say they let her have the good spot. Dick took all his children fishing and enjoyed many hours at various lakes and fishing holes, especially fishing trips with his sons and son-in-law.
Dick loved to cook and shared many meals with family and friends. His children would ask him to write down his recipes, but as he changed and tweaked them all the time, the secret recipe was sometimes a secret to him too! Even in the final week before his passing, he mentioned how his most recent spice mix for ribs was a secret, as he talked his youngest son, Michael, through preparing and smoking a final batch of ribs. When he was cooking, if you were within range of his voice, which could extend beyond the house, you were often called upon to be an instant sous chef with orders barked out of what to do or where to find a needed ingredient.
Dick was a man of few words, unless it was telling a story about his time in the Navy and his career in the casket and funeral industry. Later in life he surprised his children with extended phone calls that could last hours, when previously a phone call would last but minutes. Once he started talking about his time in the Navy, you best sit down and let him finish. Dick signed up for the “Kiddie Cruise” with the U.S. Navy when he turned 17 years old, serving a three-year enlistment, being honorably discharged when he turned 21 years old. He was assigned to the USS Abraham Lincoln (SSBN-602, Gold Crew) during her building, testing and early deployment. His children learned many stories about his time in the Navy that they had not heard before, even a most recent story days before his passing. Dick told how early in the submarine’s first test runs, while doing rounds, he heard a sound of pressure that should not have been present outside the reactor compartment. He woke the sub’s Captain and was later told that had he not, the sub would have started to fill with water. The Captain as well as the crew from then on called him a hero.
Despite Dick’s sometimes gruff exterior and lack of patience, he had unlimited compassion and love for all animals, as did his wife Jean. Over the years they shared their home with many cats and dogs. Dick and Jean also rescued countless stray cats and dogs, injured birds, and even a snapping turtle. His children often called him Dr. Doolittle. He showed this same compassion to anyone he met through life in need, from opening his motorhome to stranded motorists during a North Dakota blizzard, to providing a family with young children moving across the country a meal and giving every last dollar in his wallet after their money was stolen. Dick showed his children and those that met him, what mattered most in life – love, honor, and compassion.
We have been blessed to have shared life’s journey with Dick. We send all of our love from all of our hearts.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to Quilts of Valor Foundation, P.O. Box 191, Winterset, IA 50273 or a local veteran organization near you.
Graveside service will be held 11:00 A.M., Tuesday, October 4, 2022 at McKinney Cemetery.
Online condolences may be made at www.broomefuneralhome.com
The staff of Broome Funeral Home is honored to serve the Brickell family.