Dick “the boss” Ziegler

I don’t know exactly when I met Dick, had to be around the early 90’s I would guess. I went to school with his son, but he was a frequent visitor to my friends shop. My first impression was a man on a mission. He had stopped by to ask for some advice or give some advice, or borrow something. A big guy with a powerful voice. I learned he was a mason, and his arms sure did show that. I wouldn’t tangle with the guy. Probably put ya face down in the dirt faster than falling from a tree. But I never saw him be mean to anyone. A pleasant guy, always trying to put a smile on your face. I think his most famous or infamous line was “what’s new Lucky?” Of course everyone was called Lucky, but he made me feel like one of the guys. I enjoyed his tall tales and getting me to bite on one of his stories. Hell I didn’t know any better. When he retired from the mason gig, he bought a John Deere 425AWS with a MTS cart for it. I know, why in the hell did I remember that? Well, as luck would have it I was working for the John Deere company putting new machines together and he lived across the street. He had a Dodge pickup and it was the only manufacturer of trucks that existed in his world. He bought a trailer and started mowing lawns in the summer. Every now and again he would drive his machine over to the warehouse for me to look at something. He asked me to work on his motorhome one time. I remember it was a tough job and required a lot of time, I can’t recall if I did it for him or not. I never minded him stopping by. Sure, he gave me the business each and every time, but it was always light hearted and put a smile on my face- as well as everyone else’s. I don’t think many people have that ability. His character and charisma was quite unique. If I was at the store or the other shop he would wander in and cross his arms as he leaned over on the counter with “what’s new Lucky?”. Well, time marches on and I saw less of Dick mowing and around town. I drove by his house every now and then wondering if he might be outside. I just asked his son Lee how the guy was holding up a couple months back. He was doing good and I laughed when I asked if “Lucky” was still around. It was good to hear he was doing well. I found out Friday night he had passed away at home like he wanted to. As you get older, your circle of friends gets smaller. People move away, they have families, they get sick, and they pass on into the heavens above. But the things they did on this earth are what count. Like someone once said: on a headstone there are but two dates connected by a dash; it is the dash that counts. Dick made his dash count in so many ways. I cannot fathom the lives he touched. This kid certainly appreciated him, and I am sad for his family and friends that won’t be able to hear his voice or see his smile again. He made the most out of life, and we are all the better for it. Godspeed Dick, and thanks for all of those memories. (I don’t know as if you should call St. Peter “Lucky” though).

Dick’s obituary and celebration of life will be announced when social isolation has ended and will be published according to the wishes of his family. If you have photos or stories of Dick, please pass them along (You can email them to me or Lee).