Obituary of Richard N. DeGolyer
Richard N. DeGolyer, 84, of Elmira Heights was called away suddenly from this life on March 21, 2023 while surrounded by his family.
Known by several names, including Richard, Dicky, and Slippery (from his sports' days), he preferred most when folks simply called him Dick. A kind, competitive, spiritual man, Dick was most at home on the hardwood, ball field, or golf course. He was devoted to his family, fiercely loyal to his friends, and welcoming to everyone he met. Yet he was also a very private man who preferred quiet time on the back porch with his wife, Barbara, sipping wine, watching the wildlife, and sharing stories about their lives. He will be profoundly missed by those who were fortunate enough to have known him but will also be celebrated for the time he spent here and the life he lived and shared.
Dick was predeceased by his parents, Walter L. DeGolyer and Stella Szadlowski DeGolyer, his in-laws, Newell "Lucky" Ward and Florence Ward, sisters, Janice Caparula and Dorothy Foray, brothers-in-law, Arthur Caparula, Charles Minch, Clyde Elwood, Donald Johnson, Larry Ward and Donnie Ward. Dick is survived by his wife, Barbara Jane Ward DeGolyer, children, David DeGolyer and Karyn DeGolyer Moore (Lee Vanderhoff), his precious granddaughter Delaney Moore, and siblings, Lillian Elwood, John (Joy) DeGolyer, Margaret Johnson, and Gail Minch, as well as in-laws, George Foray, Newell (Pat) Ward, Joyce (Donald) Hayduk, Beverly Ward, Pat Elston-Ward, and other extended family.
Born in Olean, NY, Dick, and his family moved to Elmira Heights when he was a boy and he graduated from Thomas Edison High School in 1956. An accomplished athlete who excelled in football, basketball and baseball for the Spartans, Dick had the good fortune of being a member of the first team in Edison basketball history to score 100 points in a game with Dick scoring the 100th and 101st points. On July 30th, 2016, Dick was inducted into the TAE Sports Hall of Fame.
After graduating high school, Dick worked at Pittsburgh Paint in downtown Elmira where one afternoon, he noticed "a nice-looking girl" walk past the shop while she was out for a stroll on her lunch break. Luckily, she waved at the man Dick worked for who knew her and offered an introduction. Shortly after, Dick and Barb began dating and fell in love, but their courtship was tested when Dick volunteered for the draft. Upon completion of his tour, he and Barb set a date for their marriage, only to have him called back into service unexpectedly. Refusing to be thwarted, Dick and his bride-to-be scrambled to pull off a wedding on a few days' notice and this past October they celebrated 61 years of marriage.
Dick played baseball for the Army and later was a pitcher in the local fast-pitch industrial softball league. A talented bowler and golfer, Dick was always eager to learn new skills and to teach. He volunteered to help pattern a young man who had suffered a tragic accident, coached youth basketball and small-fry football, and loved sharing his knowledge of sports with anyone who wanted to learn. He worked as a Master Craftsman/Mold Maker for Thatcher Glass (later Anchor Glass) for 38 years before retiring in 1998.
He had an inherent knack for putting people at ease and making them feel seen and heard. He tried to instill in his children the values of being good listeners, never judging others based on appearance or perceived circumstances, and always being compassionate and kind.
As per Dick's wishes, there will be no formal calling hours. However, there will be a Mass of Christian Burial on April 1st, 2023, at 11:00am at St. Mary's Church, 224 Franklin Street, Elmira NY, 14904, all are invited. Father Richard Farrell will officiate the service which will be live-streamed through the Facebook page for Most Holy Name of Jesus Parish (https://www.facebook.com/ElmiraCatholic). Interment, with military honors and committal prayers, at St. Peter and Paul's Cemetery in Elmira will immediately follow the Mass. Flowers will be provided by the family.
Dick asked that his family, friends, and anyone who might have a story to share get together following his interment for a celebration of life "party" which will be held from 2:00pm-4:00pm at Gabe's Grille, Willowcreek Golf Club, 3069 State Route 352, Big Flats, NY. Arrangements by McInerny Funeral Home.To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Richard DeGolyer, please visit Tribute Store
Mass of Christian Burial
Interment, with military honors
Celebration of Life Party
In Loving Memory
1938 - 2023
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