Richard (Dick) C. Averill

Thursday, September 17, 2015 1:38 pm

Richard (Dick) C. Averill, 83, of Elwood, Ill. and formerly of Decorah, died Saturday, Sept. 12, 2015, at Presence St. Joseph Medical Center in Joliet, Ill. from lung cancer. A funeral service is at 11 a.m. Friday, Sept. 18, at Stone Ridge Community Church in Decorah, with Pastor Ed Krawczyk officiating. Hymns, sung by soloist Dr. David Jaspers, are “No More Night” and “The Holy City.” Casket bearers are Aaron Emmons, Paul Emmons, Samuel Emmons, Caleb Averill, Mason Averill, Kyle Cherry and Bryan Cherry. Honorary casket bearers are Elisa Cherry, Hannah Cherry, Rachel Averill, Lauren Averill and  Gracie Averill. Internment is at Phelps Cemetery in Decorah, with full military honors by Helof Holm V.F.W. Post No. 1977, Bernatz-Symonds American Legion Post No. 163, D.A.V. Hamre-Giesen Chapter No. 8, AMVETS Post No. 96 and the Iowa National Guard. A visitation is Friday, Sept. 18, from 10 a.m. until time of funeral service at 11 a.m. at Stone Ridge Community Church in Decorah. A visitation also was held at Kurtz Memorial Chapel, 102 E. Francis Rd., New Lenox, IL 60451 Wednesday, Sept. 16, from 4 until 6 p.m., with a prayer service at 5:30 p.m.

Richard (Dick) Charles Averill was born Dec. 29, 1931, in Oak Park, Ill., to Newton and Hazel (Palmer) Averill and lived his early life in Dundee, Ill. He moved to Plymouth, Ind., as a young boy with his family in 1941. Graduating from Plymouth’s Lincoln High School in 1949, he enlisted two years later in the U.S. Air Force. He served his country from 1951-1955 in the U.S. Air Force and was stationed in Germany. Honorably discharged in 1955, he enrolled in Winona State College in Winona, Minn., and graduated in 1959 with a B.A. degree in business administration. That is where he met his future wife, Grace Marlene Blau, from Little Rock.

Richard and Grace were united in marriage June 6, 1958, at First Baptist Church in Winona, Minn. Dick and Grace were blessed with four children: Lynn, David, Keith and Rebecca, and enjoyed them very much. They were also blessed with 12 grandchildren and 2 great-grandsons. Following college graduation in 1959, he was employed by Lake Center Switch Co. in Winona, Minn., as assistant accountant. With a subsequent transfer to the company’s Decorah plant in 1962, Dick was named Deco Products Company’s national sales manager for the company’s zinc die casting operations of the Hardware Division. He also served eight of his working years as sales and marketing manager for TriMark Co. in New Hampton. Returning to Decorah in 1987 and to Deco’s employment he retired from Deco in 1997, after 30 years of employment with the company. Dick claimed Jesus Christ as his personal Lord and Savior in 1969. Subsequently he was baptized by immersion and became an active member at Calvary Baptist Church (now Stone Ridge Community Church in Decorah. For the past three years, Dick and Grace have been active members of Ridgewood Baptist Church, Joliet, Ill., while living in Elwood, Ill. Dick loved his four children and their family time and summer camping vacations. He and his wife Grace celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary together with their family and friends in June, 2008. He also enjoyed gardening, landscaping and cars from the post WWII era. After retiring, he and his wife enjoyed spending some winter months each year in Arizona.

Dick was preceded in death by his father, Newton Averill, in 1949; his mother Hazel, in 1982; his brother, Bob Averill, in 2014; and two half brothers, Kermit and Neil.

He is survived by his wife, Grace, and their four children: Lynn (Nathan) Emmons of Barron, Wis.; David Averill of Decatur, Ind.; Keith Averill of Reno, Nev.; and Rebecca (Douglas) Cherry of New Lenox, Ill.; 12 grandchildren: Aaron (Misty) Emmons of Comstock Park, Mich.; Paul Emmons of Barron, Wis.; Samuel (Sarah) Emmons of Knoxville, Tenn.; Caleb (fiancée Taya Adams); Mason, Rachel and Lauren Averill of Decatur, Ind.; and Gracie Averill of Reno, Nev.; Elisa Cherry, Denver, Colo.; Kyle, Bryan, and Hannah Cherry of New Lenox, Ill.; two great-grandsons, Andrew and Luke Emmons of Comstock Park, Mich. He also is survived by his sister, Patricia (Ralph) Kuskye, of Plymouth, Ind.; sister-in-law Martha Averill of Nappanee, Ind.; and many other family members.

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