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Obituary - Richard Dieterich

Richard Dieterich, 63, passed away suddenly May 16, 2010 in Pagosa Springs.

Richard was born March 14, 1947, in New York City to Oscar and Nelly Dieterich. He grew up in the borough of Queens. He graduated from Aviation High School in NYC and later went on to complete his undergraduate and graduate degrees in business administration from Eastern New Mexico University. He was an honorably discharged veteran of the United States Air Force, serving from 1968 until 2004 in both the active and reserve forces, and retired as a senior master sergeant. He was recalled to active duty in 2001 to serve in the Pentagon as a planner and disaster preparedness advisor.

In his 30-year civilian career, he worked for three federal agencies. He was a budget analyst for the United States Department of Interior and a Budget Officer for the United States Department of Energy. He then served with the United States Postal Service, retiring in 2005 as the postmaster of Telluride, Colo.

Richard developed an early love of the outdoors. He’s been an avid fisherman since childhood and honed his fishing skills as a teenager. He achieved the rank of Eagle Scout and helped show many “tenderfoot” scouts the ways of camping, cooking and fishing. As a teen, he also had a strong interest in chemistry and often spent the afternoons with friends building and launching homemade rockets.

Richard moved to Pagosa Springs in 2006. He established many important relationships since then. While in Pagosa Springs, he was a volunteer with AARP, providing the senior defensive driving class. He also worked with Andy Fautheree, at the Archuleta County Veterans Services office. Richard had just returned from a training class for Veteran Service Providers in Denver on the day of his passing. At the time of his death he was also serving on the board of directors of the Weminuche Audubon Society.

Rich, as he preferred to be called, maintained his avid enthusiasm for fishing, camping and hiking. He was often engaged in studying and investigating investment opportunities. He was always an optimist, in spite of disappointments he had experienced. Rich’s journey also included an ongoing study of personal and spiritual improvement ideas.

Since his retirement, he loved to travel and tried to arrange a trip as least once a month. He recently traveled to Alaska for a postmaster’s convention, and made several trips to Hawaii and Mexico. He was just getting proficient on his snowshoes and wanted to learn to cross-country ski better.

Richard was preceded in death by his mother, Nelly. He is survived by his daughter Melissa; his father, Oscar, and four siblings: William, Robert, Marian and Daniel.

He will be sorely missed by his family and friends.

A memorial service will be held later this summer. Memorial contributions can be made to a charity of your choice.