Richard Bartholomew Hurckes
March 24, 1945 – July 5, 2019
Dick was born in Wisconsin Rapids, WI on March 24th,1945. His parents, Dorothy and Leo, had 5 children- Pete, Paul, Bob, Dick, and Pat. His dad traveled as a salesman and the family lived in a one bedroom house in Wisconsin Rapids. Dick was the second youngest of the family. When Dick was 5, his family moved to a house in Park Forest, IL where he would spend his entire childhood. He went to Rich East High School where he was an offensive linemen on the football team and got a scholarship to North Dakota State. He went to North Dakota state for a year or two and then transferred to SIU.
A friend from high school called me one day and asked if I would like to go out with Bob’s brother Dick. I thought “Sure, why not?”. That was in Aug 1970. The minute I met Dick I immediately liked him. He was so down to earth, unassuming, compassionate, and had such a great sense of humor. He was so quick to have a witty comeback and had such a great smile.
Dick didn’t have a car so I would always pick him up in my ‘65 Chevy. ( I think he paid for the gas.) Dick and I dated for 3 weeks after which he proposed and 6 months later we were married. He proposed in my car and caught me off guard. I made him pull over because I was shocked that he proposed while driving. I didn’t know what to say. I did not say yes right away but eventually I did and it was the best decision of my life.
Dick and I got married in a small ceremony at Faith United Protestant Church in Park Forest, IL on Feb 27, 1971. Dick was planning on returning to SIU, but decided to stay home and continue his job at Sears. He turned that into a career, and retired after 30 successful years. We lived in an apartment close to his work for a year and then bought our house in Park Forest where we lived for 30 years.
2 ½ years after we got married we had our son Jeff. It was instantly obvious that Dick was an amazing parent. 5 years later our daughter, Jodi, was born. He did everything he could possibly do as a father. From changing diapers, reading to them, and taking us all on countless camping trips and long vacations.
We left Park Forest after 30 years and moved to Colorado. Dick always said he didn’t want to die in Illinois. Dick worked on designing our beautiful Colorado house for a year. We spent 19 wonderful years together in the house he designed. Dick was so smart. He always had a project going either inside or outside of the house. He would buy a book on whatever he was working on and figure it out.
He loved almost anything sports related, especially golfing and fishing. He loved to read, he always had a book in his hand. And Dick really loved to dance. He was just full of life, and touched everybody he met in a positive way. He was a great father, husband, friend, brother, and grandfather.
He is survived by his wife, Theo, his children, Jeff and Jodi, his grandchildren Jonny and Lukah, his brothers Bob, Paul, and his sister, Pat.
- Visitation Saturday, July 13, 2019
- Celebration of Dick's Life Saturday, July 13, 2019
Richard Bartholomew Hurckes
July 14, 2019
My dad was a kind, thoughtful and loving person. Anyone who met him felt the same.
My favorite thing about my dad was his sense of humor, even when he was trying to embarrass me.
I'm not sure when he started "Mr. Tickle man" but he could get me jumping out of my chair and running away just by saying "here comes Mr. Tickle man!" He didn't hesitate to use that at the most embarrassing times, and I will never forget about Mr. Tickle man.
Dad taught me how to fish, make the family homemade noodle recipe (which I intend to carry on) and how to perfect my golf swing. I can remember calling him panicking about my car or something else and he was always able to calm me down and help me fix my problems. He also taught me to find the humor in things.
I went to him for advice a lot. He always knew the right thing to say and how to help me. I will always remember our camping trips, hiking and all the amazing vacations we took.
I look up to my dad and admire him so much. I always tell people how strong he is and how he could overcome anything. He never complained about anything and always looked on the bright side of things. My dad is and always will be my hero.
I will miss and love you forever dad.
July 13, 2019
I shared on Legacy along with Gordon Douglas but basically for me we all loved the Hurckes'! Pete and Paul were more my age and I often pitched to them for. baseball at the side of our house. Gordy and Dick were good pals and I marvel at how much alike they were as grown men even though years passed sans being in touch.
Please check out Legacy for our further remarks but know you all are and will always be in our hearts; you, our childhood pals...
July 12, 2019
When I think of my uncle Dick I think of his warmth and love and kindness. He always greeted me with a loving smile and hug. I never heard him say a harsh word to anyone. He and Theo built a warm and loving home together and raised Jeff and Jodi to be wonderful people. Their love is and will always be so sweet and inspiring. I will also fondly remember his wonderful baking skills- he made the best Christmas cookies. He was an independent, confident, and charming man that could light up a room and get everyone laughing. I can picture him now out on the boat with my dad smoking their “lucky cigars”. He’s catching the biggest and best fish now, no contest. I’ll miss him so much. Love you all, Rest In Peace Dick.
July 12, 2019
Many people do not know that the Hurckes family grow up in Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin. Dick was born there and I moved there when I was 1. Paul and Pete were 5 years my senior and were usually together. Dad Traveled as a salesman and was not home much. Mom gave birth to patty and was busy with her early years.
So Dick and I were together a lot. In the winter we would do a lot of playing together. The small 1 bedroom house we lived in was always full of love. The one bedroom was the kids room and was only big enough to hold 2 bunk beds and and a crib. That resulted in a lot spontaneous pranks.
The winters were cold and snowy. We would play outside a lot. Remember taking Dick up on the hill by the railway tracks next to the major highway we lived on and sleding down the bank into the street. Fortunately in the 50's there was not as much traffic and Dick would sit between my legs on the sled and we would go down the hill and try to turn away before we hit the road. Resulted in a lot of turnovers. Remember hollowing out a big snowbank with Dick to make our own little igloo and that was fun until Mom found out.
We moved to Park Forest in 1951? We lived in one of the rental units and there was a green area between each of the units about 40 yards wide. We would play wiffle ball by standing on one side and the home run fence was the unit on the other side.
Dick would always have to be the cubs and I always remember when he was up at bat, he would announce which of the Cubs was at bat. I would pitch and he would hit the ball and then he would become the announcer and you would hear "back, back back, home run".
He loved the cubs and was a big topps bubble gum card collector. He was so proud that he had almost every Cub player in his collection.
July 11, 2019
I made it back in time. I made it back to tell my dad exactly what he has meant to me in my life. I made it back to hold his hand and tell him I love him in his last moments. I made it back in time. And it is the greatest gift I have been given in this life.
Well... maybe the 2nd greatest gift. Having this man as a father and role model has been more than a son could ask for.
He has left a standard of how to live a life that I try and sometimes fail to live up to. But it is there to aspire to none the less.
I’ve never heard him complain about anything. Not even once. All the knee problems. All the cancers. All the infections. All the pain. What he did was he dealt with it. He met it head on with everything he had. He never gave up on himself. A few weeks ago he whispered to me, “I just need to get my strength back.” I don’t know if he was born with it, or he developed it, but he had strength until the end.
While there was much pain and suffering at the end. He was buoyed by his wife-hisrock- of 48 years being there every single day to do what was necessary to get him through to the next day.
Don’t define him by how hard he fought this final cancer. Instead remember his whole life. He was kind, full of life, funny, and yes strong. I could go on. But anyone who knew him even for a little while was touched by him.
As I look back through the literally thousands of pictures, from a frowning toddler, all the way to last week, I realize what an absolutely full life he has led.
He taught me how to fight, how to love, and how to be the best person I know how to be.
I love you forever,
July 10, 2019
One of my favorite memories would be when we all went to the Lake of the Ozarks Deer Valley camping ground. My cousin Jeff and I had the best time. Our plan was for me to come out of the tent in the middle of the night and get Jeff. I was supposed to be making a bugs noise (like a cricket) and Jeff would return the noise from inside the tent. Only one problem, I couldn't make my sound loud enough to hear over Uncle Dicks snoring. Maybe it was the fresh night air but he was snoring exceptionally loud. After many tries and a lot of laughing from Jeff and I, Uncle Dick foiled our night plans to sneak out, he said something unrecognizable and I ran back to my tent. For the next 30 years Jeff and I still make that noise when we see each other. In fact we did it all the way home and Uncle Dick just kept looking at us like we were nuts! We had the best time on that vacation with a lot of jokes, laughter and fun from Uncle Dick. He was a wonderful uncle and will be missed! Love you Uncle Dick, until we meet again.Tsst, Tsst!
July 10, 2019
Dear Theo, Jeff and Jodi,
May loving memories ease your loss and bring you comfort. Saying goodbye to someone you love is heart-breaking.
May you find comfort in all the special memories shared with Dick. Words cannot express our sadness.
He was one "special" man!
Love, Pat and Dick Johnson
Trish (Penny) Douglas
July 9, 2019
News of Dick's passing saddens me so much. He is woven throughout my childhood and into high school.
We lived at 102 Ash St and the Hurckes family at 86 Ash...in the rentals.
Dick and my brother, Gordy, were best buddies. Every Wed. morning in the summer, Gordy and I had to clean the kitchen. Dick would come to the back porch to wait impatiently for us to finish cleaning so we could go out to play. He would urge us on with such motivated words as "Come on and hurry up you guys" stating he would leave if we didn't move along. Of course, he never left!
Dick and Gordy built very tall stilts that had them at least 4-5 feet in the air. They would cruise around the neighborhood and you'd see them glide along from your 2nd story window...scared some people half to death!
Gordy took one of the stilt poles to make a pole for pole vaulting. In our courtyard he set up the bar to clear, then made his run. Up he went while we watched him begin his leap over the bar. The pole didn't stick and came out of the ground, slamming him into the grass. He didn't get up. Dick and I thought he was dead so went racing from Dick's front yard to where Gordy lay - out cold but still alive. He finally got up but was quite dazed. Dick decided against trying it himself right then and there.
They both also enjoyed jumping off things...such as roof tops. In the rentals, roof tops were on the 2nd story...so, up they went, and down they jumped giving everyone a heart attack in the process. This I believe was Dick's idea...and he was the saner one of the two.
During the summer, when Dick got older. he had a job selling ice cream from one if those ice cream bikes. We used to give him such a hard time, asking for something way on the bottom so that he'd have to pull out most treats and a great deal of dry ice - which made a crackling noise and bounced around on top of the freezer compartment. Good times.
Dick will be much missed by all and the world is a sadder place without him.
July 9, 2019
We were playing golf with Dick and Theo in Colorado Springs (Valley High) when the Marshall drove up and said "A lion escaped from the Animal Reserve so be careful. Dick turned to us (Jack&Pat) and said "you have the lunch in your cart and you are on your own if we see the lion" However it was not a lion, just a big dog (a lion had actually escaped but wasn't on the golf course). To make the day complete I got a ticket on the way home (SPEED TRAP!!)
Got to Love that man,
Jack and Pat
July 8, 2019
Sending our love and condolences to the entire family. Let all the memories you created with Dick help you get through this. Thinking of you all. Love. Mary & Ben
Debra & David Nielsen
July 8, 2019
Jeff, Jess, Jonny and family,
Our deepest sympathy on the passing of your dad. It is especially hard to lose a parent. We are sure that you have many special memories that will help sustain you in the days to come. We are thinking of you and sending comforting thoughts to all of you.
Debbie & David Nielsen
July 8, 2019
Sorry for your lost theo you were very good friends.our thoughts and prayers are with you.lisa Cooper and family.
July 8, 2019
Dick you are a saint and we will miss you do much. Please find Ro and give her a hug. We sure did have some good times in those days. So many things we did, fishing with our MEYPS spinners and taking chair out of a bar and sitting in the middle of the street. I could go on and on.
July 8, 2019
See that picture below? That there is my big brother. Every girl should have one. I was lucky enough to have four. But Dick was the closest to me in age, just three years older, and therefore more a part of my day-to-day life then the others. Growing up we fought and bickered like most siblings. Perfectly normal. I mean, just take a look at his face in that photo. I imagine him thinking "How did I go from being the treasured baby of the family to just the 4th in line and replaced by, of all things, a girl!" Followed by "Do I really have to hold her hand??"
But throughout our lives my big brother Dick never let go of my hand. From protecting me from neighborhood bullies to keeping an eye on me in college, to being there when Jose' died suddenly, to helping me through my own run-in with cancer. Always there, always holding my hand.
A few weeks ago on our last visit I was helping him into the recliner in his living room. As I straightened up, about to release my hand from his, he grasped it so hard I thought my fingers would break. No words were exchanged but our eyes met and I squeezed back with all my might. I cherish that moment now. He was still holding my hand.
July 8, 2019
Dick was my first crush. I was probably about 8 years old when he helped get me down from a tree I had climbed. We lived on Ash Street in Park Forest as did his family. I was friends with his younger sister Patty. Dick was always just a nice guy. I have many fond memories of him and his family.
July 7, 2019
Worked for Dick at Sears Auto Cal City Il as my Boss / Manager , He Was Great Guy That Knew How to Talk to People ! I Enjoyed Being Under His Leadership And Working With Him From 94-99. It Was Great Times That I'll Always Remember About Him ! He Was My Favorite Manager And I Had 6 in 30 Years ! May He Rest in Eternal Peace 💔 🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏 !!!
July 7, 2019
Dick, Paul (brother), Theo, and Karan (sister-in-law) went golfing one day. The guys in one cart and the girls in another cart. We were on the golf path and Dick decided to turn around on the side of the hill behind the sign that read, “Respect the Plants”. Their cart began to slide sideways and Dick and Paul had panic looks and Dick stuck out his leg to help. They wiped out 3 Yucca plants and continued on their way. Theo and I were laughing so hard and we picked up the 3 plants and chased them down and said, “the Ranger said you have to re-plant them.” Theo and I couldn’t stop laughing and tried to hide behind the bushes, but they said they could hear us even though they couldn’t see us.
July 7, 2019
Nothing was more important to Dick than his family. Dick had so many wonderful friends all over the country. We all have our special memories of time spent with him. Dick was a great friend who loved life, always appreciated what he had and followed his heart towards his passions. Lucky for us his passions included his extended family and friends. He always made the effort to spend time with us and for that I am so grateful. Rest in peace my dear friend.