Richard Jerome Dee

July 23, 1936 ~ November 6, 2022

Richard (Dick) Jerome Dee, 86 of La Crosse, passed away peacefully on Sunday, November 6, 2022at the Sumner Regional Medical Center, Gallatin, TN. He was born on July 23, 1936 in Chicago, Illinois to Bonnie Curry. Bonnie, Dick and his brother Jack, lived in Downers Grove, Illinois and he graduated from Downers Grove High School in 1954. He attended Western Illinois University and played football there for two years. Then he enlisted in the US Army and was honorably discharged in 1958.

Richard Jerome Dee

Richard Jerome Dee

In the summer of 1957 while he was home on leave his life changed forever. He met Judith (Judy) Caroline Anderson at the Downers Grove pool and they immediately fell in love. They married in December 1957 and remained each other’s best friend and confidant for 56 wonderful years until Judy passed away February 2, 2014. They had 4 children; Michael (Ann) Dee, William (Beth) Dee, Scott (Mary) Dee and Colleen (Tim) Nelligan.

They also had 7 wonderful grandchildren Alex and Sean Dee, Jake and Ryan Dee, and Keaton, Riley and Brendan Nelligan.

He was in the insurance business for more than 50 years, the first 15 in Chicago as a salesman for Prudential and he then moved his family to La Crosse in 1975 to start his own agency, La Crosse Insurance. Not only did he love the challenges of sales he was blessed to have so many clients become lifelong friends. He eventually sold the business to his two sons Scott and Bill so he could do what he loved a great deal and that was travel. He loved to golf, read, fish and boat as well. While Judy was the heart of our family Dick was our hero. He was very principled, tough, fair, honest to a fault and had a biting sense of humor. His guidance was instrumental in all his children and grandchildren. He was devoted to the Catholic church and was committed to Catholic education especially Aquinas High School and Viterbo University. He was very proud to have started AquinasFest along with his friend Paul Poehling.

Three years after Judy’s passing, while looking for a new home in Frisco TX he met a wonderful woman named Joan Sladek. They hit it off immediately, started a relationship and had many things in common. He often mentioned to his children how lucky he felt to have found her when he did. They lived down the street from one another in Frisco and in 2021 they decided to move together to a new house in Gallatin TN so Joan could be closer to one of her sons. They remained happily together until his passing.

He will be dearly missed by his family, friends and Joan. We were blessed to have had him as a father and grandfather. Judy gave him a plaque as a Christmas gift that read “Anyone can be a father but it takes a special man to be a Dad”. It perfectly described him.

He was preceded in death by his mother, brother Jack and Judy.

He is survived by all of his children Mike, Bill and Scott of La Crosse, Colleen of Des Moines, IA. He also is survived by all of his grandchildren. Jake of Layton, UT, Ryan of La Crosse, Alex of Tulsa, OK, Sean of Chicago, IL, Keaton of Dallas, TX, Riley of San Francisco, CA, and Brendan of College Station, TX

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Saturday, November 19th at 10:30 a.m. at Mary Mother of the Church Parish, 2006 Weston Street, La Crosse. Father Brian Konopa will officiate and a private family entombment will be in the Mormon Coulee Memorial Park Mausoleum. Friends may visit with the family on Friday, November 18th from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. at the Dickinson Family Funeral Home, 1425 Jackson Street, and again on Saturday at the church from 9:30 a.m. until time of services.