R.T. “Dick” Merrick

R.T. “Dick” Merrick passed away this month. Born in Vancouver to Glady & Tommy Merrick. Raised in Burnaby during the depression. Dick grew up surrounded by a large extended family. The family moved to Victoria in the 30’s, where Dick graduated from Vic High, and then attended Victoria College.

While in Victoria he played rhythm guitar in local Big Bands. In 1942 he joined the RCAF, and becoming part of the BCATP, he earned the position of Flight Instructor. He trained pilots at a variety of posts on the prairies.

After demob he attended UBC, and graduated with a B.Comm. Going to work for Burroughs Machines he sold and serviced some of the 1st pin punch computers. He married Olive Bird in 1951. He joined back up with the RCAF and continued to fly into the late 60’s. He flew a variety of aircraft, including the Dak, NorthStar, Otter, Comet, Albatross, Bristol Freighter, Anson, Crane, Cornell and others. Asked once, what his favorite aircraft was, he said, “even though I pranged one, my favorite is the North Star”.

He flew across North America, Europe, North Africa, Asia, and the far East. After the RCAF, he sold Insurance for CVI, and became active in local politics. In Comox he was an Alderman, and then the Mayor. He was the 3rd Mayor of Comox. During his time, he was the political support behind the completion of the Comox Marina and Park, the move and construction of the Comox Fire Hall, and the construction of the D’Esterre Seniors Centre.

He believed that things got done because many people worked towards a shared goal. He also initiated the planting of trees along Comox Ave. His favorite story involved buying for $5 the land that became Condor Park. He was a local Coroner. It was about this time that he became a runner. He helped start the Comox 4 Mile foot race, and he was an early member of The Comox Valley Road Runners.

Dick was an early member of the Comox Rotary Club. For a time they enjoyed sailing in the Gulf, and then a travel trailer for trips up North, and then to Mexico. Dick spoke and wrote fluently in Spanish. He also played classical guitar. He and Olive retired in 1982, and continued their interest and spent over 30 winters in Mexico.

Dick and Olive were married for 66 years. They have 3 children, Nancy (Ian) Mackay, Neil (Karen), and Andy (Wendy). They have several grand-children and great grandchildren.

He was predeceased by his siblings Joyce, and Tom.

Here’s to Dick Merrick 1923-2018

No service by request. Condolences to dickmerrick1923@gmail.com


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