Sherry's Letter to Dick
Read on the Eve of His Funeral

Richard Dean "Dick" Duling
10/21/1943 - 12/20/2006
Below is the text and cover of Dick's Funeral Service folder.

DrawingRichard Dean "Dick" Duling, 63, Michigan Valley, Kansas, passed away December 20, 2006, at a Wichita, Kansas hospital.

He was born October 21, 1943, in Gulfport, Mississippi, the son of Warren and Thelma Jermyn Duling. He grew up in Eskridge, Kansas and graduated from Eskridge High School in 1962. He attended Emporia State University at Emporia, prior to joining the United States Marine Corps in 1963. He served in the Marines until 1967 retiring as a Lance Corporal, and was a former member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion.

Dick started his career with the State of Kansas in marketing. He later worked for over twenty years for the Department of Wildlife and Parks, as a Natural Resource Law Officer, until his retirement a Dickmonth ago. He was a member of the Kansas Wildlife Officers Association, the Kansas Peace Officers Association, the International Association of Marine Investigators Inc., and the Fraternal Order of the Police. He was an EMT, an Ice Rescue Specialist, a Hunter Safety Instructor and a Kansas Boating Education Instructor.

He was a member of the Topeka Kennel Club and the American Bloodhound Club. He was a past member of the North American Search Dog Network and actively worked his Bloodhounds in search and rescue. The ashes of his favorite search dog "Skeeter" lie with him today.

Dick with his guitar His enthusiasm and interest for music as a young boy grew each year into a deep love for rock, country, and rhythm & blues. With this passion, his knowledge of the history of these was remarkable. He knew the band members of most bands, the songwriters and stars, and could even tell you details of their roots. Kansas Prairie Pickers Association and the Kansas Bluegrass Association were his favored loves.

Dick married Sherill "Sherry" Schaefer, August 9, 1969, as Assumption Catholic Church here in Topeka that we are in today. The song Ave Maria used in today's service was also sung at Dick and Sherry's wedding. Sherry survives at the home. Other survivors include a son, Dustin Warren Duling, Kansas City, KS; his mother, Thelma Duling, Atchison; a brother, Joseph Duling, Eskridge; and two sisters, Mary VanPetten, Atchison, and Susan Nolte, in Florida.

Whether it was a high school play or an organized group investigation, past to present Dick showed strong leadership, kindness, patience and above all a general compassion and love for all he knew and touched. Dick loved life in all of it's many aspects and will truly be remembered for this.

Below is the copy read at Dick's Reflection of memory's of his life the eve of his funeral written by Sherry his wife of 37 yrs.

Dear Dick,

I WILL MISS your help loading my equipment & dogs in the morning for work & meeting me in the driveway to help unload at night.

your loving care of the dogs.

your super catfish (and I don't like fish but how could I not love yours), shrimp, ribs, chicken, filet, pork chops, gumbo, the list goes on. You were not just a cook you became a chef. Why would I ever want to go out to eat when I had you.

your guiding me on the roads to keep the Hopelessly Lost from taking the unplanned scenic route.

your scolding me, "Sherry, STOP, take time & tie your shoes before you trip.

your trips running errands for me, & the groceries. I hated buying the groceries, so you took that task on along with the cooking.

your keeping my car & van spotless.

feeding our many adopted fat cats fed way too much.

you telling me I am pretty when I look like a rag & that I am not fat when I got upset from gaining weight.

your encouragement to go to that next show, judge when the opportunity came along, & to plan the breeding of that next litter.

My saddest moment with you was when I brought you your music only to see you could not hear the music anymore. I know now that you can hear it again. This gives me peace till we are together again to dance to that music.

With all my Love,

Please read Dick's Obituary in the Topeka Capital-Journal.