Obituary: Richard S. Dirkes, a World War II 10th Mountain Division veteran

Richard S. Dirkes
Special to the Daily

Richard S. Dirkes grew up in Floral Park, New York. He attended Chaminade High School and The Taft School. He joined the 10th Mountain Division in 1943 and trained with the 10th at Camp Hale. He transferred to air flight school in Albion, Michigan, and was transferred, once again, to the U.S. Army in an intelligence and reconnaissance unit, and served in France, Germany and Austria. He was awarded a POW medal and a European Occupation medal.

Upon returning to civilian life he earned a business degree from Hofstra University. He married Laverne Williams in 1949. They raised their two sons in Port Washington, New York. Dick founded his firm, RS Dirkes, Inc. and was a manufacturer’s representative for a number of domestic specialty steel producers. He retired in 1985.

His love of the outdoors and mountain activities was kindled by his experiences in the 10th. He spent many winters in Aspen, eventually retiring to Aspen and later to Edwards. He could be found on the mountain from the first snowfall to the last days of spring. He is, perhaps, best known and loved for his friendly, enthusiastic, outgoing nature and his passion for the sport and camaraderie of skiing.

Dick is survived by his wife, Joy, his sons, Peter R. Dirkes (Diane), and James T. Dirkes, grandchildren, Christopher (Sarah), Peter T. (Kathryn), Christin (Michael), Fred (Taline), James A., and Caitlin (Marshall). He is also survived by four great-grandchildren and a step-daughter, Julie Wolfe. His second marriage ended in divorce.

A memorial gathering of celebration will be held later in the year. Richard will be buried with his first wife, Laverne, in Quogue, New York.

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