Obituary: Richard Sherman Dirkes, March 27, 1924, to June 10, 2018
Richard Sherman Dirkes, 94, formerly of Port Washington, New York; Aspen and Edwards, died peacefully on Sunday, June 10, at a Denver retirement facility surrounded by his family. He was a loving husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather. Dick was dearly loved by his family.
Dick was born on March 27, 1924, to Frederick A. Dirkes and Mae Regina Sherman. He grew up in Floral Park, New York. He attended Chaminade High School and The Taft School.
Dick 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 65th Infantry division as a squad leader of the intelligence and reconnaissance platoon and served in France, Germany and Austria.
He was awarded a Bronze Star, POW medal and a European Occupation medal. Dick was mustered from service in 1946.
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. 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 was a lifelong member of the Manhasset Bay Yacht Club. He was a member and served on the board of Sands Point Golf Club. He also served as a trustee for the Village of Sands Point. In later years, he was a member of the Roaring Fork Club and the Sonnenalp Golf Club.
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.
Richard is survived by his third wife, Joy Griswald Dirkes; sons Peter R. Dirkes (Diane), of Mill Neck, New York, and James T. Dirkes, of Bethesda, Maryland; six grandchildren, Christopher (Sarah), of Washington, D.C., Peter T. Dirkes (Kathryn), of Charleston, South Carolina, Christin Linchitz (Michael), of Garden City, New York, D. Fred Dirkes (Taline), of Basalt, James A. Dirkes, of Basalt, and Caitlin Simmonds (Marshall), of Charleston, and London, England.
Dick is also survived by four great-grandchildren. He also has a step-daughter, Julie Wolfe, of Edwards. His second marriage ended in divorce.
A memorial gathering of celebration will be held later in the year. Dick will be buried with his first wife, Laverne, in Quogue, New York.
Donations in his name may be made to the 10th Mountain Division Huts, a nonprofit organization that manages a system of 34 backcountry huts in the Colorado Rocky Mountains.
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