Richard Raymond Cherri, known to his family and friends as Dick, was born on February 28, 1937, in Galt, Ontario, Canada (now called Cambridge) to Renato (Ray) and Margaret Cherri. Dick, his two brothers Rudy and Ben, and their parents came to the USA in 1953 and settled in Orange, California. Dick graduated from Orange High School in 1957 and attended Orange Coast College where he studied to be a machinist. He worked as a machinist for 42 years with over 30 years working for SPS Technologies in Santa Ana where he biked to work almost every day and met his first wife, Patsy Jean Tefertiller.
Dick and Pat married in 1963 and made their home in Santa Ana where they raised two daughters, Dawn and Dea. Dick served 6 years in the California Army National Guard and was deployed for a week to the Los Angeles Watts Riots in 1965. Dick and Pat enjoyed bowling, loved camping in their RV with the girls, were very involved in Immaculate Heart of Mary Church, and all their daughters’ activities. Dick ran cross country and track in high school and college and began running again around age 42. Over the years, he participated in numerous 5Ks and 10Ks, 88 half-marathons, and 12 marathons, and was still jogging almost every morning at 84 years of age.
After their girls graduated high school, Dick and Pat moved with their daughters from Santa Ana to Rancho Santa Margarita. Both daughters married, Dawn to Joseph Varga and Dea to Hector Santa Cruz, and they provided Dick with five wonderful grandchildren -- Robert, Nicholle, Adam, Ryan, and Derek. Dick and Pat were married for 29 years until Pat passed away from cancer in 1993.
A few years after Pat’s passing, Dick was fortuitously reacquainted with an old family friend, Patricia Stuart, while interviewing for a new job. They started dating, fell in love and were married in 1996. They moved into Pat’s home in Orange and lived there ever since. Dick and Pat enjoyed cruising, traveling the USA and the world, and were fortunate enough to have visited several countries in Asia and Europe.
Dick and Pat were very active, even after their retirement in 2002, and enjoyed tandem biking, running races, and dancing together. They accumulated numerous medals from the races in which they participated, and Dick was always proud to let his family know he won 1st in his age group -- even if he was the only one in his age group in the later years. They also loved dancing, performing, and volunteering with their group The Dapper Tappers. Dick always enjoyed being the life of the party, always had a joke at the ready, and had fun impersonating Elvis on numerous occasions.
Dick was always very handy, working on home projects and woodworking. He was known as “fix-it man” and he often built handmade wooden gifts and toys for friends, family, and neighbors. Dick also had a love for music. He played drums in high school and in clubs and bars in his 20s and 30s. After retiring, he took up harmonica for his own entertainment.
Dick enjoyed life to the fullest. He loved being around his family and his joy in life came from his wife, 2 brothers, 2 daughters and sons-in-law, 5 grandchildren, 6 stepchildren and their extended families. Dick passed from this life on September 6, 2021 at 84 years of age and is survived by his brothers, Rudy and Ben, his wife of 25 years, Pat, and his daughters, Dawn and Dea. He was a loving husband, father and family man who will be truly missed by his family and friends. Rest in peace.
We will be celebrating Dick’s life with visitation and prayer service on September 15, 2021 at Brown Colonial Mortuary in Santa Ana from 5:30-8:00 pm (by invitation only due to Brown Mortuary Covid-19 restrictions), graveside funeral service at Holy Sepulcher Cemetery in Orange on September 16, 2021 at 10:00 am. Please wear a mask and practice social distancing while in attendance.
In lieu of flowers, please memorialize Dick by donating to any of the following organizations: American Cancer Society https://donate3.cancer.org/, Alzheimer’s Association https://act.alz.org.site/Donation2, or American Stroke Association https://www.stroke.org/. Thank you.
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