He was educated in a one-room schoolhouse in Pana, Ill., and graduated from Odon-Madison Township High School, Odon, Ind., in 1954. He attended Indiana State University, Terre Haute, where he earned his Bachelor of Science in Music Education in 1958 and his Master of Science in Music Education in 1962. He also pursued his doctoral studies in music at Indiana University, Bloomington.
Dick taught in the music departments at Delphi High School, Delphi, from 1958 to 1962 and North Central High School, Indianapolis, from 1963 to 1967 and 1969 to 1974. A regular columnist for Musicator Magazine, he was the director of public relations for Indiana Music Educators. A conductor/clinician for secondary schools, colleges and professional organizations, Dick was also the disc jockey/program coordinator at WTHI/AM/FM/TV in Terre Haute from 1962 to 1963 during his teaching fellowship at Indiana State University.
Dick worked with many talents including Betty Grable in Hello, Dolly; Eleanor Parker in Applause; Carol Lawrence in Funny Girl and Unsinkable Molly Brown also with Harve Presnell; Ken Barry, Gale Gordon and Nanette Fabray in No, No, Nanette; Constance Towers and John Raitt in Oklahoma!; Dean Jones, Alan Seuss and Mamie Van Doren in How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying; Edie Adams in Mame; and Peter Marshall in Music Man; Ann Miller in Hello, Dolly!, Joel Gray in George M, Micky Callan in Promises, Promises, Theodore Bickel and Maria Karnilova in Fiddler On The Roof, Hans Conreid, Constance Towers and Edward Mulhare in My Fair Lady, Ed McMahon in Variety Show, and Ed Ames and Christine Ebersole in Shenandoah.
His life in music & theatre also crossed paths with the likes of Alan Alda, Robert Alda, Antony Alda, Smothers Brothers, Carol Channing, Howard Keel, Dorothy McGuire, Sally Field, Burt Reynolds, Art Linkletter, Van Johnson, Shirley Jones, Jack Cassidy, Noel Harrison (son of Rex), Scott Bakula, Gary Burghoff, Arte Johnson, Martin Milner, David Hart, Kathryn Grayson, Alexis Smith, Tommy Tune, Kaye Ballard, Jimmy and Bob Walton, Karen Mason, Sophie (Schwab) Hayden, James Cagney, Dorothy Loudon, Howard Morris, Kelly Bishop, Cesar Romero, Christopher Hewitt, Marcia Lewis, Barney Martin, Phyllis Diller, Scott Sampson, Pat OBrien, Count Basie, Lionel Hampton, Rudy Tronto, Kenny 'Babyface' Edmunds, Gary Geld and Peter Udell.
He co-authored, produced and conducted the Bicentennial show, Revelation, a full-length musical comedy revue covering 200 years of American history which played in Chicago, Fort Wayne, Cincinnati, Louisville and Indianapolis.
Dick took a brief hiatus from music from 1967 to 1969, during which time he was the public relations director for Bureau of Conferences at Indiana State University. He also enjoyed spending time at his lakeside cabin near Bloomington on Lake Lemon, where he would compose, arrange and rehearse.
Dick was 71. He died just after midnight Sept. 5, 2007 at his home. He is survived by his companion, Sean Stumpf, Indianapolis; brother Don Laughlin, Odon, Ind., and many nieces and nephews and extended family.
Final resting place will be at Walnut Hill Cemetery, Odon/Daviess County, Indiana