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In Memory


October 05, 2007 - 07:58 PM
Leona (Williams) Zeyen

  I have so many wonderful memories of Dick that I hardly know where to start. Dick and I went to school and in the same class together at Odon, IN.
In the second grade I thought he was pretty cute and I got in trouble for talking to him and the teacher paper-clipped a paper towel around my mouth. After that I waited until recess to chat with him. Later we both played the clarinet in the High School band. His playing was far superior to mine, but we both loved band. After graduation I saw him at class reunions and the Beef & Boards, and when our mutual friend "Kay (Davis) Buescher" would be in Indiana we were able to get together and we would chat and laugh for hours. He was so much fun and always made me laugh. Dick never let me forget the time he came to my home in Rochester, IN and my family and I took him out on Lake Manitou on my son's pontoon boat and we ran out of gas in the middle of the lake and my son-in-law and my son had to somehow get us back to shore. We laughed about that for a long time. Dick was extremely talented and a very dear friend! I will miss him and our class reunions wont be the same without him.
Delete entry # 21
October 05, 2007 - 04:45 PM
Dave & Judy Voyles

  What a loss. Dick was one of the most talented and gentle souls we ever knew. Our friendship goes back to our undergraduate days at Indiana State. Dick and I also spent every Wednesday night for a year driving to Layfayette to attend Army Reserve meetings. What great world problems we solved during those drives together. We are all better people for having known him.

Dave & Judy Voyles
Delete entry # 22
October 05, 2007 - 08:40 AM

  I only knew Dick for a couple of years, but he did light up the room he was in. He was a very passionate and generous man......he adored music and theatre. I am so proud to have the pleasure of knowing this very talented man.
Delete entry # 23
October 04, 2007 - 05:42 PM
Larry Highlen

  I used to tune pianos for Dick at the Beef N Boards. He was a fine musician and I always tried to do my very best work for him. Heaven has gained what we have lost.
Delete entry # 24
October 04, 2007 - 01:03 PM
Danny McDermott

  I received Dick's In Memorium in the mail today. Did anyone else have this experience - my heart almost stopped when I saw the picture on the cover. It was as if my old buddy, Leeroy, was looking right back at me. It was that same look you got when you sat down with him for a face-to-face. It made you feel as if you were the only other person on the planet at that moment: someone really special. He always insisted his middle name was pronounced LeRoy (French for 'the king') but I preferred to call him LeeRoy because he was from southern Indiana. I don't think he ever really appreciated that.
To me he was the mentor who gave me the confidence to try for it in the 'Big Time' (I'm not sure if I should thank him for that one.)
When my Dad died a few years ago, a big part of him came to stay within me, causing me to wisecrack at some of the worst times. When my Mom died in May, a big part of her came to stay within me - I now chew gum every day and have a greater apprectaion for the little things in life. Not long after Dick died, I began noticing a marked improvement in my keyboard skills; he is still a giving friend. I don't seem to miss my parents or Dick because we are all closer now than ever. Thanks, Leeroy.
Delete entry # 25
October 04, 2007 - 11:56 AM
Babs Bell Hajdusiewicz
bbha@wt.net http://www.ilikeme.com

  Dick Laughlin was my band and choir teacher, and my Top 20 swing choir director at Delphi High School until 1962 when he and our '62 class moved on. Interestingly, I moved on to Indiana State University largely due to his encouragement. Mr. Laughlin's band class was one of my favorites...time flew when in his presence, so that period was the shortest of the day! Dick has remained in my life through happenstance events (Some 12+ years after my leaving DHS, Dick called me in the Detroit area where I was living. He asked if my husband Jerry and I might like to see his group's production of Shenandoah there in Detroit...and have dinner with him afterward....YES!); through my remembering and singing often songs he taught us in Top 20; through my calls to him now and then through the years to update ourselves on our lives; through friends' and family members' frequent references to their enjoyment of Dick's work at B&B; and and through Dick's modeling those days so long ago of how to render tender nurturing to young students, regardless of talent or status....modeling which I have sought to imitate every day in my life as an educator and parent.

I was incredibly excited to learn that Dick would likely attend our 45th DHS reunion held recently. We received word just days before our event that this world had lost our dearly-loved and immensely-talented teacher, mentor, and friend.

With gratitude to Dick's family and his loved ones for sharing this man with me....and the world. Thank you!

Babs Bell Hajdusiewicz
Delete entry # 26
September 26, 2007 - 05:59 PM
Roger Williams

  Dick and his family lived on a small farm adjacent to ours near Odon, In. Times were hard in the late 1940’s and money was tight. Dick’s mother “took in washings” to help raise money to support the family and later to pay for Dick’s piano lessons with a local teacher. Later on she worked as a clerk in a local store.

Early in his high school years when it became apparent that he possessed exceptional musical skills, his family found the means to make weekly trips to the county seat some 25 miles away where he could study with a most qualified piano teacher. Then it was off to college at Indiana State University and the “rest is history.”

Dick Laughlin lived and experienced the “American Dream” to the fullest; yet he never forgot his parents and home town. Dick, as another great entertainer used to say: “Thanks for the Memories.”
Delete entry # 27
September 26, 2007 - 07:26 AM
Mark Cornelius

  Dick was my teacher at North Central High School 70-73 when I was in Music Men.m2 His Musical Talent, Influence and Kindness and Humor was an ever present reality in and out of class. I remember a practical joke we played on Dick when we conspired to "buy" him a new car we all chipped in and leased a Brand new car for a month then set about to spring the trap. Dick was so confused when we took him out back to the parking lot to give him his "gift" because there was the car, we were all gathered around itand in his hands we presented the keys. He was sure we stole it or there had to be a gag in it somewhere but when we insisted that was really his (which it was for a month)the shock on his face was priceless. When the "gag" was revealed he laughed his infectious laugh till his sides hurt. Thing is if we could have afforded to do it we would have. He gave so much to us deserved more that we could ever repay.
Years later Dick and I went out for Coffee after a performance at beef and Boards in which he confided in me his life story. At the end I told Dick that he would be the unofficial God father of My Daughter at which he teared up and thanked me. Richard had been on my mind in the past several weeks and I was going to try to regain contact only to discover that his light had gone out. NOw it was my turn to tear up. God speed Dick Laughlin. You will be missed and you will be remembered MM /M2 70-73
Delete entry # 28
September 19, 2007 - 07:03 PM
Carolyn Droscoski

  I was introduced to "Dickie-doodle" by Nancy Carroll in just that way. It was my first show at the B&B, Nunsense, which had been done there a couple of times prior to my being involved and I was told of the legend of Dick -- laughing long after the audience gave up and even though he'd heard those same old corny lines associated with that show those many times before. Dick never disappointed -- always laughing long and hearty! It was a pleasure to work with him, the consummate professional. It was a pleasure to have known him.
I shall miss his smile and infectious laugh.
Delete entry # 29
September 18, 2007 - 08:58 AM
Natalie Giltner Strater

  In 1969, I met Dick at NC. His beautiful smile and kind words gave me courage during those turbulent years of high school.
Then in the mid 70's, I had the privledge of working with Dick when I began teaching the youth choirs at Northminster. He was a brillant director/composer/pianist and I gained valuable lessons watching his technique and the beautiful way he inspired his choirs to bring glory to God through the power of music.
He will be missed. Natalie Strater
Delete entry # 30
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