Richard  Sugg "Dick"
Richard  Sugg "Dick"
Richard  Sugg "Dick"
Richard  Sugg "Dick"
Richard  Sugg "Dick"
Richard  Sugg "Dick"

Obituary of Richard H. Sugg "Dick"

Richard H. Sugg entered eternal life on Palm/Passion Sunday, April 2, 2023. Known to all as Dick, he died of heart failure at his assisted living apartment. Dick’s “One and Only” for over 69 years, Ginny Sugg, and all his loved ones will miss him dearly but are confident that he was welcomed by his Creator with, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” His high school nickname, “Diligent Dick” was true throughout his life of more than 90 years. A 1954 West Point graduate, living their motto, “Duty. Honor. Country.” led to a life of service, not only in the United States Army but to his family, the City of Golden, the Golden Lions, Save the Mesas, as a member and elder of several congregations of the Presbyterian Church (USA), and many other organizations.

He was born in 1932 in Fort Benning, Georgia to Army dentist, Lindell Straube (of Wellsville, MO) and Dorothy Swanson Straube (of St. Louis, MO). Dr. Straube contracted tuberculosis soon after Dick was born. Lindell was released after three years at Fitsimmons Army Hospital in Aurora, CO, and opened dental practices in Louisville and Boulder. After only one year together as a family, Dick’s father died. Dorothy returned to teaching and took a post as Principal of the Schofield Barracks grade school in Hawaii. After staying a year in Colorado with family friends, Dick traveled to HI by himself at age 8 by train and ocean liner to join his mother who married widower, Major Douglas Sugg in 1940. (Family friends met him in SF and San Diego.) Douglas’ daughter Peggy soon married Lt. Jack Wintermute and moved to the mainland.

At 8:00 AM on December 7, 1941, Dick and his family heard the sound of explosions not far away. They went out to the front yard of their Schofield Barracks home to see what was going on. He wrote, “We saw airplanes with large red rising suns painted on the sides flying so low above our street toward the quadrangle that we could see the pilots’ faces.” They were evacuated on Christmas Eve. Douglas Sugg served in the Pacific theater and Dick and his mother made their way to Missouri.

He met his lifelong sweetheart, Tweet Hurst (Virginia, “Ginny”) at church while a student at Columbus High School (GA) when his father, Col. Douglas Sugg was stationed at Fort Benning. Married two months after he graduated from West Point, they were a dynamic duo as his military service took them literally around the world. Son Richard H. Sugg, Jr. was born in Fort Benning, GA, not long after Dick completed Ranger School. Dick later completed Airborne training.

Dick’s distinguished military career as an officer in the Field Artillery included time in Germany, where daughter Jennifer Sugg (Bircher) was born; a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering in California where daughter Laura Straube Sugg was born; teaching at West Point; the first of two tours of duty in Viet Nam with the 2nd Battalion, 17th Artillery; several years with standardization in Canberra, Australia; and his second tour in Viet Nam first with the 8th Battalion, 4th Artillery, followed by the 101st artillery battalion, and finally as an Infantry Advisor to the “ARNV.”

The family moved to Alexandria, VA in 1972, and Dick retired from active duty as a Lt. Col. in 1977. For the next 20 years, he worked for defense contractors. He joked that his first non-defense job since being a lifeguard in high school was when he worked on the Earth Observing System for NASA when he was in his 60s. In December of 1997, Dick and Ginny moved to Golden, CO, and Dick retired soon thereafter.

Dick detested Hollywood military stereotypes, and he defied them with his calm demeanor, caring for his kids when they got the stomach flu and other childhood ailments, making waffles every Christmas morning and tacos frequently for decades, tending his beautiful rose garden, and, especially later in life, championing causes like care for the environment, the integration of faith and science, and political justice. Here I Am, Lord was Dick’s favorite hymn—so fitting for one who served faithfully his whole life. Another favorite was, Let There Be Peace on Earth. His letters to the Editor made it to print dozens of times in the Denver Post, the Golden Transcript, and one in the Washington Post about his experiences on the day Pearl Harbor was attacked.

Athletic all his life, skiing until he approached 80 years old, back and knee pain increasingly limited his mobility the final years his life. Undaunted, Dick digitized years of family photos and 8 mm. movies and wrote a memoir that was self-published in 2020. He wrote: “The book was written after 88 years of life and experiences so that his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren will know about him and what times were like before they were born.” This memoir is indeed a gift to the family and friends who have read it.

Dick was a proud father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. His words of encouragement and tangible expressions of support, his commitment to family, church, and community made him beloved by many. Dick is survived by devoted wife, Ginny Sugg; son, Richard H. Sugg, Jr. (of Littleton) and Richard’s wife Tammy Baca Sugg and their son Colin Sugg; daughter Jennifer Bircher (of Denver) and her children, Bailey Lardes (Doug Lardes) and Will Bircher (Morgan Tanabe Bircher), and Dick’s great-grandchildren, Piper and Nixon Lardes, and Rowyn Bircher; daughter Laura Straube Sugg (of Charlottesville, VA) and her daughter Naomi Straube Sugg (aka Willow); and nieces and nephews. His West Point roommates, Bob Badger (Indiana) and Fred Bartlit (Castle Pines, CO), remained great lifelong friends.

A memorial service and reception will be held at Wheat Ridge Presbyterian Church at 2:00 PM on Friday, April 28, 2023.

In lieu of flowers, the family invites donations in his memory to: Wheat Ridge Presbyterian Church ( ), the Golden Lions Club ( ), the Presbyterian Association on Science, Technology, and the Christian Faith ( ), or a non-profit of your choosing.


Memorial Service

2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Friday, April 28, 2023
Wheat Ridge Presbyterian Church
9180 W. 38th Ave.
Wheat Ridge, Colorado, United States
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