Richard “Dick” Paul Dugger, 85, formerly of South Bend, and Culver, passed away peacefully while living at The Hearth at Juday Creek, Granger, Sept. 7, 2016.
Dick was born in Oskaloosa, Iowa Jan. 23, 1931 to Gerald and Helma (Bowen) Dugger. On Aug. 24, 1952, he married his high school sweetheart, Joan Cunningham. She survives, along with daughters: Sharon (John) Pillow, Elkhart; with children: Michael (Erica), Flagstaff, Ariz.; and Sara (Jon) Bowen, Elkhart; and Corinne (Steve) Stogdill, Granger; with children, Jessica (Adam) Weaver, Mishawaka; James, Elkhart; and Eli, Bloomington; son, Gregory (Kay) with children: Jacob and Abigail, Fishers; sister, Marilyn (Larry) Hoffer, Freeport, Ill.; and brother, Robert (Janice) Dugger, Manson, Iowa. Survivors also include five great-grandchildren: Wyatt and Nora Pillow, Amelia Bowen, and Pearl and Lincoln Weaver.
Dick spent his childhood in Delta, Iowa before moving to Boone, Iowa during his high school years. He enlisted in the National Guard while in high school, serving during his final two years of high school and throughout college. After graduating from Boone High School in 1949, he attended Iowa State University, graduating in 1953 with a degree in Statistics. Dick’s first job after college was with Bendix Aviation in South Bend. From there, he worked for South Bend Tackle in Spencer, Iowa, and South Bend, then Welcraft Easy Heat, Lakeville. He started his own company, Resistance Corp., a manufacturing operation, assembling electrical wire harnesses, in Wakarusa in 1964. It later moved to Bremen and grew to four companies, including Abcom Corp., a wire extrusion business, in Mishawaka.
After chaperoning a youth mission trip to Haiti in the 1970s, Dick said, “God stepped in.” He sold his company in 1982 and retired to become involved with mission work in the agriculture of developing countries, specifically addressing poverty and malnutrition concerns. Dick was the founder of the agriculture outreach ECHO, in North Fort Myers, Fla. It is a nonprofit, interdenominational Christian organization dedicated to reducing world hunger through innovative ideas, seeds, and agricultural training. Tropical plants, agricultural techniques, animals, and appropriate technologies all combine in ECHO’s Global Village to illustrate farming in different parts of the world.
Dick strongly believed that gathering people with like minds is the best way to solve problems, so ECHO networks with community leaders and missionaries in developing countries to provide agricultural solutions for families growing food under difficult conditions. Dick has also worked closely with Africa University in Zimbabwe in researching the sustainability of Moringa and grain Amaranth, as well as promoting their nutritional benefits for many HIV/AIDS sufferers and malnourished children.
Dick and Jo loved traveling and seeing the world, whether on bicycle, through Elder Hostel, or with mission work. Dick made beautiful stained glass windows and enjoyed working with wood. He also enjoyed being actively involved with students and staff of Culver Academies. He loved the fun and fellowship of his family, and appreciated the times everyone gathered at their Lake Maxinkuckee home in Culver. Dick truly believed that a partnership with the living Lord was the key to fulfillment in life. The Lord makes an investment in a person. In return, one must make an investment in the Kingdom of God as a testimony of personal belief.
A Celebration of Life service will be held at 1 p.m., Nov. 4, with visitation following, at the Wesley United Methodist Church, 511 School St, Culver. Burial in the Culver Masonic Cemetery will be private.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorials be made to Culver Girls and Boys Club, http://www.bgcculver.org/, or ECHO, http://echonet.org.
Bonine-Odom Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.