Breckenridge: Dick Orwig celebration of life on Saturday
Ryan Summerlin October 28, 2012
A pair of six guns and holsters hang without an owner, as Richard Reeves Orwig, Sr. (Dick to his friends and family) died on Wednesday, Oct. 24. Doing what he loved best; socializing with his friends. Dick leaves a legacy of love with everyone he touched.
Born in Alliance, Ohio, Dick was raised by his parents Arthur and Margaret (Marnie) Orwig. He served in the Army in the early 1950s, acquiring a passion for European food, wine and language. After serving his country, Dick returned home to Ohio to take over his father’s Pontiac dealership in Alliance. It is here where he met his wife Maryellen and started a family. In the early 1970s, his father’s death and a recommendation from his doctor caused Dick to rethink life and look for cleaner, dryer air. Several summers of RV travel with the family led him to Breckenridge. He threw away his suit and tie and vowed to never use a lawnmower again when he moved west 36 years ago.
During the late ’70s to the early ’90s, Dick and Maryellen owned and operated several retail stores, selling everything from T-shirts to jewelry. They were fixtures at the old Bell Tower Mall. Dick also served on the local Sanitation Board for several years.
Retirement meant more time for travel and community involvement. Dick and Maryellen had extended stays based in France and wandering about Europe. He volunteered as a team host and interpreter for the International Snow Sculpture Championships for many years, as well as a host and active member of a local group known as “French Club.” Recently, Dick is probably best known for his group of gunfighters at the annual Fourth of July parade in Breckenridge. Walking the parade and staging shootouts along the route.
His vast repertoire of other interests included race car driving, history of the West and Native America, hunting, historical firearms, photography and people in general. He won several awards for his photography over the years, and was still actively shooting photos of landscapes, models and friends up to the end.
A loving husband of 52 years, he joins his wife Maryellen Orwig, who died in January of this year. He is survived by his daughter; Elizabeth (Liz) Orwig and her husband Matthew Smith; his son; Richard (Rick) Reeves Orwig Jr.; his two grandsons, Connor Ahrin Orwig-Smith and Richard Emory Orwig-Smith; brother in-law, Carl Glasgow; and three nephews, Michael, David and Jeffery Glasgow.
The world and our community is less with his loss. A celebration of his life will be held Saturday, beginning at 4 p.m. at the Riverwalk Center in Breckenridge. The family requests informal attire. A private service will be held on another date. Rather than flowers, the family asks that donations be made to your favorite Summit County charity in Dick’s name.