Obituary: Richard T. Moolick
Ryan Summerlin June 1, 2014
Richard T. Moolick
1920-May 11, 2014
The National Mining Hall of Fame and Museum (NMHF&M) is sad to announce the passing of its first and long-serving Chairman of the Board, Richard T. (Dick) Moolick, who passed away in Snowflake, Arizona, on May 11, 2014. Mr. Moolick is survived by his wife, Esther, son Richard T. Moolick, Jr. and daughter Kathie Morris.
Dick Moolick was born in 1920 and following graduation from high school in Anaheim, California, served as a navy combat pilot in the Pacific Theater during World War II. After WWII, he obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in geology from the School of Mines and Geology at the University of Arizona and began his career in industry as a mining geologist with Phelps Dodge in 1949. His long career with Phelps Dodge saw him serve many roles, from mine geologist to general superintendent at the Monenci Operations; manager at Tyrone; assistant general manager of Western Operations, vice president of the corporation and president of the company’s subsidiary Western Nuclear; and vice president of Southern Peru Copper Corp.; and, subsequently, president and Chief Operating Officer of Phelps Dodge Corporation.
Upon Dick’s retirement from Phelps Dodge, he became the first chairman of the board of the National Mining Hall of Fame and Museum of which he was a key founder. He served in that role until he retired a “second time” in 2009. During his more than 20 years as chairman of the NMHF&M, he guided the “fledgling” organization to become the institution it is today with 223 men and women Hall of Fame Inductees honored for their contributions to America’s mining industry, and the excellent museum with more than 20,000 square feet of exhibits located in Leadville, Colorado. Many of today’s exhibits are a direct result of the countless hours and considerable financial contributions Dick Moolick gave to the organization. The current infrastructure of the NMHF&M is a testimony to Dick Moolick’s efforts to honor those who have served our nation’s mining industry with their knowledge and talent and gave the industry the strength it has today.
Mr. Moolick was a trailblazer in the industry who served in leadership roles in the Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration (SME), American Institute of Mining Engineers, Mining & Metallurgical Society of America, Newcomen Society of the United States, the New Mexico and Colorado Mining Associations, and several other industry organizations.
In 2001, he received the William Lawrence Saunders Gold Medal from the American Institute of Mining Engineers “in recognition of a lifetime of distinguished contributions to the mining industry, particularly for his leadership for Phelps Dodge and as a founder of the NMHF&M.”
A memorial service for Dick Moolick will be held Aug. 1 at Owens Livingston Mortuary in Snowflake, Arizona. Dick will be missed by his many friends and associates.
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