A tribute to Dick MacKinnon

dick-mackinnon-1Today’s post is a little tribute to a great (and humble man): my step-father, Dick MacKinnon, or Grampa Dick (as we know and love him). Grampa Dick passed away suddenly this weekend. Although it’s not stamping related, sharing this has been therapeutic for me…

It was the phone call you hope you never receive from a loved one’s cell phone…”Is this Tami White?...This is the Shrewsbury Police Department…” at 6 pm Sunday evening. Grampa Dick lived alone, he and my Mom are divorced, and still very close. I had been trying to reach him all weekend. I thought this was him finally calling back. I was about to tease him for taking so long. The Detective informed me that Grampa Dick had passed away, and the floor came out from under me. A neighbor had noticed a UPS slip on his door for a couple of days, and his car was home so they got worried and checked on him and found him. It happened fast, he was not in pain. We believe it was his heart…he outgrew it!

Grampa Dick was one of the generous people, with a heart of gold (although he’d joke that it was stone, we knew better). He loved fixing things, he was always helping out with little projects for everyone. If I invited him over for dinner he wouldn’t come, but if I told him I needed him to look at my cabinet AND I’ll make dinner, he was there lol. He lived for my boys, whether it was building them a choo-choo train bunk bed when they were ready for “big boy” beds, or a Pirate ship playscape. He hated to miss a sports game, or scouting event. He was a regular at the Pack 31 meetings. When he wasn’t with the boys, he was volunteering for the Massachusetts Audubon Society in Worcester as a Handyman. He even had the boys out there volunteering with him this summer building a walkway. The Audubon just wrote a magazine article about him last month (see article below titled “The Humble Handyman”).

For those who are interested the services will be held:
Saturday, March 10
First United Methodist Church
52 Church Street, Marlboro, MA

9-10 Calling Hours

10-11 Memorial Service

In Lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to:
Mass Audubon

Broad Meadow Brook Wildlife Sanctuary
414 Massasoit Road
Worcester MA 01604

They will be used on a project that Grampa Dick was working on

A few pictures from our trip to Key West for my sister’s wedding in June. Grampa Dick snorkeling with the boys for their first time on my Dad’s boat (I got the honor for spending Father’s Day with my “2” Dads – first and last time). The last picture was taken here at the house with my dog Flash. G-Dick loved to “puppy-sit” his Grand dog, sometimes I had to remind him to bring Flash home.

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  1. So sorry for your loss…..thinking of you all!

  2. Sharon Schellin says:

    So sorry for your unexpected loss of what sounds like a wonderful man! May his memories bring you comfort.

  3. Linda Jensen says:

    Tami, sorry to hear re your loved ones passing. My prayers go out to your you, your family and children.

  4. Im so sorry about your loss even through I dont know him. I also loss my younger brother this weekend.. You always have to remember the good times and how much you loved each other. May God never ending love comfort you and hold you in this time of grief.

  5. I am so sorry for your loss! He sounded like a wonderful man. I know you will miss in terribly.

  6. Tami – I’m so very sorry for your loss. How fortunate you all were to have had someone so wonderful in your life! I love your tribute to G-Dick…many thoughts and prayers coming your way.

  7. Tami, so sorry to hear of your step-dad’s passing. I know how hard it is to lose a parent. The tribute and article are really nice. Just know that I am praying for you and your family.

  8. So sorry for your loss. I worked with Dick recently at the Mass Audubon and I can say he will be missed.

  9. Tami, I am so sorry to hear about your loss. He sounds like he was a wonderful person so I’m praying for you and your entire family.

  10. What fun to see pictures of a side we didn’t get to see – Dick talked so much about his grandkids. We’re so very sorry for your loss. Please know we miss him very much.

  11. Jeanette Kazear says:

    It is obvious that he was a wonderful person and role model. Hoping your treasured memories bring you comfort day by day. You and your family are in my prayers.

  12. All of us at Mass Audubon’s Broad Meadow Brook Wildlife Sanctuary are extremely appreciative of all Dick did to help us. He has taken care of all kinds of important projects and needs of the sanctuary. His time and multiple talents have made all the difference in the world to us. He even found time to help out at our sanctuary in Princeton too- Wachusett Meadow. We are forever grateful and will miss him tremendously.

    With love and appreciation,

    Deb Cary

  13. Dyanna Winchester says:

    Tami, I am so sorry for your loss. I will be praying for you and your family. God Bless You.


  14. Donna Billingsley says:

    Your tribute to your stepdad is moving. He sounds like he was a very special person. Let your memories sustain you and know that your boys will be better men for knowing him and having him for an examplein life. Sending prayers for the family.

  15. Kathy Richards says:

    I read your wonderful tribute to Dick. though I never met him he sound like a great person. I’m so sorry for your loss.
    Kathy Richards

  16. Angela Curry says:

    Thank you for sharing such wonderful memories of Grampa Dick. God bless you and your family.
    Angela Curry

  17. So sorry for your loss. Thanks for sharing your tribute to what sounded like an awesome role model for your boys. God bless, Julia

  18. Mary Bush says:

    Tami, I am so sorry to hear of your loss! Your Step Dad sounds like an amazing person – one the world will truly be a lesser place without. Sending prayers for you and your entire family.

  19. Sending major thoughts your way!

  20. De Jewell says:

    So sorry to hear of your loss! Grampa Dick sounded like a wonderful man! How lucky to have had him while you did.
    God Bless you all and we’ll keep you in our prayers. De

  21. I am sorry to have read about your loss. Kind thoughts are with you and yours. I too lost my nephew suddenly.
    Plese know I am sending you and yours heartfelt sympathy.
    Thinking of you,

  22. I am so sorry for your loss..My thoughts and prayers are with you and you family..

  23. Tami,
    I am so sorry for your loss. You are in my prayers…He sure looked like a lot of fun and full of love.
    God Bless,

  24. Tami,
    I am sorry to hear about the loss of your Step Dad. You have great memories to remember him by. Sincere sympathy to you and your family.

  25. Tami,
    I am so sorry for your loss!
    I’m a fan of yours knowing your craft, then I can imagine how much Grampa Dick admired you for knowing you really. Wherever he is, he will keep you.
    Best regards,

  26. Tami,

    I have been out of touch these past months but finially was going throuh my emails. I am soooooooooooo sorry sweet lady to hear about your amazing Step-Dad passing. What an amazing man it sounds like he was. Hold on to those memories, his values and his wonderful spirit. He will always be a partof y’all. Hugs seet lady!

  27. Tami,
    Please accept my heartfelt sympathies. May you and your family find comfort in your memories.

  28. Tami – Condolence on your lost to you and your family. Thanks for sharing that story on your step-dad. He sounded like a wonderful person to have around. You and your family was very fortunate. Always remember the good times.

  29. Joan Schoppes says:

    Hi Tami,
    So sorry to hear your sad news but know that I am praying for you and your family.

  30. Tami, so sorry for your loss. You and your family will be in my prayers!

  31. Love and prayers to you and your family.

  32. Tami, I am so sorry to hear of your loss. What a wonderful legacy he leaves for your children. They will never forget. God Bless

  33. What a lovely tribute Tami. It looks like he enjoyed life to the utmost and loved your family. Your family is blessed to have him their memories.
    My prayers go out to all of you. God Bless you Grampa Dick.