Richard "Dick" L. Elrod, 73, of Ringgold, beloved husband, father, and grandfather, passed away at his home on Monday morning, Oct. 23, 2017 surrounded by his family.
Dick was born on Oct. 10, 1934 to the late Haney Seaborn Elrod and Lois Frost Elrod. He was preceded in death by his dear wife of 39 years, Martha Hubbs Elrod, formerly of Dalton, and his sister, Barbara Lane Ford.
He is survived by his loving wife of 20 years, Suzanne Greene Elrod; brother Raymond Elrod and wife, Susan, of Dalton; son Richard F. Elrod and wife, Tammy, of Ringgold; daughter Laura Mitchener and husband, Sam, of NC; stepson Sam Bolden and wife, Kim, of Dalton; stepdaughter Joni Bolden Newton and husband, Mark, of Augusta. He is also survived by 12 grandchildren: Joshua (Hannah), Elizabeth (Lance), Andrew, Matthew, John Michael, Rachel, Bradley (Danielle), David, Christie, Daniel, Will, and Kara; and six great-grandchildren.
Dick truly loved the Lord, his family and his friends. He encouraged and blessed his children and grandchildren, even as his family grew and extended to include Suzanne’s. He was a planner of many adventures, from backpacking to cross country RV trips, from canoeing to cruises, from local to international. But more than anything, he loved coming home and having everyone gathered around his table, always thanking God for the “love and strength of the family”. He grew beautiful zinnias, tended his herb garden and perennials, provided homes for his bluebirds and faithfully fed his hummingbirds. He was always inventing and thinking of better ways of doing things, whether it was at work or at home.
Dick lived in Ringgold most of his life. He would travel by bus as a teen for trumpet lessons in Chattanooga at Cadek Conservatory, and since there was a need for a bugler, it opened the door for him to be hired as a counselor at Boy Scout Camp Sidney Dew for eight summers during his high school and college years. He had many entertaining stories to tell of his years at camp, the best of which was the copperhead bite he received while in an outdoor shower. He was an Eagle Scout, and in his later years he received the Silver Beaver Award, which is the highest award given for volunteer work with the Boy Scouts of America. He was scoutmaster of Ringgold Boy Scout Troop 77 for five years, and later served as their Explorer Advisor for four years. His Explorer scouts will always remember the raft they built to navigate 100 miles of the Tennessee River from Chickamauga Lake to Guntersville Lake.
Dick attended the University of Chattanooga in 1953 on a football scholarship and while there, he also played in the Symphony. Later he transferred to Auburn University where he graduated with a B.S. in Engineering in 1957. While there, he played in the Auburn Marching Band and Concert Band and was a member of the Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity.
He worked for the Dixie Group/Candlewick Division in Dalton and retired after 39 years of service as product development manager. He was president of Ringgold Rotary Club from 1967-1968. Additionally, he served on the Catoosa County Board of Education from 1970 until 1980.
He leaves behind a legacy of warmth, hospitality, leadership, adventure and generosity. He kept his eyes on the Lord and showed us by example how to live with a spirit of love and forgiveness.
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A service to celebrate and honor his life will be held at 2 p.m Thursday, Oct. 26 at Woodland Park Baptist Church in Chattanooga with pastors Steve McCary and Carey Dean officiating. The family will receive friends after the service. A private interment will be held in Nathan Anderson Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, the family has requested donations be made to Woodland Park Baptist Church Building Fund, 6735 Standifer Gap Road, Chattanooga, Tn. 37421.
Arrangements are by Heritage Funeral Home, Battlefield Parkway.