Richard Edward Lavin

April 8, 1938 - August 23, 2020
Richard Edward Lavin

Richard “Dick” Edward Lavin, a 20-year Unites States Marine Corps veteran, died peacefully on Sunday, August 23, 2020, with family by his side.

Dick was born in Buffalo, New York on April 8, 1938 to James Richard Lavin (1897-1949) and Rose Rita Szyklinski Lavin Murphy (1909-1993). Sara Elizabeth “Liz” White, his wife of 33 years, was his best friend and a steadying force in his life.

Dick was a scuba qualified diver and expert rifleman Marine. His military assignments took him to locations far and wide including two tours of Vietnam. During his travels he crossed the equator several times, where in his final crossing, he served in the exalted position of King Neptune during a pollywog to shellback ceremony.
Dick dedicated himself to patriotic service throughout his life. After retiring as a USMC Gunnery Sergeant in 1975, he continued his service work with the American Red Cross in disaster services and health and safety as paid staff and a volunteer, and was a lifelong blood donor. In his later years he joined forces with On The Rebound Bulldog Rescue, an all-volunteer team who rescues unwanted bulldogs.

Dick loved the Marine Corps, the American Red Cross and bulldogs. He was an old movie buff, especially westerns and the classics. He was a voracious reader and loved to discuss and recount history. He enjoyed the water, be it the beach, or pool, or running the river. He collected G-scale model train sets with aspirations of repurposing the backyard much to his wife’s dismay. He is remembered by family and friends as industrious, charming, funny, and a bit of a tease.

He is survived by his wife, daughters Susan Rose Lavin Conner (Dennis), Patricia Ann Lavin Ferucci (Kevin), and Amanda Lynn Lavin Van Hoozen (Billy); grandchildren Danny Leonard Ferucci, Zachary John Ferucci, Giancarlo Carmine Ferruci, Joshua Thomas Van Hoozen (Amanda), Jacob Adam Van Hoozen (Anna Boaz), and Conner Garrett Van Hoozen; his great granddaughters Harper Rose Ferucci and Isabella Diaz Van Hoozen; and his bulldogs Zoe and Ozzie. He is predeceased by his parents, siblings Margaret Agnes Lavin Ehrenreich, Estelle Elizabeth Lavin Lyons, John “Jack” Lavin, and James Richard Lavin.

Dick will be cremated. A private service will be scheduled at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in his memory to:
On The Rebound Bulldog Rescue Foundation, 3601 Margaret Court, Chesapeake, VA 23321
Disabled American Veterans-Jacksonville Chapter, 300 Sherwood Road, Jacksonville, NC 28540

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Wilmington Funeral & Cremation 1535 S. 41st Street, Wilmington, NC 28403 910-791-9099

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  • August 28, 2020
    Margie Applekamp says:
    I met Dick and Liz through On the Rebound Bulldog Rescue. Both were/are very passionate about bulldogs and offered help and guidance when needed. You will be missed Dick. Hugs to you Liz and all your family.

  • August 28, 2020
    jennifer lins says:
    I enjoyed talking to him when saw him at parties or at bingo with my mom. My prayers are with his family and I love you all.

  • August 28, 2020
    Karen James lit a candle:
    Lit since August 28, 2020 at 8:09:03 PM

  • August 29, 2020
    Don Stephens says:
    I have known Dick (Sarge) since 1971. We shared a lot of great memories of the National Red Cross Aquatic schools at Camp Rockmont near Asheville NC. Over the years we shared and traded Red Cross emblems, chapter pins and other Red Cross paraphernalia. A great guy, I will cherish the memories. My sincere condolences to the Lavin family. Don Stephens (aka) The Squirrel

  • August 29, 2020
    Hubert & Mary Jo Strachwitz says:
    Dick was a true example of a man who loved his country and proved it with his service in the military and in retirement. Hubert John and I will never forget his support and encouragement during a troublesome hospitalization. His antiquing knowledge was extraordinary and enjoyed. His survival from Viet Nam to his passing proved his bravery throughout his life. His memory will be saved for our boys, now men and their children. Hoping for Full Military Honors when laid to rest. Hugh will remember the time watching old Westerns. Thank you for your service.