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 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.

  • August 31, 2020
    Hank and Kathy Mitchell says:
    So sorry, Liz, for your loss. When duty is done, here on earth, angels take flight. Fair winds and following seas, Dick. You will always be in our thoughts and prayers. God Bless.

  • September 08, 2020
    Al and Susie Vliet says:
    I met Dick at the Red Cross in Disaster Services many years ago. We quickly discovered that we were neighbors and that he and Liz lived around the corner from our family. I always admired Dick’s dedication and love for the Red Cross. Times could be stressful during disaster operations, but he went about his work quietly, always willing to help and offer a supportive hand. When you approached his desk, you could expect that sly smile and the “lowdown” on what was really happening. It was a privilege to work alongside Dick during many disaster relief operations, but it was even better that our family got to know Dick and Liz as friends.

  • November 21, 2020
    Frank Szyklinski says:
    Dick, so sorry I missed the Super Bowl party in Pittsburgh. I still remember the raid you pulled on our troop at Toad Hollow. The last I heard of you cousin, was that you joined the Corps. It was our competitive spirit that influenced me to do the same.

  • December 02, 2020
    LindA Sides says:
    W I had known Dick for 40 years as a friend and a romantic partner. We shared lots of time together and enjoyed being together. He was never honest about his family but I knew that. I'm glad he is at peace now.