Richard Henry Garrigus

December 24, 1921 - April 27, 2010
Richard Henry Garrigus

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Richard Henry Garrigus “Dick”

Richard Henry Garrigus “Dick” passed away April 27, 2010, at his residence surrounded by his family.

He was born on December 24, 1921 to the late Alfred H. Garrigus and Mary Susan Matthews in Morris County, New Jersey. In addition to his parents, his brother Alfred and two sisters, Ida Pavao and Rose White, preceded him in death. He is survived by his sisters, Marilyn Finn and Eleanor Begraft, his wife, Betty Jane Savacool, and their four children, Robin Gugan of leland, Richard M. Garrigus of Mineola, Texas, Susan Matthews of Cortez, Colorado, and David Garrigus of Wilmington; four grandchildren, Robin Erin, Luke, Austin, and Addison; and one great-grandchild, Charlotte.

He started his career in 1944 as a toolmaker but soon enlisted in the Army Marine Transportation Corps and served as a ship’s engineering officer in the European theater during World War II. After the war, he co-founded a machine and tool business in Riverdale, New Jersey. During his more than forty years as a mechanical engineer, he rose to become a manager and spent most of his career in the Dallas, Texas area in the defense industry beginning in 1965. In 2006, he and his wife, Betty, moved to Leland to be closer to family.

Dick rose to become a 32nd Degree Scottish Rite Mason starting over 60 years ago with the Musconetcong Lodge in New Jersey and became a member of the Hella Shrine in Texas. He was a volunteer Commissioner with the Boy Scouts in New Jersey and was influential in establishing four Boy Scout troops in the 50’s and early 60’s. He greatly enjoyed tinkering with engineering projects in his Richardson, Texas home two-car garage, which he had converted into a small but well equipped machine shop. He was loved and admired by his Richardson neighbors for his ready assistance and friendship.

His friends nicknamed him the “Come Back Kid.” He had fought so hard and successfully recovered after many physical challenges including broken bones, brain injury and alcoholism (30 years of sobriety), to get up and dance again with his wife and children he adored.

The Memorial Service will be held at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Wilmington, 4313 Lake Ave., on Sunday, May 2 at 3:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts in memory of Dick may be given to Lower Cape Fear Hospice Foundation.

Online condolences may be made to

A service of Village Road Memorial Chapel, Leland, NC

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