Red Tractor 02


Richard Clyde "Dick" Gorlitz

September 20, 1940 ~ May 1, 2019 (age 78)

Richard Clyde "Dick" Gorlitz was born September 20, 1940 to Frederick William "Sam" Gorlitz and Alberta Mae "Bert" (Garnsey) Gorlitz, then of Denton, MI where they worked the family farm on Van Born Road. As a boy, Dick developed a passion for farming, learned and loved the Gorlitz tradition of music and square dance calling, and yearned to drive a milk truck someday. As he grew up, he worked the farm alongside his parents and two younger brothers. He learned to play guitar and banjo, and to sing and call square dances with Sam's band, along with his brothers. After a few years working as a school bus driver, and farming, and playing in the band, he began working as a milk truck driver. Dick met Linda Grace Smith (through his cousins who were friends and neighbors of her family) at a reception they both attended. After a few dates, mostly to church services (at Linda's insistence), they were married June 20th, 1964, after Dick returned from boot camp, having joined the Army National Guard. Dick and Linda lived on the Gorlitz family farm for a few years, then in their home in Grass Lake for a time before branching out and buying their own dairy farm in Manchester, MI in 1976.Together, Dick and Linda had three children. Richard Clyde Gorlitz Jr.(1965), who was stillborn. Richard Lawrence Gorlitz (1968), and Larry Richard Gorlitz (1973). Dick ended up with multiple and overlapping careers. He lived his dream of having his own family farm for many years, having the highest annual milk production in Washtenaw County three out of four years. At the same time, Dick drove truck for multiple milk hauling businesses for over 20 years. Dick also had his own band, separate from Sam's, for around 25 years (playing many consecutive seasons at Tri-County Sportsmen's Club, Saline, MI, and recording Dick's original songs). Dick and Linda still found time for league bowling for many seasons. After selling the farm, Dick worked for Central Petroleum Company, whose product he had used while farming. He began in sales under good friend and manager Ellis Moses. Over the years, Dick rose to a management position himself, and recruited his son Rich into sales and work for CenPeCo. Dick often said that he done everything he loved and wanted to do in life, and that CenPeCo was the job he never imagined, but also loved immeasurably. Dick was a United States veteran, having been activated and deployed into Detroit MI during both sets of riots in the late 60s. He served the army as a mechanic, and rifleman. He was a certified sharpshooter in the Army. Dick began having heart and other serious health issues at the age of 45. He worked very hard to take care of himself, so he could take care of his family. He always planned ahead for the well-being of his family and friends, and to take care of his CenPeCo customers, who became his friends. In recent years, Dick was Baptized, visited many churches, and became a praying man. He composed and wrote poetry, and published his own book. He spoke often of how blessed he was to have worked alongside his sons; was blessed to see his grandson Jim grow up, often bragging that Jim was the fifth generation of Gorlitz musicians, and blessed to have had 55 years with his beloved Linda. By God's grace Dick left this world quietly in his sleep, after a day spent with customers, family, and friends: still working and doing the things he loved with the people he loved. Dick is survived by his darling companion Linda, his sons Larry (husband to Rachel), and Richard (husband to Tammy) and his grandson Jim (Rich & Tam), as well as many cousins and extended family, four step-grandchildren, and four step-great grandchildren. Visitation will be held 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm, Saturday, June 15, 2019, at J. Gilbert Purse Funeral Home, in Tecumseh, MI, with service beginning at 3:00 pm. Memorials may be made to the Salvation Army.  Dick will be missed by many with hearts filled with gratitude for the blessings they received through him: all his family, and also good friends from the many worlds whose hats he wore: the army, agriculture, trucking, bowling, dances, and sales.

Donations may be made to:

Salvation Army - Adrian Michigan
217 W Church St, Adrian MI 49221
Tel: 1-517-265-2038

© 2019 J. Gilbert Purse Funeral Home. All Rights Reserved. Funeral Home website by CFS