Dick peacefully slipped into the arms of Jesus, his Savior, on Aug. 5, 2019.
He was born to Albert and Eleanor (Aro) Wild in Wallace, Idaho on January 29, 1948. In his early years, Dick’s family lived in the Silver Valley, later moving to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, where he attended St. Thomas grade school and Coeur d’Alene Jr. High. As a boy, Dick’s father gave him a gift that he continued to pursue throughout his life: his love for fly fishing.
Due to his father’s changing work, the family later moved to Sandpoint, Idaho, where Dick graduated from high school in 1967. Proud of his years in Bulldog football, Dick informed anyone (who would listen) that back in his day, it actually took Coeur d’Alene High School 17 years to beat the Sand-point Bulldogs. No one ever checked the validity of that statistic.
After school, Dick lived in Idaho and Colorado for eight years, working in the mining and logging industries. Men who worked underground, he was told, should work hard, play hard and fight hard. Dick did all three in excess during those years. After returning to Coeur d’Alene, he met and later married Sandy (Ayars) Wild on June 1, 1974. Two sons were born to the couple, Casey in 1975 and David in 1977.
His early years at St. Thomas had given Dick a deep desire to know more about the God who loved him. Yet, years of substance abuse left him feeling unworthy of that love. In 1977, Dick was invited by his co-worker and friend, Lynn Gross, to attend Hayden Lake Friends Church the following Easter. It was at that time Dick found the acceptance and grace of a loving God. His life was never the same. He immediately wanted to tell everyone about the God who saved him out of a life of painful addiction. This led him to return to college to pursue degrees in social work and Christian ministries.
Whether he was in a pulpit, jail cell, sitting alongside a deputy in his cruiser, or on the bank of a river, Dick spent the rest of his life telling broken people about a God who loved them and gave His life for them.
Dick was preceded in death by his parents, Al and Eleanor; and grandson, Jacob David. Dick is survived by his wife, Sandy of Coeur d’Alene; son Casey (Linn) of Post Falls, Idaho, son David of Coeur d’Alene, and adopted son, Shawn (Jourdan) of Spokane, Washington; along with seven grandchildren and one great-grand child. Joining the survivors are brother Randy (Brenda) of Coeur d’Alene; sister Wendy of Del Norte, Colorado; and brother and fishing partner, Bob (Terri) of Kingston; as well as many nieces, nephews and cousins.
There will be a celebration of life on Saturday, Aug. 24 at 1 p.m. at Anthem Church in Hayden, Idaho. A light meal will follow.
In lieu of flowers, the family wishes donations be made to: Matt’s Place Foundation, INC. P.O. BOX 3673, Coeur d’Alene, ID 83816.