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Saying Goodbye to My Brother Stinks

Note: Colleagues and friends who would like to celebrate Richard’s life and positive impacts are invited to join us Thursday, February 11, 2016 at the American Legion in Vienna, VA. Details here.

Last week was a really good week. I had my first trip to Anchorage, Alaska where I collaborated with my good friend Michael Anderson and his Army-First-Sergeant-E8-w-Text-Retiredorganization to bring training to a host of companies based in Alaska. It was a wonderful experience and a pivotal one for me as I gained a level of appreciation for just how unique the people of Alaska really are, as are many of the challenges they face in the business world.

It’s the kind of experience I planned to share with my friend Richard Dean who retired not too long ago, for the second time. His first retirement was from the U.S Army and this retirement was from government contracting where Richard is known as a kind person and a generous and very knowledgeable colleague. He would be proud of the journey I experienced both professionally and spiritually, because I am a different person than I was last Monday. Unfortunately, some of the change has nothing to do with what happened in Alaska, but what happened in North Carolina, where Richard and his wife were living. Last Thursday, even before I knew about it, a hole in my heart had formed because Richard’s service to God was completed here and he was called home.

gearshift_asbc_2012_jim_539I believe in God and for that reason I believe there is a purpose to everything that happens whether I understand it or not. At some point, not now, I will come to terms with that, but right now, it stinks.

Did you know Richard? Ever experienced one of his Toastmaster Grand Royale Deluxe elevator pitches? No? You don’t know what you missed. Maybe I have a recording of it somewhere. Richard would not be happy about that and he would probably invoke one of the nicknames we had for each other, specifically one that let me know I was in deep doo-doo, sort of like when your mother called you by your COMPLETE name.

Speaking of nicknames, every once in a while I called him ‘Top’ because he attained the rank of First Sergeant during his service in the Army. This was usually in response to my being lectured about something where we was helping me realize a different approach or perspective. He was good at that and I needed it. He would share snippets of adventures he had while serving abroad and used to tell me how different he was in those days and that I was seeing a better man.12647282_10208399397687223_4740410893231875986_n

It’s hard for me to believe he wasn’t always a better man.

We would call each other ‘RD’ and ‘GT’ in messages and ‘frick and frack’ in conversations with other

friends when we wanted to rib each other. Boy, did we ever rib each other. Sort of like brothers, which is how we most often how we referred to one another. ‘Brothers from another mother!’ is what we would tell everyone. Even his wonderful wife Doerte tolerated our brotherly quips and shenanigans.


Richard is smiling right now because I just used the word ‘shenanigans’ in reference to us and in proper context. Did I mention we were brothers? He evenhad the same birthday as my biological brother.

Five years ago when my daughter was six months old, I experienced a severe medical issue that knocked me out of commission, leaving my wonderful wife to care for me, our daughter and The American Small Business Coalition. I don’t know how she did it. Actually, I do. By all rights, our company should not exist after that episode because there was no one to staff it, no revenues coming in, etc. But that didn’t happen. Richard and several other members stepped up to keep things afloat during that time. For that, Maggie and I are eternally grateful.

That’s what I learned to expect from him. He was always there so many times for whatever reasons, he was there.

He’s still there, just not where I can give him a hug. But I can still tell my brother how much I love him, and I will.


About Editor-in-Chief Visionary

Go-To-Guy Timberlake is the Editor-in-Chief Visionary of GovConChannel and oversees the creation and curation of relevant and timely 'News And Information That Matters To Small Government Contractors.'


10 thoughts on “Saying Goodbye to My Brother Stinks

  1. Guy, I’m truly sorry to hear of the sad loss with which you and your family are now struggling. While I never had the opportunity to meet Richard, he sounds like a remarkable individual who lived an incredibly full, if not long enough, life. I hope your many good memories of the friendship you shared sustain you through this difficult time.

    Liked by 1 person

    Posted by Jenny Couch | February 6, 2016, 18:09
  2. Guy and Maggie, Wow, what a loss to his family, friends, colleagues, and to our whole business community. He was a great asset to the companies with which and for which he worked. But, more importantly, he was a great friend and a very discreet personal and professional counselor. He will be sorely missed by all who had the great opportunity to know him. Thanks for this touching remembrance.

    Liked by 1 person

    Posted by Jonathan D. Addelston | February 2, 2016, 14:44
  3. Thanks for sharing this very touching and inspiring tribute. Now Richard is experiencing in wide-eyed wonder the beautiful, eternal kingdom of God.

    Liked by 1 person

    Posted by Dick Rabil | February 2, 2016, 12:11
  4. Wow. A word that applies to the shock I feel right now in hearing the news, and a word that applies to Richard’s positive impact on me over the years I knew him. Such a great presence that will be sorely missed… farewell my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

    Posted by Matt Ramsey | February 1, 2016, 22:32
  5. Guy/Maggie: I am so saddened to hear of Rich’s passing. He was a angel among us. All who knew him were blessed by his friendship! Another warrior in heaven.

    Liked by 1 person

    Posted by Scott Denniston | February 1, 2016, 15:10
  6. Richard was just “good people.” He ALWAYS had a smile, a quip, and a pearl of advice not only about government contracting, but about Life itself. There will be no other elevator speech like Richard’s — and that memory, voice, and presence we will all keep safe in our hearts and minds until we meet again. Rest in Peace, Richard — God Bless and keep you.

    Liked by 1 person

    Posted by keawemike | February 1, 2016, 14:35
  7. I remember Richard for his wonderful and theatrical elevator speech. Each time I presented mine I attempted to emulate his but of course could not because I was not Richard. He was a unique person with a unique personality. I will always remember the questions he posed to help me understand in what ways my company was unique among IT companies. I continue to hear his voice in my head.

    Liked by 1 person

    Posted by Eva Freund | February 1, 2016, 12:10
  8. Thanks for sharing about Richard. We should all be so fortunate to have “other” brothers like him.

    Liked by 1 person

    Posted by Gary Van Hoose | February 1, 2016, 11:59


  1. Pingback: A Pre-Holiday Charity Bash™ Poem! | GovConChannel - December 2, 2016

  2. Pingback: Join Us to Celebrate Richard Dean 2/11/16 in Vienna, VA | GovConChannel - February 5, 2016

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