Leonard Richard "Dick" Hollifield, 80, of Marion, N.C. died at his home on Jan. 5, 2024.
Born in Mitchell County to Madge and Leonard Hollifield on June 10, 1943, he was a graduate of Harris High School in Spruce Pine.
Following graduation, he traveled to Wisconsin to pick peas, but a pea-picking career was not in his future. He headed back south and became a telephone lineman, working on the North and South Carolina coasts.
He joined Tri-County Oil Company in the mid-1960s, driving trucks supplying heating oil to homes and fuel to gas stations in McDowell and surrounding counties. He then spent decades as plant manager before retirement.
He is survived by his wife of 35 years, Rita S. Hollifield of Marion; sister Suzy Evans (Bob) of Mills River; sons Scott Hollifield (Landdis), Joe Hollifield and Sam Hollifield, all of Marion; stepdaughters Jody Sutton (Duane) of Statesville and Kelly Sutton (Rick) of Clayton; stepson Bryan Sutton of Zebulon; granddaughters Meghan Hollifield of Marion, Marie Hollifield (Zach) of Charlotte, Rachael Malone (Gavyn) of El Paso, Texas and Emma Sutton of Marion.
He was preceded in death by several well-loved dogs and will be missed by his last one, Smoke.
Upon retirement, Dick traveled around the world with his wife Rita and their friends.
He was an avid reader, especially enjoying mystery and intrigue novels. As a cook, he had two signature dishes: spoonburgers and steak & gravy, the latter recipe he swiped from his father, an Army cook, and improved upon it.
He spent much of his adult life bailing family members out of various predicaments, loaning them tools and giving advice that one would be well served to follow.
The world lost a smart man, a kind soul and a masterful storyteller. His was a life well lived.
Dick requested that no services be held. The family suggests friends make a donation to the organization of their choice.