BRADENTON -- Richard Chick loved a good joke as much as anyone.
He was a classic car buff and was big on collecting watches, too.
A native of Bangor, Maine, he enjoyed living in Florida.
“He was a fun guy, always laughing, smiling,” said Bill Mullis, a longtime friend. “He had a great outlook on life.”
“He got along with everybody,” said ex-wife Cathy Chick.
Mr. Chick’s friends, acquaintances and former colleagues are in mourning today.
He suffered a massive heart attack Wednesday and died Thursday at Blake Medical Center.
Mr. Chick was 61.
“It’s a sad deal,” Mullis said.
“So sudden,” said Cathy Chick, who was married to Mr. Chick for 18 years.
His death was felt, as well, at the Bradenton Herald, where he was operations director.
Mr. Chick worked at the Herald for 20 years.
“He was a delightful person,” said Bob Turner, the Bradenton Herald’s president and publisher. “His quick wit was only exceeded by his quick friendship. He was a consummate newspaper production professional and and gave the company his very best. He will be missed.”
Mr. Chick moved to Fort Lauderdale in 1972, joining the Broward Times, then a Knight-Ridder property like the Herald.
“He started in layout and worked his way up from there,” Cathy Chick said.
Mr. Chick retired from the Herald in 2000, she said.
They didn’t have any children, but the memories of life with him are many.
Like Mr. Chick’s love of cars.
“He traded cars every year,” she said. “I’d tell him, what’s wrong with the one we’ve got?
“We were still best friends and I called him a lot to check on him,” she said. “I saw him three days ago and then this happens. It’s always a shock.”
There will be a memorial visitation 5-7 p.m., Jan. 11 at Brown & Sons Funeral Home and Crematory, 604 43rd St. W.
Vin Mannix, local columnist, can be reached at 745-7055.