BRADENTON — Retired life for Ed Dick III actually began Sept. 1.
It just became official Friday.
Not that it changed anything for Dick, who established the Ed Dick Insurance Agency in an aluminum building on 14th Street West in 1960, then in 1969 formed Dick, Johnson & Jefferson Inc., for years one of the largest insurance agencies in Manatee County.
“I’m still working for charities, still going to the doctors,” said Dick, 80. “I’m not slowing down any.”
Born in Uniontown, Pa., Dick graduated from the University of Miami in 1952 and married his wife, Joanne, in 1953. He attended insurance school in New York City from 1952 to 1953, worked for the Royal Globe Insurance Group until 1958 in Atlanta, Jacksonville, New York and Tampa, then joined the Don McGuire Agency in Bradenton before going on his own.
“I’m amazed I lasted that long — boom or bust,” said Dick, who spent a total of 59 years in insurance.
A devout man, community leader and a family man, he and Joanne have eight children and have had more than 200 people reside in their home for periods of one day to four years, including immigrants from Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Poland, Burundi, Turkey, Nigeria, Somalia, Holland and Brazil.
“Jesus said to feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, give shelter to the homeless, visit the sick and imprisoned, and clothe the naked,” Dick said.
“Joanne deserves the real credit. She never knew who I’d show up with at dinner time.”
Continuing with his passion for displaced families, Dick is on the board of the Guardian Angels of Southwest Florida, which is raising funds to build a Manatee County campus for children.
He is also a member of the Palmetto Youth Center Board.
On April 21, he will be installed as a life member of the Salvation Army Advisory Board, which he has served for 40 years.
Vin Mannix, local columnist, can be reached at 745-7055.