Richard E. (Dick) Dwelle was born in Chanute, Kansas June 2, 1922 to Alba and Earl Coe Dwelle. The family moved to Dallas in 1927. Dick attended University Park Elementary School and Highland Park High School, graduating from the latter in 1939. He died June 28.
He and Peggy Donosky, his high school sweetheart, married in Dallas December 12, 1942.
Dwelle completed his studies for his degree at Rice Institute in January 1943 and entered the U.S. Army soon afterward. He was an outstanding athlete serving as the captain of the Highland Park football and baseball teams two years and basketball his senior year. He was cited in author Jim Dent's 2008 "Twelve Mighty Orphans" for his leadership as captain of the 1939 Scots when they played Fort Worth Masonic Home, the team about whom the book was written. He was named All Southwest Conference tailback while playing football at Rice and, subsequently, drafted by the Pittsburg Steelers in the 10th round of the NFL draft.
He was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in Tank Destroyers in the spring of 1944 and shortly thereafter attended the Infantry School at Fort Benning in Georgia. Dwelle served in Europe in the 83rd Infantry Division in a heavy weapons company as a forward observer for the mortar platoon from late 1944 until the war's end. Following the Battle of the Bulge in the Ardennes region of Germany his company was the first to reach the Rhine River. They engaged the Germans at the Dusseldorf-Neuss Bridge. He continued in the army of occupation until the spring of 1946 when he was discharged as a captain. He was a recipient of the Bronze Star Medal.
Upon his return from the service, he, his wife and two-year-old daughter, Donna, moved from Dallas to Kermit, Texas where he was co-publisher for two and a half years of The Winkler County News. A son, Dan, was born in 1947 while the family lived in Kermit. In January 1949 he and his family moved to Athens where he assumed the position of publisher, and subsequently owner, of the Athens Daily Review. He served as co-publisher with son, Dan Dwelle, from 1973 to 1986 when the family sold The Review and connected newspapers. Dwelle at one time owned Texas newspapers at Cedar Creek Lake, Mabank and Malakoff and was part owner in Kermit, Wink and Marlin, as well as Jal and Eunice in New Mexico.
Dwelle had a part in the founding of, and then served as president of, Henderson County United Way, Keep Athens Beautiful, Athens Industrial Foundation, The Public Library Fund, Inc. and the Civic Center and Park Fund, Inc. He served as president of the Athens Rotary Club and the Athens Chamber of Commerce; chairman of the Henderson County Library Board and the Athens Airport Advisory Board; District Chairman for Boy Scouts, a member of the boards of Salvation Army, Athens Public Education Foundation, Athens Country Club, Texas United Way, Trinity River Improvement Association, East Texas Chamber of Commerce and the Highland Park High School first alumni association board. He was one of the three Rotarians who established the first literacy program in Athens and helped establish a program to support the arts in the community.
He served as a deacon and elder in First Presbyterian Church, Athens and on Synod of the Sun Board and Trinity Presbytery committees. He was named Athens Citizen of the Year in 1971, was Texas Newspaper Leader of the Year for 1980 and is a member of the Rice University Sports Hall of Fame. He was named to the Texas Road Hand Hall of Honor in its founding year. He was president of the North and East Texas Press Association and served on the boards of Texas Press Association and Texas Daily Newspaper Association. Dwelle was a member of Sigma Delta Chi, honorary journalism fraternity. He served for 28 years on the board of what was Athens Federal Savings & Loan and 35 years on the First National Bank, Athens board. He was a life member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion.
In late November 2012 he and his wife moved to Dallas.
His family includes his wife, Peggy Dwelle; daughter and son in law Donna and Gordon Marcum II of Houston; son Dan Dwelle and wife Barbara Christian of Athens and Santa Fe, New Mexico; sister Jeanne Dwelle Waters, San Antonio; grandsons Jeff Dwelle and wife Elizabeth of Plano, Richard Dwelle of Cairo, Egypt, Stewart McLeod and wife Annie, of Dallas; great grandsons Dax and Dillon Dwelle and Miles McLeod; and great granddaughter Kylie McLeod. His brother, Earl Coe Dwelle, Jr., died in 1996.
Arrangements are pending with Autry Carroll-Lehr Funeral Home in Athens for a private family service.
Family and friends of Richard E (Dick) Dwelle are invited to a reception from noon until 2 pm on Saturday, July 22 in the Fellowship Hall of the First Presbyterian Church in Athens. This will be a celebration of his life and an opportunity for the family to share with so many who knew, loved and respected him.
Those who wish may send memorials to the Henderson County Clint W. Murchison Memorial Library, 121 S. Prairieville St. Athens, TX 75751 or to the charity of one's choice.
Published on July 3, 2017