On Saturday, November 13, 2010, surrounded by his loving family and at rest in the home he had built himself, Richard L. "Dick" Rion of Lake Charles passed from this life. He was a native of Reeves, Louisiana, where he was born on June 2, 1940. He was a Lake Charles resident for the last 48 years.
Dick Rion graduated from Reeves High School. He was an avid sportsman and a member of the basketball team that had a 54:6 record his senior year. He was a member of the Army Reserves, called up for active duty during the Cuban missile crisis, and stationed at Ft. Polk. Shortly after returning to civilian life, he was employed by Himont; he retired after 34 years. After his retirement, Dick served as job superintendent for Priola Construction on several major construction jobs. In addition to his official employment, Dick Rion was a man with heart for people and was constantly helping those in need. His "jack of all trades" abilities and his love for God and people made him a master at knowing not just what to do, also what to say.
One of the most rewarding activities of Dick Rion's life was serving as Recreation Director every summer at the Louisiana District United Pentecostal Church's youth camps in Tioga, Louisiana. He had a passion for youth and committed himself to guiding young men not just in sportsmanship but in the principles of day-to-day, lived out Christianity. Only eternity will show the number of lives and ministries affected by Dick Rion's interactions with young people on his beloved ball fields and around youth camp altars over the past 23 years.
He loved the campground in Tioga; it was where he met and courted the love of his life - and where his own life-long commitment to Jesus Christ was strengthened time and again whether at Youth Camps, Camp Meetings, Men's Conferences, or other campground events. He supported his local church and he supported his District.
He is survived by his sweetheart of 47 years Mary Nell Cole Rion; two daughters: Jill Bogard (husband, Glyn) of Lake Charles, and Rhesa Baggett (husband, Glyn) of Moss Bluff. He was the proud Papa of granddaughters Baylee, Sidney, Josie, and Nichole (husband, Nick). He also is survived by his two brothers, both of Reeves, Joe Rion and Ernest "Tooty" Rion. He leaves behind, too, a host of dear friends who will cherish his memory and miss him greatly.
He was preceded in death by his son, Todd Rion. Also preceding him were his parents, Ernest Elsie Rion and sisters: Billie Jo Belvin, Bobby Hollingsworth and Wanda Pete Brown.
Funeral services will be held at 6:00 p.m. on Monday, November 15 at First Pentecostal Church of Lake Charles. Pastor Jeff Ralston, along with Reverends Dan Davis (Baton Rouge) and Johnny Harrell (Bridge City, Texas) will officiate.
Pallbearers include: J. L. Green, Dowell Tate, Sheldon McManus, Donnie Wayne Donahue, Jacob Brown, and Randy Sullivan. Honorary Pallbearers are: Lanny Thornton, Jan Peebles, Jimmy LeJeune, Warren Smith, and Ron Harmon.
Visitation will be held at First Pentecostal Church on Monday, November 15 from 11:00 a.m. until the time of service. Burial will be at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, November 16 at the Ritchie Cemetery in Moss Bluff, where Dick served as President for 32 years.