We have just learned that P/N/F/L Dick Jarmon, SN, has passed away. Among active members of our squadron, no one (but his wife, Pat) holds a candle to Richard Jarmon in of service to Birmingham, District 9 and USPS.
Dick was born in New York State on June 28, 1934, and passed away as the result of injuries from a fall on April 14, 2020.
Dick is survived by his loving wife, Patricia, of 50 years, a son, Jeff (Shirley) Jarmon, in Missouri, a daughter, Laura (Ken) Burgett, in Mt. Clemens, MI, a sister, Mary Pierpont (significant other, Howard Yoas), five grandchildren and 12 great grandchildren, and his beloved dog, Sunshine.
A memorial service will be planned at a later date.
Dick enjoyed a long career at GM Delco Division, but we all knew him as a Member of United States Power Squadrons and Birmingham Power Squadron.
Dick joined Birmingham Power Squadron in 1966, when our meetings were held at a very smoky Kingsley Inn and membership was by invitation only. Dick was teaching our public boating classes in Bloomfield Hills in the mid-1960s, when we taught a 13-week class and had hundreds of students in each class. He continued to teach Basic Boating for years, adapting more or less as the class was shortened to 9, 8, 7 & 6 weeks. He and Pat continued to teach boating safety until 2008 when Power Point and other electronics replaced Dick’s blackboard and overhead slides. What an amazing service. Dick was proud to have been nominated as District 9 Teacher of the Year.
Dick also completed his Full Certificate (today a Senior Navigator) with various elective courses through the years finishing with a Weather Class taught by Mt Clemens Power Squadron in 1981.
Along the way, Dick was mentored by a number of the founders and early members of our squadron, including: P/C Booth, P/C Young, Cdr Hamilton and upcoming Cdrs. Miner, Shirk, Neal, Moss, Pear, Raymond, Couzens & Erickson, among others, who drew Dick into the heart and bosom of United States Power Squadrons. What he learned and who he got to know & like lead him through years of safe, enjoyable boating and activities. The 30 foot Owens became a 36 foot Pacemaker and got acquainted with Tobermory, Little Current, Georgian Bay & the North Channel, often in the wake of Ericksons or Pears. Rendezvous, Cruises, District Conferences and National Meetings in Miami (one Miami Meeting saw four BPS couples sharing a room) expanded his friendships statewide & nationally.
Dick joined the Birmingham Executive Committee as Secretary and moved through the chairs to become our 13th Commander in 1975.
As Pat reports, “Somehow Dick moved up to the District 9 Bridge and in 1987, Birmingham had the distinction of having the three commanders: Jim Lawson, Squadron Commander; Dick Jarmon, District Commander; and Dick Miner as Chief Commander.”
During this period, Dick made life-long squadron friends across the state who are too numerous to mention.
Then P/D/C & close friend Ted Smith again joined Dick to work on hosting a 75th Anniversary Celebration in ’89 and a Governing Board Meeting in D/9 in ’94. Of course his District involvement lead to more friendships and jobs in the National organization so our Squadron uniform guru & nitpicker found his niche as Rear Commander of the Flag & Etiquette Committee in 1999 with help from our P/R/C Hostetter & his D/9 mentor & coach R/C Acheson and others.
Dick’s longtime & enduring friendship with Ted Smith led to Dick becoming Flag Lieutenant for him when he became USPS Chief Commander in 2002. What followed was two years of traveling, meeting dignitaries from all sorts of USPS allies, fetching, carrying and general support of arguably the busiest man in USPS. Dick loved it!
Pat says, “What brought him to USPS and specifically Birmingham Power Squadron was the desire to learn, & then to share, boating education. What has kept him involved over all the years? The many, many friendships that grew up within all levels of both USPS & CPS. His enjoyment of boating was made possible by the many lessons learned in and out of the classroom. It is impossible for either of us to imagine what Dick’s life would have been like without both the learning and those friendships.”
For the record, Dick Jarmon was an Emeritus Member of the United States Power Squadrons, which represents his 52 Merit Marks earned in his 54 years of membership. Speaking personally and as a “twice-time Commander,” Dick was on my go-to list of members whose counsel I sought whenever I faced a dilemma – especially one dealing with flags and etiquette or squadron decorum. His service to Birmingham and United States Power Squadrons is truly breath-taking and we shall miss him mightily.
Dick, we shall miss your friendship and good humor. We wish you, Fair Winds and Following Seas and Long May Your Big Jib Draw. -Thomas Geggie