Antique Vintage 10

Richard Lawrence Kassis

March 31, 1935 ~ September 24, 2019 (age 84)


Kassis, Richard Lawrence (Dick), age 74, a resident of Lodi, California, died suddenly on Tuesday, September 24, 2019 at his home. He was born in Cheyenne, Wyoming on March 31,1945. Dick grew up there, attending elementary and junior high schools. In 1958, his family moved from Cheyenne to Sacramento. He attended Starr King Middle School and El Camino High school where he excelled in sports and academics. He was elected president of his class at El Camino. From 1963-67 he attended UC Berkeley where he joined the Phi Sigma Kappa fraternity. While in Berkeley, he worked in the Delta Gamma sorority house, played intramural sports and occasionally worked as a referee. Dick completed his Bachelor of Science Degree in Political Science in 1970. He was enrolled in the ROTC program at the University. Upon graduation, he became an officer in the Army Air Defense Artillery Unit and was stationed in Germany, where he was a platoon leader and Battalion Adjutant in a Hawk missile unit. While in Europe, he married his college sweetheart, Jeanne Grobl in a civil service in Switzerland, followed by a religious service in Germany. After completing his military obligation, he and Jeanne traveled throughout Europe, fulfilling a desire to travel the world. He continued this hobby all through his life. Returning to California, Dick enrolled at McGeorge Law School in Sacramento, receiving his LLB degree in 1973. He was admitted to the Bar on December 17, 1973. He joined two fraternity brothers in the Legal Department of Alameda Contra-Costa Transit Authority and eventually became head of that department. His career there spanned nearly 40 years. Dick was elected to the Emeryville, California City Council, fulfilling yet another wish to become involved in politics. He served from 1976 to 1980 and from 1992 to 2009. He was Mayor there for several terms. He was known as an innovative and design-sensitive individual who left his mark on the community. He served on the Board of the condominium associations in both Lodi and Emeryville. Sadly, his marriage to Jeanne ended in 1991. Upon retiring from his profession and from the City Council, he moved to Lodi, and from that base traveled with friends and family extensively. He was an avid golfer and pursued another interest of his, acquiring an eclectic art collection. In each phase of his life, Dick was successful and earned numerous honors and awards for his work. Throughout his life he was a best friend to many and stayed in touch with all of them. He loved to call and just talk, talk talk. Dick was preceded in death by his father, Thomas Kassis; his mother, Virginia (Virge) Kassis; sister, Beverly Giles; and brother, Charles (Chuck) Kassis. He is survived by his brothers, Tom Kassis, Jr. and William (Bill) Kassis (Roberta Galli). He left behind his sister in-law Beth Kassis, many loving nieces and nephews, grand-nieces and nephews, three great grand-nephews and numerous cousins. His family and friends love him and will greatly miss his presence in their lives. A private memorial service for family and friends will be held in Sacramento on Sunday, November 3. Please contact family members or close friends for details.

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