Richard Lyle Van Auken

Published 3:28 pm Thursday, December 6, 2018

Richard Lyle “Dick” Van Auken of Pinnacle, recently of Advance died on Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018 after a brave battle with COPD.

He was born Sept. 18, 1938 in Newton, N.J. As a boy, he attended school and worked on his parents’ dairy farm. Upon finishing high school, he was awarded a scholarship for wrestling to attend the University of Maryland. He was a three-time ACC Champion and nationally ranked. After earning his bachelor’s degree in 1960, he worked for several large industries including Northrop Grumman, Brunswick, Exxon, Whitaker, MBB Messerschmitt (Germany) and Jepson Burns (now BE Aerospace). While working at Exxon Research and Engineering, he developed several products for which he held both U.S. and international patents. Other ventures included working on windshield development for NASA’s Space Shuttle Program and NATO fighter jet parts. In 1989, he left the corporate world and purchased an American Speedy Printing franchise. He worked as owner/operator until 2007 when he sold the franchise. He continued as a consultant until 2014. He had many interests and was always quite active. He made a profession of faith in Jesus Christ in the year 2000. He enjoyed studying the Bible and walked closely with the Lord for the remainder of his years.

Survivors: his wife of 29 years, Elaine (Fleming) Van Auken; 3 children, Pamela (Robert) Coakley of Harrisburg, Pa.; Gregory (Christine) Van Auken of Raleigh; and Teresa (Paul) Bobo of Winston-Salem; a sister, Judith (Robert) Lemon of Sumter, S.C.; 6 grandchildren; and 2 great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents Lyle and Blanche Van Auken; a brother, Thomas Van Auken; and his first wife, Zelphia (Gentry) Van Auken.

The family will hold a private celebration of life in the Spring to honor his memory.

Memorials: Solus Christus, PO Box 416, East Bend, 27018.