A BackStoppers Family Friend commits to personally connecting with families we serve and ensuring that all their needs are being met. Chief (Ret.) Robert Dick began serving as a Family Friend in the 1960s, making him the longest serving Family Friend to date. He left a remarkable impact on our organization and the families he graciously served.

Marjorie Miller, surviving spouse of Firefighter John David Miller, EOW 12/21/68, is 95 years-old and was one of the last families visited by Chief (Ret.) Dick. His daughter, Nancy, snapped a photo of the two from their visit last year. Nancy recalls the visit as they enjoyed each other’s company and her father’s legacy, “Our father lived his entire life committed to his family and service to others. He proudly served in three branches of the military and entered the fire service to begin a 50-year career, retiring as the Fire Chief of the Blackjack Fire Protection District in 1993.

Chief (Ret.) Bob Dick
Bob Dick

His commitment to serving the public included involvement in numerous organizations, one of which was BackStoppers. Our dad had an extreme love of and dedication to Backstoppers and the mission for nearly 60 years. He was very passionate about doing his part to ensure those families who suffer the unimaginable loss of their loved ones are taken care of and know BackStoppers’ commitment to their family.

He served as a Family Friend since the early 60’s, assisting 7 widows and their families, and delivered his final Christmas gift to his sole surviving spouse this past December 2022. They were both 95 years old. He was an extremely humble man who would never want any recognition for his work but would do everything he could to ensure the mission of BackStoppers continues. The BackStoppers is a very big part of our family’s life, and we are very proud of the work and support they provide for the families of the fallen.”

We will deeply miss Chief (Ret.) Dick and will surely feel the loss of everything he contributed to BackStoppers. We are grateful and honored to have known him. We will treasure his memory and honor him by continuing to carry on his legacy through the lives he touched.

“Bob was one of the best. I admired his heart and dedication to our mission and the families. His many years of service are beyond appreciated, and we were lucky to have him. His spirit will live on as we continue our work. I doubt there will be another like him, and I will miss him deeply.” – Chief Ron Battelle, BackStoppers Executive Director

“Being a Family Friend is a big commitment, but it never seemed too big for Bob. He pressed on when most wouldn’t, and he played a very important role to BackStoppers. I consider it an honor to have served alongside him.” – Dan Raniere, BackStoppers Board of Directors, Family Friends Committee Chair