Obituary: Richard John “Dick” Vidakovich
April 25, 1955 – August 12, 2022
Dick Vidakovich was born and raised in Glenwood Springs and was a 1973 graduate of Glenwood Springs High School. As a boy growing up in Glenwood, Dick played all of the sports that came along with the changing seasons. He loved to participate in the Old Timers Association little league baseball during the summer, and, played in the youth football and basketball league at Glenwood Elementary. Dick enjoyed anything in the outdoors, especially the weekend family camping and fishing trips to various spots around western Colorado. His favorite destination was Meadow Lake up on the Flattops. An avid fisherman and hunter for most of his life, his greatest enjoyment came with just being in the wilderness and the peace and quiet that came with it.
A standout athlete for the Glenwood Demons, Dick was a member of the 1972 basketball team that went 24-1 and won the state consolation championship. He was an all-conference basketball player in 1973 and also quarterback for the Demon football team. Following High School, Dick attended Colorado State University where he earned a teaching degree in physical education. He was a member of the CSU junior varsity basketball team his freshman and sophomore years at the University. Taking a job as PE teacher at Glenwood Elementary and assistant boys basketball coach at Glenwood High in 1980, Dick continued his love of sports by participating in summer fast pitch softball tournaments around the area, fishing, hunting and spending much of his free time that was left on the golf course.
Dick’s teaching stay in Glenwood was a short one. In the spring of 1980, he accepted a job in Basalt as the PE teacher at Basalt Elementary and the head boys’ basketball coach at Basalt High School. With several talented players on his roster, the Longhorns experienced success almost overnight. Dick helped guide Basalt to several league and district titles, including appearances in the class “A” state championship game in 1984, 1986 and 1988. He was picked as the league’s Coach of the Year three times. With the retirement of Coach Bob Chavez in 1989, Dick found himself back in his hometown of Glenwood as the head boys’ basketball coach and PE teacher at Glenwood High. The Demons continued their run of success during his tenure, winning the district tournament twice and making the same number of appearances in the state tournament.
Dick retired from teaching and coaching in 2000 and began a lawn and landscaping service in Glenwood. With the death of his father, JV Vidakovich, in the spring of 1998, Dick took on more duties in helping to take care of his mother Bea until her passing in January of 2021. Dick gave up time in personal pursuits to make sure his mom was well looked after. His family will always be grateful for his dedication to her until the end of her life.
Dick was an avid reader and would zip through as many as 2-3 books a week. He especially loved the old westerns by Louis L’Amour, but, would pretty much read whatever he could get his hands on. Dick would also sit for hours watching the old episodes of the western “Gunsmoke” on TV. A passionate animal lover, Dick’s hunting excursions in later years basically became nature walks. Bow and rifle hunting he rarely shot anything or even attempted to, but, was too “macho” to admit that he just didn’t want to kill anything. Dick also loved all of the family pets. On many afternoons he would pack up one of the family cats, or his sister’s dog, and go for long rides around town in his truck.
Up until the last few years of his life, Dick enjoyed spring and fall golfing and gambling trips to Mesquite, Nevada with some of his old teaching friends from Basalt. Dick’s last day on earth was exactly how he would have wanted things to be. He was high up on the Flattops in his pickup truck, driving around in the evening, scouting for elk and listening to see if he could hear them bugle. He left us all too soon, but, he must have felt that he was needed more at Bea’s side once again than staying here.
Dick’s family would like to thank all of the caring and talented people who came to his aid in his time of need. Knowing that he was surrounded by others and not alone at the end brings us great comfort. A heartfelt thanks is also extended to Officer Dietrich of the Glenwood Police Department for his concern for our family that has gone above and beyond the call of duty. Please be at peace now, our brother, and know that you touched many lives through your teaching, coaching and the way you took care of our mom. We miss you.
Immediate family surviving Dick are his brothers Tom, Jim and Mike; his sisters Peg and Jean; and his half brother Duke. Cremation has taken place and the date for a celebration of Dick’s life will be forthcoming.
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
Readers around Glenwood Springs and Garfield County make the Post Independent’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.
Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.
Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.