Colonel Richard A. Platt, (Dick), U.S. Army, Retired

Col. Richard A. Platt, 82, U.S. Army, Retired, died on July 21, 2020. Dick was born in Hot Springs, SD on March 3, 1938.

Colonel Richard A. Platt, (Dick), U.S. Army, Retired, gently slipped from this world on July 21, 2020 at the age of 82 and into his wife of 52 years, Lucille’s, loving arms. Dick was born in Hot Springs, South Dakota on March 3, 1938 to

Eula Parris. He spent his preschool years living in Hot Springs with his grandmother Lillian Parris, Uncle Faye Fletcher, Aunt La Fletcher and his cousin Karen (Judson) Fletcher. He fondly shared stories of their home having dirt floors and an outhouse and memories of his grandmother reading the Bible to him every evening by candlelight.

Dick’s elementary school years were spent in Chadron, Nebraska with his mom and her husband, Al Platt, whose last name Dick chose to adopt as his own when he turned 18. Al Platt was extrmely influential in Dick’s live. Al Platt was a hardworking trainman and that trait, as well as honesty and integrity, were instilled in Dick at a young age. Dick and his cousin Karen spent many days going to the movies in Chadron and he would then carry her piggy-back all the way home while constantly reassuring her that the boogie man was not going to pounce from the shadows.

By high school he had moved to Oroville, Washington with his mother, where during his retired years he often returned for May Day celebrations to visit his high school friends and recall bygone years of sports, apple orchards, and mischievousness. An outstanding student and athlete, Dick passed on college scholarships and upon graduation chose to enlist in the Army with his friend Gary Roberts. His first assignment was to Seneca Army Depot, New York. As a private, he met his soulmate Lucille Mary Trunzo at her family’s restaurant, The Skylark Restaurant. The local tightly knit Italian community referred to Dick as “that nice American boy.” Lucille and Dick married on December 27, 1958 in Geneva, New York. Lucille became the love and driving force of his entire life.

After ten years as an enlisted man Lucille encouraged him to apply to Officer Candidate School, from which he earned the distinction as the top graduate. He then spent 25 years as a communications officer making every promotion ahead of schedule. His assignments included two tours in Vietnam, Commander of The 41st Signal Battalion responsible for all strategic communications in and out of South Korea, Inspector General’s Course, Advanced Management Program-University of Virginia, and multiple tours in the Washington DC area culminating with a position in the Office of The Secretary of Defense. His Army decorations include The Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit with an Oak Leaf Cluster (OLC), Bronze Star with 2 OLC, Air Medal, Army Commendation Medal with 2 OLC, Joint Meritorious Unit Award, Valorous Unit Award, Meritorious Unit Commendation, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal (2), Vietnam Service Medal (6), Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon (2), Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation, Office of the Secretary of Defense Identification Badge, and the Army Staff Identification Badge.

He became interested in electronics in the 1970s and it quickly become his passion. He bought every new Apple computer and phone starting with the Apple II and the first iPhone. Initially it was a unique hobby sparked by his Army communications training, but he quickly became the family’s go-to answer man and expert when computers and cell phones became mainstream. He also believed in the value of physical fitness and regularly ran, and then transitioned to walking later in life. It was not unusual to see him on the treadmill in his garage in the middle of summer. He would be soaked in sweat, but the poor treadmills got so wet they rusted through every few years.

He is survived by his daughter, Vicki and son-in-law Paul Poronsky; daughter, Sharon and son-in-law Rick Williams; four grandchildren, Bradley and his wife Ashley Poronsky, Stephanie and her husband Steven Tennis, Ricky Williams and Michael Williams and his girlfriend Ashley. He is also survived by four great-grandchildren, Trypp, Preston, Julia, and Parker; his brother-in-law, Dominick Trunzo and his wife Pat; his cousin, Karen Judson, and numerous nieces, nephews and close friends.

Dick’s life was continuously celebrated by his family and friends while he was living and he will be lovingly remembered by those he left behind.

Dick took great pride and enjoyment in his family and was especially happy when he was surrounded by his grandchildren and littlest members of our family… his great grandchildren! We will miss our Dad/GPa/GGPa/Dick, but we feel grateful and blessed for all the time we have spent together.His love for family and his country will be carried on everyday as we remember the strong and loving man that he was.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Dick’s name to the Fisher House Foundation, The American Cancer Society charity of your choice.

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