We’re doing something a little different this week. We want to observe the passing of an Opelika leader.

Everybody didn’t love Dick Moreman. Some people didn’t even like him.

Even those who loved him, sometimes got pretty frustrated with him. In fact, if you didn’t get hot under the collar with him occasionally, you didn’t work with him very much.

That’s because Dick was an artist and a detail person. He knew instinctively how he wanted things to be done. His way!  Or the highway!

If your feelings get hurt easily, you were not a Dick Moreman admirer.

When we were told, in Sunday School this past Sunday, the Sunday school teacher said, through her tears, “I worked with him a lot and there were many times I wished I could pick him up and shake him. But I realized he was doing the Lord’s work in his own way.”

Someone sent us this letter nominating Dick for Jaycees Man of the Year in  1991.

He didn’t get it. Must have been an exceptional person to beat him out.

But that’s not really the point of this. Here’s what some of Dick’s friends put in the record as to what they thought of him.

We ought to do more of this when a person is alive, instead of waiting until after they’re gone.

“Civilizations and cultures have long been judged according to their creative and aesthetic accomplishments. We feel that future Oplelikians will look back and discover that the efforts of Richard T. (Dick) Moreman are responsible for the beautification and enrichment  of the lives of an entire generation of its citizens. It is for this reason that we wish to nominate Dick for ‘Man of the Year.’

Dick has lived in Opelika his entire life except for two brief periods. Perhaps that is why he has felt led to give back so much to this community.

His genuine love for his townspeople and his city are evidenced by his many and varied contributions, contributions which have not been made because Dick sought personal recognition and plaudits but because he is simply going about his daily work doing what he does best — enriching the lives of others by making the world in which we live more beautiful.

Our churches, our homes, our schools, our streets — not one facet of this community has been untouched by Dick’s artistic and creative genius.

There have been many others in our community who have made major contributions via industry, academia, medicine and science. Yet, all of us, no matter the heights we attain, always return to that time honored ‘no place like home.’ That is where Dick has served so long and so well.

We ask now that Opelika be given the opportunity to say thank you to Richard Terrell Moreman for serving us faithfully and beautifully.”

So say we all.

-Fred Woods