Saturday, March 14, 2020
10:00 AM to 11:00 AM EDT
Northview Campus of Blythefield Hills Baptist Church
Saturday, March 14, 2020
11:00 AM EDT
Northview Campus of Blythefield Hills Baptist Church
4162 Hunsberger Ave NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49525
There will also be an opportunity to visit with Dick's family immediately following the service.
At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
Gregarious, humble, and kind, Richard "Dick" Paul Bandy lived a life rich in family, faith, and service. Dick was openminded and engaging, making friends wherever he went. Always respectful of others and their opinions, Dick was a lively conversationalist. While he listened to others with earnest, he was also not afraid to share his faith. A selfless man, Dick quickly gave of his time and talents in service to his country and community. A devoted husband, father, grandfather, and friend, Dick proved a powerful role model for all who were blessed to know him. Treasured by many, Dick's legacy will be proudly carried forward by those he loved.
The beginning of 1929 continued to ride the decade's roaring wave of peace, prosperity, and hope. The nation celebrated the recent inventions of Penicillin, the iron lung, bubble gum, and the Yo-Yo, as well as Charles Lindbergh's Congressional Medal of Honor and Amelia Earhart becoming the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic. As the wave of sweeping social and economic growth rapidly increased, nowhere was there more hope for the future than in the home of Jonathan and Elsie (Angerstein) Bandy as they welcomed their son Richard into their family on April 27. Born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, the middle of the three Bandy boys, Dick's early years were fraught with uncertainty and struggle. Dick learned quickly what it was like to live with very little and not knowing what the next day would hold. Despite the challenges he faced, Dick was a bright young man who was eager to learn and grow.
As a teen, Dick attended Calumet High School. It was during these years that a local pastor knocked on the family door and encouraged Dick, his brothers, and his best friend Duke to attend church, changing Dick’s trajectory and every decision that followed. Soon, Dick's parents began attending the church as well. The pastor saw something in Dick and encouraged him in his faith and all of life. This powerful mentorship helped Dick build the firm foundation of faith upon which he built the rest of his life.
A gifted and disciplined student, Dick graduated early from high school and enlisted in the Army at the end of WWII. Mainly stationed in Japan, Dick was responsible for working through the lists of servicemen who had died during the war to determine the cause of death for each. Dick was proud of his service and remained patriotic throughout his life, always singing along when a patriotic song came on and encouraging others to join. Dick's service in the Army provided him with the opportunity to attend college. He went to Bethel College in St. Paul, Minnesota, where he enjoyed both his studies and the close friendships he formed. It was within this group of friends that he had the good fortune of meeting Patricia "Pat" Alms. As the couple spent time together, they realized they had come from very different backgrounds. Despite these differences, Dick and Pat quickly grew closer.
After graduating from Bethel, Dick started seminary school but realized it was not his calling. He proposed to Pat, and they married at Wheaton Bible Church in Illinois on June 19, 1954. To support his new family, Dick spent some time underwriting insurance, but then felt the call to be a teacher. He returned to school and eventually earned his Masters Degree from Colorado State University.
Dick began teaching in a Chicago suburb, but he and Pat had visited friends in Grand Rapids and enjoyed the feel of a smaller community. Setting their eyes on a new beginning in West Michigan, Dick and Pat moved in 1957, where they built a small house in the Northview area. Dick’s family had never owned a home throughout the entirety of his childhood, so he took great pride in purchasing, building, and owning his first home. At the end of that year, the family grew to include son Steve, and a couple of years later, daughter Barbara. Dick relished fatherhood. As a dad, he was the rock of the family. He was a very active father and husband. He and Pat consciously created a home where kids felt safe and protected – a place where their friends felt loved as well. Dick was a regular part of the household chores. Since his wife also worked full time, he would always lend a hand around the household. Masterfully vacuuming the house was his specialty. He had a conversational way of interacting with his children. He read books to the kids and tucked them into bed when they were young, played ball, gave advice -- when you needed him, he was there. The family enjoyed several vacations when the kids were young. Saving coins until they could go to Disney was a highlight, and they enjoyed many trips to Pat's parents' cabin in Colorado, where Dick took pleasure in marveling at God’s creation, being with his family, and fishing in the creek. In time, Dick and Pat built another home on Northview Drive and eventually settled into their home on Plainfield Avenue. This is where they have lived for the past 42 years and Dick was able to stay in the home he loved until he went to be with Jesus.
Once in Grand Rapids, he began teaching at Sigsbee elementary. After a few years in the classroom, he became principal and later became Director of Elementary Schools. Dick retired from Grand Rapids Public Schools, but continued working into his early 80's as a supervisor and mentor for student teachers from Michigan State University and later from Cornerstone University. Dick and Pat were very active in the fellowship of Northland Baptist Church, in Grand Rapids, which not only fed them spiritually but also afforded them numerous friendships. Dick taught Sunday School for many years. He taught the Immanuel Class and also those who were about 10 years younger than him and Pat. He and Pat fit well with the younger couples as they were youthful and active themselves. This was most clear when they chose to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary by riding roller coasters with their family at Great America.
As Dick and Pat's children grew into adulthood, they were blessed with the precious gift of grandchildren. Dick cherished his role as “Tebah”, and never let distance or time get in the way of participating in their lives. Though the kids lived several hours away, he and Pat would eagerly hop in the car and drive to their activities. The grandkids also enjoyed many summertime visits with Tebah and Nana. Embodying the principles of his faith, Dick was a powerful role model for his grandchildren. He was loving, kind, selfless, hopeful, forgiving, and an unwavering stand for each of them. In the reflections of his eyes, they clearly saw their worth and knew they were loved beyond measure.
Though Dick enjoyed being active and volunteering his service, he was able to get away and enjoy leisure time. He and Pat loved traveling the world, learning and experiencing new things. They took many trips to see their grandchildren, and their favorite place was Disney World. They traveled to Disney nearly 30 times over the years, navigating through the parks in a skillful, routine-like manner so that they could enjoy all of the adventures Disney had to offer. When he had downtime at home, he enjoyed reading, teaching, listening to music, watching old musicals, playing games, and going for walks.
Though Dick would likely not want to be remembered for all these things, as he didn't like to call attention to himself, a reflection on his life shows that he had a lot to be thankful for in life. It also shows the many ways he gifted those who were blessed to know him. Without a doubt, Dick's faith and family were his greatest joys, and his influence has left an indelible mark on the lives of those he loved.
Richard P Bandy, age 90 of Grand Rapids, went home to be with his Lord and Savior on March 4, 2020. Dick is survived by his wife of 65 years, Pat; their children Steve (Kristy) Bandy and Barbara (Tom) Bandy-Slagle; grandchildren Kasey, Nathan, Natalie, Tess, Kate, Kara (Andy), Bree (Gustavo), Rebekah, Brennan (Basia), Alexa, Sam and Jess; great-grandchildren Finley, Quincy, Isabel, Delia, Owen, and Ethan; nieces Merri (Charles) Lewis and Vanessa (Jaime) Engle. He was preceded in death by his father, Johnathan Robert; mother, Elsie, and brothers Robert (Kathy) and Ray (Angie). A service to remember and celebrate Dick’s life will be held on Saturday, March 14 at 11 AM at the Northview Campus of Blythefield Hills Baptist Church, 4162 Hunsberger Ave NE where friends are invited to visit with his family from 10 AM until the service. For those who wish, memorial contributions to the church are appreciated. To read more about Dick’s life, to share a memory or photo, or to sign his guestbook, visit www.heritagelifestory.com