Richard “Dick” Amell
United States Veteran
Richard “Dick” Amell, a classic member of the Greatest Generation, passed away on Friday evening, March 13, 2020. During his 93 years Dick lived a multi-faceted life. He was a WWII bomber crewman, aerospace engineer, aviator, sailor, glider pilot, outdoorsman, rancher, devoted husband, father, grandfather, and great grandfather.
Dick Amell was born in Kenmore, NY on March 5, 1927, the son of Basil and Elva Amell. Immediately after graduating from high school in 1944, he enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Force and flew as a B-17 flight engineer in the Pacific War. At war’s end he volunteered to return to the Pacific for the atomic bomb tests at Bikini atoll, flying hazardous data-collecting missions from the island of Eniwetok. Discharged later in 1946, Dick returned to his home town in New York state where he went to college on the GI Bill and met his future wife, Laura, to whom he would be married for 69 years. Dick was recalled to active duty with the outbreak of the Korean war and served his country again until 1952 when he began his career in the aerospace industry. Dick worked for Bell Aircraft, first in New York, and then in California where he was a test engineer on the experimental X-2 rocket plane. Later, as an engineer with Lockheed, Dick became deeply involved with the U.S. space program, working at Cape Canaveral and later in Houston on the space shuttle simulator. Retired from Lockheed in 1986, Dick and Laura became full time ranchers in Centerville, Texas. In 1999 they settled in the Spruce Creek Fly-In in Port Orange, FL to continue Dick’s life long involvement with airplanes and to be near their daughters.
Dick Amell’s memory will be cherished by his wife, Laura, their children Anne Busse-Gandt (husband Bob), Susan Amell, Bill “Pila” Amell, Kathy Castillo (husband Darrell), his grandchildren, Troy Busse, Matt Stebbins, Kainoa Hauanio , Mahea Gambill, Kapua Reyes, Aina Amell, and their 13 great grandchildren. Dick’s siblings include his brother Foster Amell (wife Sherry), brother Robert Amell, and sister Marge Evans (husband Tony). In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent in memory of Richard Amell to Halifax Health Hospice, 3800 Woodbriar Trail, Port Orange FL 32129.