Dick died on October 28th after a long battle with heart muscle disease. Dick was Mayor of Wake Forest, a long time Raleigh businessman, a commercial real estate broker, an advocate for Economic Development, an active Rotarian, and a loving husband, father and grandfather.
Dick served as Mayor of Wake Forest from 1993 to 1997. During his term the population of Wake Forest doubled and the tax base quadrupled. Dick facilitated the merger of the Wake Forest Cultural Arts Association with the United Arts Council of Wake County which produced funding for the popular “Six Sundays in Spring” concert series which was begun during his term. Funding was found for a “Camp I Can” for less fortunate children in town. Dick helped secure the final funding for the Senior Citizens’ Center and led the Town to donate its existing library building to Wake County in order to obtain a new larger, modern library for the Town. At the end of his term he was awarded special recognition by the Chamber of Commerce for his contribution to Economic Development. He continued this effort by serving on the Wake County Economic Development Commission for twelve years.
Dick and his wife, Janet, founded Monteith Travel Service in 1983 and built it into a three office chain with annual sales exceeding $5 million dollars. After the sale of the travel business in 1997, Dick began a career as a commercial real estate broker. Dick brokered deals which created Capital Commerce Plaza, Wake Forest’s first major retail center, and numerous residential developments.
Dick was President of the Rotary Club of Wake Forest, Assistant District Governor, a charter member of the Paul Harris Society, and served in a number of other Rotary efforts, including chairing two different district conferences. Dick served as the District Governor’s Special Representative for the founding of the new Wakefield / Wake Forest Rotary Club. In 2009, the Rotary Club of Wake Forest named Dick as their “Rotarian of the Year”. Dick was awarded the Rotary Foundation’s Major Donor Award in 2013.
Before moving to Wake Forest, Dick worked as an economic analyst in Washington, DC, and was the owner-operator along with his first wife of a successful Hallmark Shop.
Dick traveled widely having visited Europe and the Caribbean countries including a special trip to Cuba with a Habitat for Humanity exploratory team. He was an avid reader and published over 100 book reviews, wrote several journal and newspaper articles, many poems and short stories, as well as the novel, Journeys Home: Choices that Faced the Boomer Generation.
His children remember the many provocative op-ed articles and journal pieces that he emailed to them asking, “What do you think?”, and all remember the freewheeling debates, the poetry readings and discussions that he moderated over when all were gathered around the dinner table.
Dick was preceded in death by his parents, Richard and Ruth Monteith of Sumter, SC, his first wife, Peggy Robbins Monteith and a sister, Annette Brunson. In 1981 Dick met a young widow, Janet Snow Mote; the two were married and moved to Wake Forest, NC. There they adopted each others’ children and together raised three children, Kathy Monteith Otten of Hillsborough, NH; Dr. Theresa Monteith Johnson of Morehead City, NC; and Andrew Alderman Monteith of Matthews, NC. Dick and Janet have seven grandchildren, who lovingly called them “DD” and “JJ”. Dick is also survived by two sisters, Elizabeth Burke of Dalzell, S.C., and Grace Pack, of Lake City, Ark.
A memorial service will be held at 11:00AM on Thursday, November 6th in St John’s Episcopal Church, Wake Forest, and the family will receive friends following the service.
In lieu of flowers, the family would like to request that contributions be made in Dick’s honor to the Rotary Club of Wake Forest Foundation, C/O Rotary Club of Wake Forest, P.O. Box 1126, Wake Forest, NC 27588 or to the Capital Campaign Fund at St John’s Episcopal Church, P.O. Box 608, Wake Forest, NC 27588. A private family burial will be held at the St John’s Episcopal Church Columbarium.
A Service of Bright Funeral Home & Cremation Center. (919-556-5811)