Richard “Dick” Donald Houle

Richard “Dick” Houle passed away unexpectedly on his 83rd birthday, July 3, 2018, at Abbott Northwestern Hospital, in Minneapolis, MN. He was a resident of Prior Lake, MN.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be on Tuesday, July 24 at 11 am, with a time of gathering starting at 9:30 am, at St. Michael Catholic Church 16311 Duluth Ave SE, Prior Lake, followed by military honors provided by the Prior Lake V.F.W. Honor Guard. Fr. Tom Walker will preside. Urn bearers will be grandchildren, Alex Houle, John Houle, Gabrielle Houle and Dan Grimm. A private family interment will be at St. Michael Catholic Cemetery.

On July 3, 1935 in St Paul, MN, Richard Donald was born to John and Lydia (Bernier) Houle. He was the younger brother to Agatha, Genevieve, Lloyd, Elaine, Lester and Iris. As a young boy, Dick assisted his parents on the family farm. When time allowed, he joined friends at the local roller skating rink. After graduating from Forest Lake High School, Dick furthered his education at St Cloud State University, studying engineering. Before being able to complete his degree, Dick was drafted into the United States Army. He spent two years active duty as a mechanic, followed by an additional six years in the Army Reserves.

Dick met a classmate by the name of Barbara Bailey. It wasn’t until after he returned from the service that they became close friends. One afternoon while waiting for a train to pass, Barbara leaned over, kissed Dick and the rest is history. On June 28, 1958 at St. Peter Catholic Church in Forest Lake, MN, they were united in Holy Matrimony. They were blessed with four children Richard, Christopher, William and Mary.

Over the next eleven years the Houle family moved 10 times, due to Dick’s career. The job transfers took them to Pennsylvania, Wyoming, Michigan, Florida, and North Dakota. In 1971, he and Barbara finally returned to Minnesota, settling in Prior Lake to finish raising their children. Throughout Dick’s career, he was responsible for the I.T. (information technology) and management, with the company first known as Sperry Univac, then Burroughs and finally in his professional years, Unisys. One of Dick’s greatest accomplishments was being part of the Gemini Launch crew in Cape Canaveral, FL, in February 1962. He was also a member of the Atlas Program guiding Lt Col. John Glen into space. After a 35-year career, he retired in 2000.

As a father, Dick loved taking his children camping. He was involved in every aspect of Rich, Chris, Bill and Mary’s life. Dick never missed any school or sporting activities. He was even a boy scout leader too. In 1988, Dick and Barbara found their perfect home on Cedar Lake in New Prague, MN; before retiring back to Prior Lake in 2006. He was very intelligent and could fix or build just about anything, including the family’s first color TV and Ham Radios. Dick greatest passion was his family. He relished being a grandpa and had a special bond with each of the grandchildren. His social calendar was always full of family activities.

On February 3, 2016, Dick lost the love of his life, Barbara. Over the last several years, he has found great company with long time and special friend, Mary O’Laughlin. They enjoyed going out to eat, watching sports and attending family gatherings.

Dick completed his journey on earth with class and dignity. He had an amazing character of being loyal, honest, confident, and most of all loving. Dick was a gentle giant, who always greeted you with a huge hug.

Forever loved, Dick will be missed by son, Rich (Dee) Houle and children Alex, Lydia, and Claire; son, Chris (Joanie) Houle and children Ashley and John; son, Bill (Carmel) Houle and children Gabrielle and Emily; son-in-law, Phil (Teri) Grimm and children, Dan and Lindsey; special one, Mary O’Laughlin; constant companion, Sassy (the dog); many relatives and friends.

Dick entered eternal life with beloved wife of 57 years, Barbara; cherished daughter, Mary Grimm; parents, John and Lydia; and six siblings.

Ballard-Sunder Funeral and Cremation proudly served and cared for the Houle family.

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Condolence Messages

  1. George and Beth Wynns

    You are in our thoughts and prayers.
    May you feel the comfort of God’s arms around you through your time of grief.
    Blessings of love surround you.

    Beth and George Wynns

  2. Jeanette Houle Thatcher

    Dear Richard D. Houle Family,
    We are so sad to hear of your father’s passing. I have special memories of him from our visits to Minnesota in the summers and his and your mother’s visit to us in California. I was especially glad to have seen him at Uncle Lloyd’s funeral. We had a wonderful visit and he shared with us so much from his childhood and work adventures. Truly a special man. So now he rejoins your mother, sister and family in God’s care. Peace and blessings to all of you.
    Jeanette and Michael Thatcher ( Lester’s daughter )

  3. Uncle Richard will be truly missed.
    Our love, John and Jane Helmuth

  4. Jacqueline Houle

    Dear Rich, Chris and Bill: Cousin Mary told me of your loss. I am so sorry to hear about your Dads passing. We talked a short time ago and we remembered how much Uncle Lester and I had visiting with your Mom and Dad. May you be comforted knowing they will be with your loving sister, Mary. Peace and love to all.

  5. My thoughts and prayers to your family Bill.

  6. I will really miss this sweet man. Both him and Barbara always had a smile when coming in for grooming Sassy. On holidays I couldn’t wait to see what she was wearing. Always glowing.

  7. My heartfelt sympathies go out to the family and friends. May you find some comfort in the promise found in Revelation 21: 3-4 and 1Thessalonians 4:14. Knowing that there is an opportunity to be reunited with loved ones.

  8. My heartfelt sympathies go out to the family and friends. May you find some comfort in the promise found in Revelation 21: 3-4 and 1Thessalonians 4:14. Knowing that there is an opportunity to be reunited with loved ones.

  9. I was sorry to read about the loss of Dick .. we worked together several years and I quickly learned what a fantastic person he was under all conditions. I would like to offer my condolences to his family.

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