Richard ‘Dick’ Samuelson

By on February 20, 2014

Richard “Dick” Samuelson, 58, of Yorkville, formerly of Sugar Grove, passed away suddenly Saturday evening, Feb. 15, 2014.

Dick was born Feb. 21, 1955, in Geneva, the son of Emanuel and Elizabeth (Hulseberg) Samuelson.

Dick grew up in Elburn and attended local schools. He graduated from Kaneland High School in 1973 after four straight years on stage with the drama club.

Dick followed up his high school education at both Waubonsee Community College and the University of Wisconsin Banking School. In addition to an Associates Degree in banking from Waubonsee, Dick earned an advanced degree in banking from the University of Illinois and University of Wisconsin.

Dick began working in the banking industry in high school with Kane County Bank & Trust, before starting a career at Merchants Bank in Aurora. He returned to work at Merchants for many years before becoming chairman of the board, president and CEO of Benchmark Bank, eventually adding branches in St. Charles and Aurora, where he concluded his banking career.

Although he lived in different locations over the years, he spent the most time calling Sugar Grove home. Most recently he moved to Yorkville in 2012.

Dick was a very active member of Big Brothers and Big Sisters of America, eventually becoming a Big Brother himself. He was certified in Kane County to take foster children into his home, giving them the love and support they sorely needed. Dick also was a board member and past president of Family Counseling in Aurora. In addition, Dick also served many years on the Kaneland School Board, where he was also past president.

Dick was a man with a very big heart, helping many people throughout his lifetime. He enjoyed working in the yard, riding the tractor and cultivating his herb garden. Those herbs transformed his kitchen into another world full of wonderful smells and delicious treats, which were always shared with family and friends.

Dick was chosen as one of the “Fab Forty” during Waubonsee Community College’s 40th anniversary. Dick was “the biggest Disney fan ever,” boasting a huge collection of Disney memorabilia that spanned decades.

He is survived by his sons, Michael Samuelson and Matthew Adragna; two siblings, Terry (Terri) Samuelson and Shirley Easley; and many nieces and nephews, including Jeremy (Lindsay) Samuelson and their son, Jaxson, Ryan (Colleen) Samuelson and their daughters, Samantha, Lilliana and Sloan, Adam (Jennifer) Samuelson, Jonathan Easley and Daniel (Shana) Easley, Jared Davis, Joshua Blatner and Kelly Humiston and her children, Graelyn and Isaac.

He is preceded in death by his parents, Emanuel and Elizabeth Samuelson; and one sister, Verdell Blatner.

A memorial visitation will take place from 4 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 20, at Conley Funeral Home, 116 W. Pierce St., Elburn. A memorial service to celebrate his life will take place at 11 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 21, at Community Congregational Church of Elburn, 100 E. Shannon St., Elburn. Private family interment will follow the service at a later date.