It is said that life is a journey. If so, then Andrew Dickard was a true conductor.
After retiring from Martin Marietta in Florida, Mr. Dickard returned to Maryland, where his passion to serve his church led him to become a Eucharistic minister, lector and volunteer at St. Ignatius (Hickory). Fr. Barker, the Pastor at St. Ignatius, recalls, “Andy was a deeply faithful, humble, and quietly strong man, who shared his faith through the example of the way he lived his life with strength of character, steadfastness, and constant concern for those in need.”
Russell Schalk, Mr. Dickard’s nephew, says of his beloved uncle, “He provided me a wonderful example throughout my life. I never heard him say anything negative about another. When things were not right, I went to him. He always counseled me to find solace in prayer. Now, even though he’s gone, whenever I have a problem, I ask myself, ‘How would my uncle have dealt with this?'”
When not serving his church or guiding his family, Mr. Dickard embarked on his other life passion – trains. He enjoyed long train trips, even spending one vacation working in a rail yard. When traveling abroad, he never missed Mass, even if it took two or three hours to find a church.
When Mr. Dickard passed away in early 2009, he made a significant bequest to Catholic Charities through his will. He appreciated the way the Our Daily Bread Employment Center building is designed like a train station. In it, guests struggling with homelessness and poverty are encouraged to take their next steps on the road to achieving self-sufficiency.
Without judgment and in the spirit of “Cherishing the Divine Within” each person, Mr. Dickard’s generous legacy gift cries “All Aboard” to the thousands of people Catholic Charities serves who are embarking on their journeys of self-improvement and change.