Richard A. Gartee

Richard Andrew “Dick” Gartee, age 95, passed away peacefully in his home in Gainesville, Fla., Wednesday, July 21, 2021. Dick was born in Monroe, Mich., and attended Dundee High School. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy at age 17 and served for the duration of WWII.

Following the war, Dick worked for Tecumseh Products Company in Tecumseh, Mich. as a mechanical engineer, and later, as master mechanical engineer for the company’s plant in Somerset, Ky. After 30 years at Tecumseh Products Company, he started his own engineering consulting firm specializing in industrial robotics. Dick earned two patents for his designs. Later, he became the plant engineer for Standard Products Company in Lexington, Ky.

Upon retiring, Dick moved to Florida, initially living in Keystone Heights and later moving into Gainesville. For many years, he served as a volunteer chaplain at Alachua General Hospital (Shands AGH). He often remarked that of the many jobs he’d done in his life, serving as chaplain was the most rewarding. Prior to his chaplaincy, he was a deacon or elder at churches wherever he lived and volunteered with Habitat for Humanity.

In 2004, he met and married his loving wife, Florence, who survives him. He is also survived by his son, Richard W. Gartee; daughter, Sharyl (Norman) Beal; step-daughters, Debbie (Gary) Snider and Pamela (Larry) Flynn; and step-sons, Richard Smith and Greg Green. Dick has six grandchildren, three step-grandchildren, 17 great-grandchildren, and three nieces.

From the Roaring Twenties to the present day, Dick witnessed big changes in American life. His 2018 biography, “Skating on Skim Ice,” puts key transformative eras of the last century in context through the experiences of this exceptional man.

Funeral services were held on Monday, July 26, at First United Methodist Church, 419 NE 1st Street, Gainesville, Fla. The family received friends on Sunday, July 25th at Milam Funeral Home. Interment will be at the Veterans Affairs’ Florida National Cemetery on Tuesday.

Because of cemetery restrictions, the family asks that flowers not be sent. For those who wish, contributions in lieu of flowers may be made to Haven Hospice, 4200 NW 90th Blvd., Gainesville, FL 32606 or a charity of your choice. Arrangements are in the care of Milam Funeral and Cremation Services, 311 S. Main Street, Gainesville, FL 32601, (352) 376-5361,


Tecumseh Herald


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Tecumseh, MI 49286

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