Richard “Dick” S. Guererri of Olive Branch, MS, passed away on April 13, 2018 at his residence. He was 84 years old.

Dick was born on November 26, 1933 to Eugene and Catherine Guererri in Geneva, NY. He had five siblings, three brothers and two sisters. Dick enrolled at Alfred University, where he played baseball and football. He served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War, and since he was an exceptional athlete in high school, he played football on the championship-winning European U.S. Army Football team. Noticing his talent on the field, a young Al Davis recruited Dick to the Citadel in Charleston, SC to play football. Dick played both baseball and football throughout his time at the Citadel. He then was drafted to play football for the Cleveland Browns. It was during his senior year of college that he met and fell in love with his beautiful wife of 60 years, Gloria Alice Thornley of Monks Corner, SC. They were married on October 24, 1957, and together they had four sons within a six year period; the late Richard Jr., Edward, the late Darwin, and John.

After graduating from the Citadel with his degree in Civil Engineering, Dick went to work as an engineer for the Kentucky Highway Department. A few years later, Dick was offered a job with Boeing Company, and he and his family moved to Slidell, LA so he could begin working at the Stennis Space Center. In 1965, Boeing moved the family to Huntsville, AL, where Dick worked on NASA’s new Apollo and Saturn V Rocket Program. He was a recipient of the distinguished Saturn V Role of Honor for his contributions. He was also honored with personal letters of recognition from Neil Armstrong and other astronauts from both the Apollo 8 Mission and the Apollo 11 mission, as well as a metal medallion made from the heat shield of the spacecraft.

In 1970, NASA was winding down the Apollo programs, and Dick decided to take a new job in Memphis, TN as the Vice President of Construction Management for Medicenter of America. In 1978, Dick made the decision to go work for a brand new company called Federal Express, which was in its infant stages. Dick held a number of different positions during his 27-year career at FedEx, including Managing Director of Properties and Construction and Director of Facilities Planning. He oversaw much of the construction developing the Memphis SuperHub.

Dick retired from FedEx in 2004. He then worked part-time for the engineering firm Fisher Arnold until retiring fully in 2012. Dick was a loving husband and father who prioritized his family above all else and took the time to coach football for his four sons. He is survived by his wife, Gloria and preceded by his sons, Rick (Laura, 2004) and Darwin (Leslie, 1996); and survived by his sons, Eddie (Nicole) and Johnny (Dale). He is also survived by his sisters, Eunice MaCarthey of Rochester, NY and Kathleen Heatherly of Memphis, TN, as well as his brother, Basil of Geneva, NY. He is preceded by his brothers, Peter and Gene. He is also survived by his nine grandchildren, Caroline, William, Paige, Sam, John Darwin, Thomas, Andrew, Savannah, and Ashlyn and one great-grandchild, Olivia.

The family will receive friends from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m., Wednesday, April 18 at Memorial Park Funeral Home and Cemetery. A celebration Mass will be held at St. Louis Catholic Church on Thursday, April 19 at 1:30 p.m., followed by a reception at the church hall.

The family requests, in lieu of flowers, that donations be sent the Richard Guererri Scholarship Fund in care of Regions, 8975 East Goodman Road, Olive Branch, MS 38654.

Posted in: The Commercial Appeal

Posted on: 2018-04-17

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