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Archery's loss Heaven's gain...  Dick Lattimer passe


Written by Archery Hall of Fame President, M. R. James


     DICK LATTIMER AND I shared more than just a December 6th birthday, Indiana roots and a passion for good writing. Our paths crossed countless times during the past five decades, and like most folks who knew him, I have lots of private memories of Dick and his many professional accomplishments.


Dick went to work for the Bonsib Ad Agency in Fort Wayne a few years before Don Clark and I laid the foundation for publishing the first issues of Bowhunter magazine in that same northern Indiana city. And when Dick began working as a Bear Archery account executive, and later left Bonsib to work for Papa Bear himself, our business connection was sealed. One of my earliest recollections of Dick was at an Archery Manufacturers and Merchants Organization meeting in Chicago. Though we didn't know it at the time, Dick later would become AMO president. His leadership qualities and organizational abilities would be hallmarks of Dick's pro-hunting, pro-conservation efforts throughout the years.


Mutual friends of AHOF's guiding light, Dave Staples, Dick and I later served on the Board of Directors with Dave and I was there to witness Dick's induction in 1999. We both later served the AHOF as its vice president. Ironically Dick became AHOF president upon Dave's untimely death and I stepped in to replace Dick after declining health forced him to resign his leadership post.


 Only five years my senior, Dick was always someone I respected and admired. Signed copies of his two popular books, I remember Papa Bear (2005) and Hunt With Fred Bear (2006) rest on a shelf near my office desk. Additionally, an official certificate naming me a charter member of the Fred Bear Sports Club, signed by Fred Bear and executive director, Dick Lattimer, dated August 1, 1972, is displayed in my same home office.

Jokingly referring to us as charter members of the "12/6 Club" because of our shared birth date. Dick inscribed his books "To My Old  Friend, M. R. James, With Best Personal Regards."


Thanks for the sentiment and friendship, Dick. And personal thanks for all you did for our sport, always leading the way. Now you can rest easy while we shoulder the load you carried for so long and well. And finally thank you, Alice for sharing Dick with all of us. Archery and bowhunting are better today because of your involvement.




Straight Shot

           with frank addington, jr.



I got sad news this evening via email from my friend Dick Mauch.  It seems that we have lost another member of our archery family with the passing of Dick Lattimer around 3AM on the morning of Tuesday, September 6, 2011.  Dick was a great man and did so much for the sport of archery.   Most everyone knows how close Dick was to the late Fred Bear, whom he worked for over 20 years.  Although he handled advertising and PR for Bear, he and Fred seemed to me to have a close knit bond like a father-son relationship.  He helped usher in the boom in archery the sport had in the 1970's by promoting the Bear campaign, "Become a two season hunter."  When you saw Fred at a public event in the 1970's until his passing, Dick was usually at his side camera and notepad in hand. 

In addition to a career at Bear, Dick was also heavily involved in AMO, and authored at least four books,  one on space, one on Jesus, and the two books, "I remember Papa Bear" and "Hunt with Fred Bear." He was also involved with the Archery Hall of Fame and other archery related organizations. Although I never met her, his emails to me often mentioned his wife Alice, who survives Dick.  We had a running joke because I often did summer shows in Florida, and Dick & his wife would be in Indiana for the summer and then in the winter when I did the Indiana show Dick and Alice would be back in Florida.  I would often tease Dick for avoiding me and my show.  It became a running joke.  Dick had a great sense of humor.

In the coming days I am sure there will much written about this fine man.  He is an archery Hall of Fame member and did so much for our sport.  I am reminded

 of the story about the great western actor Ben Johnson.   Johnson won an Oscar for his role in "The Last Picture Show" before John Wayne won his Oscar for True Grit.  Yet even while Johnson had an Oscar, and at the time Duke did not, Johnson often had roles that had him playing John Wayne's sidekick.  One reporter once asked if that didn't bother Johnson being such an accomplished actor and yet playing second fiddle to Wayne, Johnson is supposed to have replied, "Somebody has to hold the horses...."   That was Dick Lattimer.  He never seemed to mind helping shine the spotlight on Fred Bear, Bear Archery and the sport of archery.  He was always behind the scenes, running a camera, video camera, or banging out words on a typewriter.   In my book Dick was as good as they come. 


I thanked him a just a few years ago for not running me off as a kid when I would bug Fred at shows.  He could have and yet never did.  As a matter of fact, I still have an envelope of photos Dick sent me of Fred and I at an event.  He mailed them to me a few weeks after the show.   During the event, my parent's and I had attended a big fancy private party Fred hosted in Atlanta during the SHOT SHOW.  We stayed till the end and walked down the hall as Fred and Dick left the party.  I snapped a photo of the two of them walking down the hall together, the hero and his trusty sidekick.  Now days I view them both as heroes.  I see that it was Dick who often was behind the scenes helping steer the media and image of Fred and Bear Archery.


His eulogy "It was quiet in the forest" that he wrote and read at Fred's service was one of the most beautiful eulogies I'd ever seen. Although I didn't attend the service,  he sent me a big packet of stuff shortly after Fred's service which had a copy of that eulogy in it.  He was thoughtful like that because he knew just how much I loved and admired Fred.  Dick was often selfless and always thinking of others. Anyway, perhaps that's a fitting end for our friend Dick, because once again the crow has come to tell us of the death of that giant Bear's great and trusted friend.  The Forest is again quiet..  So long Dick, we'll miss you.  Thanks again........  our sad loss is now Heaven's gain. 

Frank Addington, Jr.



Tribute from Dick Mauch

It's 3:19 AM, Sept 9th, and I am wide awake.  Carol and I went to Plum Creek to check the cabin gas bottles, the refrigerator freezer, the little garden, and to pick the tomatoes.  While Carol did some mowing and moved some cattle mineral tubs with the ATV, I was alone (but with my two vizslas, Kat and Two) to tidy up inside the cabin.   I kept thinking of Dick Lattimer and recalling the fun times of the past years.    I kept remembering his hearty laughter, who could ever forget that special boistrous laugh, which was so very much Dick.    I was naturally drawn over to the curtain on which Dick had recorded his visits to Plum Creek.    He had been the first to sign in on the new curtains when he came with Fred and Glenn St. Charles for a spring turkey hunt in May, 1982.    It was not his first visit or hunt with me and the old Bear Gang.   That one was the fall of 1976 and was just the beginning of creating our special bond of friendship.    I don't have an exact record or memory of the other visits  before I built the cabin, but he, Fred, and Kelly were in Bassett to help us celebrate the completion of the first 1 millionth bowstring we made for Bear Archery , and I remember another fall hunt with them when he laid out the issue of the "Big Sky", Fred Bear Sports club publication to help us in our fight to save the Niobrara River from a Pork Barrel Federal dam. The effort which ultimately, we won and which is now a part of the U.S. Park system scenic River.   Our Niobrara scenic river is now almost being "loved too much" by the thousands  of visitors who canoe, ride tubes, and just come to see the natural beauty of the special places like Smith Falls.    I believe it was in the fall of 1980 that Dick volunteered his talent, took many pictures of our bowstrings on natural backgrounds, of the factory floor at work, and produced the art and layout, printer ready, for my Cornhusker Archery Bowstring brochure.   Yes, he did this on his own for me, his friend.

     Dick always had his camera ready and he shared some of this best shots, many with Fred and others of the gang witch often included, Gordon Ford, Dr. David Strider, K.K. Knickerbocker, Fred, Bob Kelly, Judd Grindell, Ben Rogers Lee, and sometimes a local bowhunter or two.   In that era, 1970's to about 1990, Archery Turkey hunting was finally being accepted.    Earlier, many turkey enthusiasts thought the bow and arrow inadequate for turkeys.    With stories of our hunts with Ben Lee, and Fred.   Bear Archery's special 1979 catalog to turkey hunting, Dick's layout work in using a fine artist, Rod Lawrence, in lieu of actual photos on all pages led the way for acceptance of bowhunting the wild turkey.    The inside cover and first pages "Fred Bear Challenges you to try bowhunting the Wild Turkey." On page 8 of the catalog, Dick used a topographic map of our Plum Creek property for background of the compound bows.   Dick, Fred, and Kelly sent us a framed print of one of Rod Lawrence's turkey paintings, same format as the catalog.   This afternoon that picture caught my eye as it adorns a place on one of the cabin walls.  More memories came flooding back to times and event and Dick's, and Fred's first turkeys.    Those are special stories I might someday tell.

    There was still more than Turkey Bowhunting in that 1979 catalog. The inside back cover featured several other related activities which Dick Lattimer headed up and devoted much time and energy to.   "Care about America's wildlife, WE DO, a plug for the International Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies.   There also, a picture of the Board of Directors of the American Archery Council, and the AAC archery ranges being initiated around the country.

 Fred Bear, Bob Kelly, and Dick Lattimer, now all are legends that will ever be remembered in the National Archery Hall of Fame. 

    When Dick decorated his spot on my curtain, he drew the Bear Archery logo, black and green.   Each succeeding  trip he just filled in the dates of month and year.   Oct. 1982 (with Fred and Glenn), ; 1st of May, 1984 (spring turkey hunt with Fred);  2nd May, 1985; Fall Hunt 1989 with Kelly's White Hat Gang, Glenn and Margaret, but Kelly ailing and absent.; October 1990 ; October 1991 on the curtain, but on the south wall over the window, are two arrows which harvested two whitetail does.   One is Ann Hoyt's.   One is Dick Lattimer's, date Oct 31, 1991.    Above and to the right of the Bear Logo, signed on July 1992, Alice and Dick together spent some time with Carol and me.   Nov. 1993 signed W.T. Buck with fire stick.   Oh Yes, I remember, Dick had both Archery and Rifle season permits.   The chance he would have liked in the archery season using the same ground blind, Dick reported the story, the buck was so close that the scope sight on the deer could only see hair and wouldn't he have loved to have had the archery season extended one more day and have traded that 243 for his take down Bear.

    November 1994,Buck with Muzzle loader.   Dick again had both Archery and firearm deer permits but wanted to try a more primitive method to hunt.   With a bit of instruction, some practice shots at re-loading, he took a stand with Carol's 54 cal. Hawken rifle, adjacent a good trail at the bottom of a canyon.   He killed his buck which was, like the year before, another when he wished bow season had still been in, about 10 steps from where he sat.   


   So this wee morning hour, I do not grieve for Dick.    He left us too soon and I wonder that I am now the last survivor of that old gang.    Dick suffered much these past few years, and it quelled that wonderful boisterous laugh that I so remember and liked to hear.    I do not wish him back for I know he wanted to move on and his faith and the record of his life and actions will be most pleasing to his reception before the "Great White Throne".   

   I regret that I could not attend his final memorial tribute.   I have been blessed to have had him for my foster Fred Bear Brother.   I loved him, too.    


Dick Mauch


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