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Dick Wolff dies at 87

Editor’s note: Dick Wolff joined OWAA in 1953, served on the board of directors several times and was awarded life membership in 1986. Former historian Ed Hanson said of him: “Dick has been a staunch supporter of OWAA for years and years in a quiet style that never sought recognition but produced results.” Following is the obituary that ran March 26 in the Richmond Times-Dispatch.
By Ellen Robertson
Times-Dispatch staff writer

RICHMOND, Va. – As a young man, Richard Charles “Dick” Wolff and a buddy he grew up with in New York City’s Bronx borough would drive a Studebaker into the Adirondack Mountains, fold the seats flat and spend the night, eager for the next day’s fishing.
Fishing, camping and hunting evolved into a lifelong passion and life’s work, said his son, Warren Wolff of Danville, Va.
Wolff, an outdoorsman and writer who retired as vice president of public relations for Swedish-based Abu Garcia sporting equipment business, died March 23, 2009, at a Halifax County hospital. The 87-year-old Clarksville resident was honored at a memorial service March 26 at St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Church in Clarkville.
dickwolff-bw“He was one of the few people I know who worked at his passion,” said his daughter, Luann O’Brien of Mahopac, N.Y. “His job was his hobby and his hobby was his job.”
After graduating from high school, he joined the Navy and served during World War II. He wound up fixing airplanes in a New Jersey machine shop.
One of four brothers in service to survive the war, he came home and worked for a bait and tackle shop, selling fishing rods and flies at a time when outdoor sports was a fledgling market and people were beginning to have the leisure to pursue them, his son said.
Wolff traveled the nation showing off new fishing products and his trick fly-casting at boat shows, conventions and similar gatherings. “He made everyone laugh and was a great inspiration,” his son said.
Wolff, a regular contributor to Guns & Ammo magazine and an occasional writer for other publications, had written two books, his son said. He was honored for lifetime achievement by OWAA as well as the Rod and Gun Editors Association of Metropolitan New York.
As a hunter, he held the Boone and Crockett Club record for six years for the biggest moose ever shot in North America. He went on safaris in Africa, where his trophy always fed a village, O’Brien said.
When he retired in 1979, he moved to Clarksville, where he could hunt and fish every day, his children said.
He was the widower of Helen Jensen, who died in 1968.
Survivors, in addition to his daughter and son, include his wife, Elaine Lehnes Sullivan Wolff; another son, Richard Wolff Jr. of Putnam Valley, N.Y.; two stepdaughters, Maureen Wood of Florida and Carol Sullivan of Cornwall, N.Y.; eight grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
Copyright Richmond Times-Dispatch. Used by permission.
Photo by Mike Roberts
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