Richard “Dick” Sharp
Richard “Dick” Sharp was born on March 11, 1930 on the South Side of Chicago, Illinois. He was an exceptionally bright man who lived every aspect of his life “by the book.” This attitude stemmed from his impressive educational resume. Dick graduated from Leo High School in 1947, and earned his undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Detroit. He furthered his education at the University of Illinois where he obtained his Master’s in 1953. Dick went on to utilize his education in his professional life. He operated a family-owned heating and air conditioning business for twenty-five years with his father. He later joined the Pipefitters Union Local 597 in 1977 and secured a job at McCormick Place where he worked until he retired in 2006.
Dick married Terry Kazmierski in 1951, and together they raised five children: Nancy, Tom, Robbi, Patti, and Carol. He was the proud “Papa” of eight grandchildren: Kelley, Nicole, Stacey, Sarah, Molly, Danielle, Taylor, and Jack, and great-grandpapa of Gregory, Addison, Charlee, and Brantley.
His love for the game started as a boy when he played street hockey at Russell Square Park. He was a die-hard Blackhawk fan who loved Bobby Hull, Stan Makita, Tony Esposito and the thrill of hearing Nancy Faust play the organ at the Chicago Stadium. His 20 year journey as a referee began in the late 1960’s. What started as a hobby quickly became an integral part of his life and turned into a second career. It was the perfect fit for Dick as he was such an honest, fair, and hard-working man. He quickly became a highly requested and respected referee for High School Hockey, Men’s League Hockey and Amateur Hockey leagues. He officiated at many ice rinks including Southwest Ice Arena, Homewood Flossmoor Ice Arena, The Saints Spectrum, Oak Lawn Ice Arena, Glenwood Ice Rink, and Park Forest South Ice Rink. During his lengthy career as an Illinois Officials Association Referee, Dick officiated more than a thousand hockey games and mentored novice referees. He was always proud to recount stories of how he would exercise his text book knowledge of the game on players who would later play in the NHL.
Although his career as a referee came to a close, officiating his beloved Chicago Blackhawks from the family room chair lived on until his last days.