The Cleveland Hill community lost one of its most beloved members recently with the death of Dick Cortright Jr., who passed away suddenly Oct. 30. Dick is a Cleveland Hill Hall of Fame athlete who starred in cross country, wrestling, and track and field at Cleveland Hill (1971 to '75).
Dick was an All-Star in each sport that he participated in. He earned 11 varsity letters during his high school career. He was a talented athlete and a relentless competitor. He was named the MVP of all three of his sports his senior year (1975) and was named Male Athlete of the Year in 1975.
Besides excelling in high school sports he also won the junior national cycling championship in the footsteps of his father, Dick Sr., who excelled as an Olympic cyclist. There is no question. Dick was an exceptional athlete with an overwhelming desire to compete and win.
Dick was respected in the Cleveland Hill community not only due to his athletic prowess but also as a friend and a person. He was fun to be around. Dick was fun and funny. He was always the life of the party. Dick could write comedy as he spoke. People just loved being around Dick because he made you laugh and he made you think.
Dick went on after high school and earned a degree in education. He coached some (swimming at Cleveland Hill) and taught special education in the City of Buffalo schools. He remained in the Cleveland Hill community, where he resided with his wife, Jackie, and two children, Rene and Jimmy. Dick was a loving husband and father, which was his strongest virtue.
We in the Cleveland Hill community will surely miss Dick. Yes, Dick had the knack to make you laugh and we all loved it. Yes, Dick was respected for all of his accomplishments as an athlete, but for those of us who really knew Dick and understood Dick's heart, you know that Dick felt that his greatest accomplishments were in what he achieved as a husband and father. His kids were always his first priority and Jackie was his hero and I'm sure this is what Dick would most like to be remembered as.