When family and friends pay their last respects Wednesday morning to Richard "Dick" Caron, they will remember a Roseville man who was a quadriplegic that didn't let his disability get him down.
Caron, 68, died on Jan. 3.
Caron, a retired Roseville teacher, "taught us that when you work with people with disabilities to focus not on what they can't do but on what they can do," recalled Bob Rygh, former Roseville District 623 directior of human resources and operations and one-time principal at Roseville Area High School. "He inspired kids and was a role model to adults and students. He was just a delightful man."
What Caron did was work for many years in the Roseville Public Schools, including his last 13 years as a teaching assistant to technology and graphic arts teacher Brian Hoag at Roseville High School.
Hoag said Caron positively affected the lives of "thousands of students" during his career.
Although he was paralyzed from the shoulders down, confined to a power wheelchair with limited use of his hands, Caron "didn't let that stop him," Hoag said. "He didn't let his disability phase him."
Besides teaching, Caron was a regular attender of sporting events at Roseville High School, including football and basketball games, Rygh said.
Added Hoag said. "He (Caron) knew the kids on a personal basis. He really connected with kids.
Colleagues said that Caron was once a star wrestler in high school (he grew up in Roseville and attended the old Alexander Ramsey School) and colllege. But a wrestling coaching accident years ago ended up with him rupturing a vertebrae in his neck and getting paralyzed, they said.
Funeral services for Caron are scheduled at 11 a.m. Wednesday ( Jan. 9) at Mueller-Bies Funeral Home-Roseville, 2130 N. Dale St.
According to his obituary, "Caron was preceded in death by his parents, Robert and Norma. He is survived by sisters, Marilyn Caron and Linda (Tim) Carey; nephew, Nick Tavis; nieces, Shelbi (Jeff) Taylor, Christa (Rich) Abraham, Michelle Carey; and dear friends.
Burial will be at Roselawn Cemetery. The final visitation for Caron is from 10 to 11 a.m. Wednesday at the funeral home.
In lieu of flowers, memorials preferred."