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Roseville District 623 Superintendent: Dick Caron "Embraced His Disability"

John Thein pays homage to the former Roseville teacher.

This past Wednesday, family and friends of Richard "Dick" Caron paid their last final respects to the former Roseville teacher, who died on Jan. 3.

Caron, 68, worked 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 Area High School. His funeral service was at  Mueller-Bies Funeral Home-Roseville.

Since his death, Caron, a quadriplegic, has received scores of tributes from former students, colleagues and friends. Roseville District 623, on its website,  posted this message from Superintendent John Thein about Caron:

Dear Friends:

Many of you, especially those 623 staff members who are new or never worked at the High School or Middle School, ever met or knew Dick Caron. Let me tell you about the man who passed away last Thursday and how tall he stood.

Dick was a proud graduate of Ramsey High School. He was an athlete and a very popular man around the Ramsey campus. Dick was such a fine student athlete that he earned a spot on the University of Minnesota wrestling squad. His future was very bright and his dreams boundless. The only thing that could slow Dick down was a terrible accident and an unsuccessful operation that left him a quadriplegic.

Faced with similar circumstances, many people become resigned to that fact their life has limits because of their disability. Some might even feel their life is over and they will never be a contributing member of society because of their handicap. Dick was not one of those people.

Instead, Dick embraced his disability as a teaching tool for the students and staff of District 623. He spent his working career teaching graphic arts and computer design with co-workers and close friends, Bruce Bernin and Brian Hoag. He committed his life to teaching others to see the person, not the disability. He made an impact and motivated thousands ofstudents.

Dick may have been confined to a wheelchair, but that didn’t keep him from driving his specially equipped van between home, work and hundreds of student activities. It was rare not to see Dick’s van in the handicapped parking if there was a student activity at school.

I passed Dick one day in the hallway at RAHS. He looked at me and said, “Pardon me if I don’t get up, but I am in a hurry.” He winked at me and wheeled around the corner.

Dick was a liver and lover of life, and he exemplified that without ever taking a single step. No one I know stood taller than Dick Caron.

Please keep Dick, his family and legion of friends in your thoughts and prayers."

To see other stories on Roseville Patch about Dick Caron, click on to these following links:

Funeral Services Wednesday for Retired Roseville Teacher Richard Caron

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