Remembering the man who loved Corvettes

Dick Creager died of a heart attack Wednesday while driving on Market Street.

York Daily Record/Sunday News
Updated: 05/29/2009 06:27:21 PM EDT

York, PA - Richard E. "Dick" Creager caught the bug in the '70s. It had been under his skin, dormant. But it took a little gift from his wife, Carole, to wake it and bring it to full flower.

It was the 1970s, and McDonald's had been giving away miniature Corvettes. Carole knew Dick liked 'vettes -- ever since seeing the first one in 1953 -- so she got one and put it in his Christmas stocking.

That did it.

He was a full-fledged Corvette nut ever since. He bought his first 'vette, a '67 Sting Ray, when he was 39. He added another, a 2003, later. He collected miniature 'vettes -- his collection numbering in the hundreds. He had Corvette art in his home.

"Corvettes were No. 1 on his list," Carole said Friday.

Dick Creager died Wednesday when he had a heart attack while driving on East Market Street in Springettsbury Township. His Cadillac Ed Dorado wrecked, but that happened after his heart gave out, authorities said. He was 64.

He had a history of heart problems, having had triple bypass surgery 24 years ago, Carole said. But he seemed in good health lately.

"It came as a shock to me," said Greg Gable, a fellow Corvette fan who has known Creager for 25 years. "He never complained about anything."

Carole said, though, he had been under stress lately. He sold cars at Royal Motor Cars of York and business was slow lately. He had his hours cut.

He wasn't one to let on that he was feeling nervous about work.

"He was a very outgoing person," Carole said. "Everybody loved him."

Gable said, "I don't think I ever saw him p'o'd at anybody. He was always a happy person."

Creager was a singer. He sang with the Glen Rock Carolers in the '70s and sang with other choral groups on and off.

But there was nothing on and off about his devotion to Corvettes. He joined the York County Corvette Club and never missed a meeting, having perfect attendance since 1984.

He was former president of the club and its unofficial goodwill ambassador.

"He made it a point to go up to people who were new to the club and making them feel welcome," Gable said.

His wife said he could talk to "anybody, anywhere."

Frequently, she said, "people would stop him and talk about cars. He'd be in Wal-Mart and someone would come up to him and tell him, 'That car you sold me three years ago is running great.'"

He was a Hawaii aficionado. He and Carole, who celebrated their 44th wedding anniversary Dec. 26 last year, had been to Hawaii three times. "He loved Hawaii," Carole said. He had more than two dozen Hawaiian shirts, she said.

On Sunday, when his friends gather at Mt. Zion-Potosi United Methodist Church in Glen Rock, they are asked to wear Hawaiian garb.

And his friends from the Corvette Club plan to honor his memory with a procession to the church.

"He will be missed," Gable said. or 771-2046.


A memorial service will be held for Richard E. "Dick" Creager at 3 p.m. Sunday at Mt. Zion-Potosi United Methodist Church, 10730 Mt. Zion Road, Glen Rock. Visitation with the family will be 1 to 3 p.m.