Richard “Dick” Warren Vallandingham,73, passed away at his home on October 25. Born and raised in South Charleston,WV Dick moved his family to Beaufort ,SC in 1978 where he worked as Dir. Of Prevention for Beaufort County Alcohol and Drug Abuse Dept. for 28 years.
Dick spent his life helping those in need. In the early 70’s he operated a street drug rehab center, Home Inc., in the center of Atlanta. This operation in the “little five points” was supported by numerous small operations that included Atlanta’s first closed flea market, a weekly antique and general auction, and several retail outlets. These endeavors helped care for up to 50 youth at a time to encourage life skills and reconnection with family. He also started what is now called Atlanta’s Christmas Party which would feed the homeless at Christmas, providing good food, friendship, and love through the holiday. Feeding up to 5,000 people it is now so large it was moved to the OMNI Center in Atlanta that at last count was serving 20,000 meals.
Vallandingham has received numerous awards including the National Bootstrap Award for effective development of community based non-profits and others for his work in the alcohol and drug abuse prevention field. He also served as Director/founder of the Sea Island Science Fair which consistently sent students at unprecedented levels to international competition bringing home top awards.
Dick was not only a humble leader in the community but the rock of his family. A man of intense love and kindness he always made himself available to anyone in need of a hug, kind word or advice. He dedicated himself to others, and to making sure his family was safe, felt loved, and had direction in life.
His humor was second to none and could lift spirits with just a smile. For those of us that knew and loved him we are better people because of his love and dedication.
Preceded in death by his wife Judy, he leaves behind a daughter, Sarah Knotts (Russell); grandchildren, Sam Gregory and John Gregory ( Elisabeth); great-granddaughter, Llewellyn, and numerous nieces and nephews who refer to him as their favorite Uncle.
Though he will be missed greatly he lives in us all. In lieu of flowers please consider this, do an act of kindness for another in need. Show love and give to others. Walk humbly in life. This is what he would have wanted. Pay it forward.
A memorial service will be held at 5 o’clock Friday afternoon, November 10, 2017, in the chapel of Copeland Funeral Service – One Copeland Drive.