112 Bayview Blvd.
Oldsmar, Florida 34677
(Serving All of Florida)
Richard Dean “Rick” Mardis, 61, of Oldsmar, Florida, passed away peacefully, with his loving wife at his side, on August 19, 2018. He was born on March 17, 1957 in Gibson City, Illinois to Ronald Mardis and the former Barbara Furnish.
Rick was graduated from Deer Creek – Mackinaw High School in Central Illinois and worked in a variety of professions throughout his life. He did everything from assembling Caterpillar heavy equipment to building houses to writing computer software to managing information technology employees.
Rick was very proud of the bachelor of science degree in information technology that he earned from the University of Phoenix in May 2006 while working a demanding full-time job.
After moving to Florida from Illinois in the mid-1980s, Rick met his future wife, Annette Marie Drolet, through mutual friends involved with recreation league softball in Clearwater. The couple married on May 27, 1989 and enjoyed a honeymoon trip that included stops in Dillard, Georgia; Gatlinburg, Tennessee; St. Louis; and Chicago.
During their three decades together, Rick and Annette shared a variety of interests and adventures, among them scuba diving, golf, boating, water skiing, motorcycling, and travel-trailer camping. Rick also was an avid ham radio operator, holding an amateur radio license issued by the Federal Communications Commission, and proudly connected with other enthusiasts from around the world. In addition, he assembled and flew radio-controlled airplanes and quadcopters.
For Rick, hobbies weren’t just a way to spend his free time. They provided an opportunity to meet and form friendships with other people who pursued the same passions. Rick was an active member of various hobby-oriented clubs, including the Sun ‘n Fun Boat Club, SPARKS (South Pinellas Aeronautical Radio Kontrol Society), Florida West Coast Motorcycle Club, Harley Owners Group (HOG) chapters based in Clearwater and St. Petersburg, and the Tampa Bay Happy Campers.
Among Rick’s fondest memories were several epic motorcycle trips, especially his “bucket list” trek across the country to his daughter’s home in California. With Annette along as the “designated passenger,” Rick also rode through three mountain ranges – Shenandoah, Blue Ridge and Great Smoky – and explored the sights around Rapid City, South Dakota, especially Mount Rushmore, Badlands National Park, Spearfish Canyon, Needles Highway and Deadwood.
Pets were a big part of Rick’s life, too, and he was a dedicated “daddy” to Ozzie the Congo African grey parrot and Woody, the rescued corgi mix. When Rick arrived on “the other side,” he undoubtedly was joyously reunited with Shelby, Cocoa, Abby, Peeper and other cherished animal companions who went before him.
In addition to Annette, his beloved wife of 29-plus years, Rick is survived by his son and daughter-in-law, Jamie and Marlene Mardis, and their children, Lucas Mardis and Toni Farrell, of Hollywood, Florida; daughter and son-in-law, Kara and Kevin Landry of Laguna Niguel, California; father and stepmother, Ron and Lois Mardis of Heyworth, Illinois; sisters, Susan Hackney of Deer Creek, Illinois and Debbie Lilienthal of Mackinaw, Illinois; brother, Joe Mardis of Mackinaw; step-siblings Ski Coone of Downs, Leigh Gwin of Atlanta, Terri Spencer of Heyworth, and Chris Haycraft of Waynesville, all of Illinois; father-in-law and mother-in-law, Paul and Patricia Drolet of Clearwater, Florida; plus other in-laws, nieces and nephews, cousins, aunts, and uncles.
Suncoast Hospice Foundation
5771 Roosevelt Blvd., Clearwater FL 33760