Richard Sheridan died Wednesday
Orillia's business community is mourning the loss of one of its brightest lights and biggest boosters.
Richard "Dick" Sheridan passed away Wednesday, a year to the month after his wife of 64 years Phyllis died. Sheridan leaves behind six children, 11 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
Paul Sheridan said his father had a real passion for the city and ability to help anyone in need.
"He really loved Orillia," he said. "He was a huge supporter of the city and a real forward thinker."
Sheridan established Sheridan Seating Gymnasium Equipment in 1978 as a small, family-run gymnasium equipment manufacturer. Since then, it has evolved into a vibrant and flexible manufacturer of telescopic bleachers, platforms and retractable stages and changed its name in 2006 to Sheridan Seating Inc. to better reflect its main product lines.
"We're now in 47 countries around the world," Paul Sheridan said, noting everyone hoped his father, who continued to work at the company he founded, would be there to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the company's founding next January. "Unfortunately, he didn't make it."
According to his family, Sheridan was especially proud of his achievements with CIDA (Canadian International Development Agency) providing an opportunity to enhance business development in Chile, which led to both a 20-year business venture and genuine friendships in Chile.
He was also an active member of the Orillia District Chamber of Commerce, the local construction association, hospital fundraising committee and the doctors' recruitment committee.
Local chamber president Mariano Tulipano said Sheridan was well-respected in the business community.
"I have great admiration for Dick and what he accomplished," Tulipano said. "It's not easy to do everything he accomplished. He was a skilled businessman and had a huge personality.
"I always enjoyed speaking to him. I know he will be greatly missed."
Following cremation, the family will receive relatives and friends at the Mundell Funeral Home on Sunday from 2 to 4 p.m. and from 7 to 9 p.m.
A mass of Christian burial will be held Monday at 10 a.m. at Orillia's Church of the Guardian Angels. Messages of condolence are welcomed at mundellfuneralhome.com.
Paul Sheridan said his father was always the first to help out, whether it be a charitable cause or a friend in need.
"Even if you weren't his friend, he would help you out," he said, noting his father loved spending time with family and friends.
"He was just so passionate about everything...even to the minute he died."