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Richard M. Pyatt of Pinckneyville

updated: 9/11/2017 3:43 PM

Richard Maurice "Dick" Pyatt, 85, of Du Quoin passed away Monday, Sept. 11, 2017, at his home south of Pinckneyville.

He was born Oct. 18, 1931, in Du Quoin, a son to Maurice J. and Vey (Griffith) Pyatt. A community leader and proud veteran, Dick was a devoted family man and a respected professional who filled a wonderful life with many interests and adventures.

Dick grew up in Pinckneyville and graduated from Pinckneyville Community High School and St. Louis Mortuary School. In 1951, Dick married Ramona Logan. They had two children, Cynthia Denise (Larry) Coleman and Kevin Richard (Beth) Pyatt. In 1976, Dick married Gayl Simonds Alexander, and he adopted and raised Gayl's two young sons, William Eugene Pyatt and Jonathan Simonds (Ron Mennow) Pyatt.

A recipient of the first Eagle Scout badge in Perry County, Dick served in the Army during the Korean War, where he obtained the rank of corporal and served in the graves registration service. Like his father before him -- and his oldest son after him -- Dick was a funeral director and had owned and operated Pyatt Funeral Homes in Pinckneyville, Coulterville, Centralia, Nashville, Ashley, Oakdale and Du Quoin. He was highly regarded both by the community he served and the professionals with whom he worked for more than 65 years. He was active in the Illinois Funeral Directors Association, the Pinckneyville Chamber of Commerce and the local chapter of the American Legion.

With a firm hand and a big heart, Dick loved his children, who both knew and endeavored to meet his expectations. He was very proud of his family. Dick was predeceased by his parents, Maurice J. and Vey Pyatt. Surviving him are his wife and four children; his grandchildren Amy (Derek) Cleland, Jenny (Frank) Grasso, Dylan Shook, Bailey Shook, Julie (Thomas) Crockett, Todd (Chelsea) Coleman, James Pyatt and Emma Pyatt; and great-grandchildren Chloe Yates, Logan Cleland, Brayden Cleland, Kendall Cleland, Henry Grasso, Harper Grasso and Axel Coleman.

Dick loved working with horses, singing and dancing to big band music, piloting boats and airplanes, and taking trips with his family. In his own words, Dick lived a "wonderful life."

Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. Friday, Sept. 15, 2017, with Sam Foskey officiating. Interment will be at Galum Presbyterian Cemetery in Pinckneyville. Military graveside rites will be provided by Presswood-Daffron American Legion Post 2504 of Pinckneyville.

Friends may call from 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 14 at Pyatt Funeral Home in Pinckneyville and from 8 to 10 a.m. Friday morning at First United Presbyterian Church in Pinckneyville.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials be made to First United Presbyterian Church of Pinckneyville or the Pinckneyville Community High School Education Foundation.

For more information or to sign an online guest register, please visit