‘Charlie’ Dick to be laid to rest in Winchester

Widower of Patsy Cline died Sunday at the age of 81

WINCHESTER – Charles Allen “Charlie” Dick Sr., widower of legendary singer Patsy Cline, died in his sleep Sunday at his home in Nashville, his family said. He was 81.

He will be buried Saturday beside Cline in Shenandoah Memorial Park in Winchester.

Dick, president of Legacy Inc., which managed Cline’s legacy,  promoted and protected Cline’s image since her death in a 1963 plane crash. The 1985 motion picture “Sweet Dreams” was filmed in Martinsburg, West Virginia, and in Winchester, and chronicled the life of Cline and Dick. He was quoted as saying much of the portrayal of their relationship was fiction, but it was a good movie.

His brother, Melvin Dick, said in an interview this week that the couple were a perfect fit.

“Patsy’s best friend Dottie West told me nobody was such a good fit as they were. Their personalities were so much alike, they really got along,” Melvin said.

Melvin Dick said his brother was the one who really prompted Cline to follow her dreams in Nashville.

“She always wanted to go, but hadn’t,” Melvin said.  “She was well known here and felt comfortable with family and friends. He didn’t care if she went or not; but he told her one day if she ever wanted to do it, they just had to make up their minds to go.

And he was there to help her.”

After Cline’s death, Charlie Dick oversaw her legacy. Melvin said, “He wanted to continue her memory as the great person in the best light possible ä as long as it was the truth.”

He was instrumental in re-issues of his wife’s music as well as in the posthumous release of some previously undiscovered recordings.

He and their daughter, Julie Fudge, attended a ceremony last August as Cline was given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In 2011, he attended the opening of Cline’s former home on Kent Street in Winchester. Each year he attended a decades-old Patsy Cline Fan Club event in Winchester.

For a 2011 interview in The Journal on the fan club event, Charlie Dick said, “I didn’t know what to expect the first year.

People gathered and told stories. We have people who come every year. It’s great. They come from all over the country and Canada.”

Dick and family members attended the Patsy Cline Tribute at the Troubadour in Berkeley Springs annually, where heád sing

“Waltz Across Texas” with owner Jim McCoy, a close friend of the family. It was McCoy who promoted Cline on radio when she was still in her teens, and he was a pallbearer at her funeral.

The Dicks and McCoys remained close; and Jim McCoy said he and his wife were shocked to hear of Dick’s death – particularly since he spoke to him on the phone the day before his death.

“Bertha and I just talked to Charlie on Saturday,” said Jim McCoy. “We sang and drank our annual toast to Patsy on Sept. 7.

We always had a great time and would visit him in Nashville. We’ve been friends a lot of years.”

Dick wrote an introduction for a book about McCoy’s life in country music.

Charlie Dick knew and helped a lot of others who came to Nashville. The family expects a very large turnout at services in Nashville.

Melvin said, “He knew most everybody who went there since 1960, from musicians and writers, to camera operators and background people. And whenever someone from Winchester went to Nashville and called him, heád get together with them.”

Dick served in the U.S. Army from 1957-1959.   He worked as a linotype operator with the Winchester Star. In Nashville, he worked at the Nashville Banner and in printing and video production. He also worked with the late singer Red Sovine and others at Starday Records, for which he was a national promotions rep, and several other independent labels. He was a founding member of Reunion of Professional Entertainers (R.O.P.E.), and a Circle Level member of the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Dick and Cline had two children, Julie and Randy. He has a son, Charles Dick Jr., from a later marriage, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He’s also survived by family in Winchester.

Visitation takes place Friday from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Jones Funeral Home in Winchester. The service will be held at Jones Funeral Home at 11 a.m. Saturday.

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