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Retired North Carolina State Legislative Director Richard “Dickie” Westbrook Jr., 64, died Sunday, Aug. 23, 2015.

Westbrook hired out in 1973 with Norfolk Southern Railroad as a conductor and trainman in 1973 and had 39 years and seven months of service upon retirement in 2012.

Soon after he hired out, Westbrook became active with Local 1129 (Raleigh, N.C.) and served as local chairperson of trainmen and conductors for 30 years. During this time, Westbrook also served as North Carolina Assistant State Legislative Director and then later North Carolina State Legislative Director, a position he held for 14 years. Westbrook also served his local as delegate for one term. Westbrook further served his union brothers and sisters by designing and implementing OSHA training at UTU regional meetings for eight years.

“Richard Westbrook worked almost 40 years in train service positions and was elected many times by his peers as their representative as local chairperson and as North Carolina State Director,” former National Legislative Director James A. Stem, Jr., said. “Dickie worked hard for railroad workers and all workers as their advocate. He earned the respect of decision makers with his honesty, integrity and perseverance. He was a great guy and fun to be around.”

Westbrook is survived by his wife Janie; two daughters, Leslie (Travis) Collins and Tina (John) Dillabough; seven grandchildren, Zoie, Jalynn, Bella, Aaliyah, Keira, Joshua and Bridget; a brother, Dan; two sisters, Starla (Scott) Logue and Tammy Newton; six nieces and nephews and many others.

A celebration of life will be held 2 p.m. on August 26, at Montlawn Funerals and Cremations, 2911 S. Wilmington St., Raleigh, NC 27603. The family will receive friends at the funeral home immediately following the service.

Memorial contributions may be made in lieu of flowers to Transition Life Care Hospice at 250 Hospice Cir, Raleigh, NC 27697.

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