Dick Cecil helped move the Milwaukee Braves to Atlanta in 1966. I was seven years old then. Our professional paths crossed years later as he became a consultant, a confidant and close friend. He has been a big part of Vehr Communication’s history, growth and development.

Pam Cecil’s email said simply, “Dick died yesterday afternoon. I can type, but I can’t talk without crying yet. You have always been such a good friend.”

Dick died suddenly at the age of 88. His mind was crisp, agile and active. Pam and I exchanged snarky emails about politics the night before. When I saw the email from her a day later, I assumed it was another political zinger that typically made us both giggle as Dick looked on and simply shook his head. We had talked at length the week before. We would check-in with each other about every 2–3 months.

To sit with Dick in his “Outhouse” (the detached garage at his home outside Atlanta converted into his office) was to take a trip through modern American sports, social and cultural history during my lifetime. It was part museum for the Atlanta Braves, the Olympic Games, the development of American soccer and the World Cup, as well as the 70’s and 80’s rock music era.

Through Dick I met Hank Aaron at Turner Field, where he and Dick kept offices. Dick also introduced me to his friend, Andrew Young, one of the lions of the U.S. civil rights movement. Dick also introduced me to Dr. LeRoy Walker, the first black President of the USOC.

Dick once showed me, and let me hold, a baseball autographed by John, Paul, George and Ringo. He had produced and promoted a Beatles concert at Turner Field in Atlanta, as he did with Barbara Streisand, Pink Floyd, James Brown and The Allman Brothers.

Dick Cecil was our lead consultant for the 2012 Olympic Games bid that Greater Cincinnati organized two decades ago. He also consulted with us on the historic and remarkable 2012 World Choir Games brought to our region by the Cincinnati USA Convention and Visitors Bureau more than a decade ago.

Dick helped Vehr Communications to grow and develop. He did the same for me. I will miss him dearly.