Richard Alan Greenblatt, also known as Dick, and perhaps even known to some as ‘ironman’ or ‘superhero’, passed away peacefully due to complications from Lymphoma on June 12, 2021, surrounded by his family. He was 91.
The oldest of three children, he was born in Portland, Oregon to Betty Nicholson and Isadore Greenblatt, a Russian immigrant. He attended Benson Polytechnic High School and then received a sports scholarship to teach weightlifting at Oregon State University, while getting a degree in electrical engineering. His career as an engineer and international marketing manager sent him to Tokyo, Japan (where he fatefully met his future wife, Shizuko) to represent the far-east region for the now defunct Hughes Aircraft Company.
After he and Shizuko were married and had three children, they moved to Westwood in 1972 where he resided until his passing. He spent 36 dedicated years at Hughes Aircraft Company before retiring to start a second career lasting 28 more years as an investor and volunteer. Committed to his community, he became a lecturer/volunteer at the Pacific Asia Museum in Pasadena (now the USC Pacific Asia Museum) and a volunteer and board member for the Collins & Katz Family YMCA (previously the Westside Family YMCA). He was also a supporter of The Holmby-Westwood Property Owner Association, Chairman of The Community Police Advisory Board and a supporter of the West Los Angeles Police Department mentoring program.
His hobbies included weightlifting, travelling and collecting Asian antiques. He went on to win several world, Pan-American and U.S. Grand Master weightlifting championships over the course of the last few decades, most recently winning the U.S. Men’s Grand Master Champion overall title in November of 2020.
He was a rock and inspiration to many, giving us so many years filled with rich experiences, good health, good times and his good barbecued steak. He was a loyal and helpful friend, family and community man, devoted to his surviving wife Shizuko, children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and extended family, as well as to his family through marriage in Japan and to his close circle of friends around the world. We are grateful for all of our beautiful and extraordinary memories with him. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in his honor to his life-long passion, the YMCA: