National Skeet Shooting Association
National Sporting Clays Association

Remembering Dick Dersham

NSSA member Richard M. “Dick” Dersham passed away earlier this year after a brief illness, and some of his fellow skeet shooters wish to share their remembrances of their friend.

Dick was well-known in Texas skeet circles not only as an excellent shooter, but also as a person who did much to help budding shooters succeed. Many times, he loaned out his own equipment to other shooters, and he freely shared his vast knowledge of the sport. Dick always had time to help others.

“When fellow shooters think of Dick, one of the first words that comes to mind is ‘excellence,'” says his friend Bob Davis. “From his successful career in the investment business to his involvement in the shooting sports, he always expected excellence of himself.”

Dick was an accomplished smallbore rifle competitor before he took up shotgun sports. During his years of shooting skeet, he was elected to the TSSA All-State team 18 times. In 2010, he was voted by the TSSA Hall of Fame Committee and Board of Directors as the deserving recipient of its coveted Buck Stark Award for his service to the association.

In the early 1970s, Dick became active in the Dallas Gun Club (DGC), serving terms as its president and skeet chairman. “Dick always took it upon himself to ensure that the targets at DGC were the best that could be thrown,” said Davis. During their shoots, he could be found early mornings hooping targets as he personally prepared each field. Shooters appreciated that, and DGC became known for its good targets. But Dick didn’t stop there. He tirelessly and unselfishly spent long hours helping many other clubs in Texas organize and prepare for tournaments, even working on skeet machines until late in the night.

Shooting was a Dersham family affair. Daughter Cyndi became proficient in smallbore rifle target shooting. Then, when Dick became active in skeet, wife Lynne and daughters Teresa and Angie joined him in becoming a fixture on the skeet circuit. Several years ago, Teresa resumed competing under the watchful eye of her father, who continued to impart his knowledge and skills to her.

“Dick Dersham was a true sportsman and gentleman, one absolutely dedicated to the promotion of skeet,” says Davis. “He was modest, humble, and generous. And that is how he is remembered. Dick was truly that rare breed who wanted the limelight to be not on him, but on the game of skeet.”

Dick is survived by his wife, Lynne, and daughters Cyndi Hill, Teresa Dersham, and Angie Smith. He also leaves behind countless friends who will forever miss him.