BY SHAWNE FITZGERALD
Longtime South Minneapolis activists Dick and Dorothy Pitheon died this past month. Dick was 87 and Dorothy, 82. Dick was a lifelong Powderhorn resident, and Dorothy, a Faribault native, came to Powderhorn when she was 16 to attend Holy Angels. Dick was a graduate of Holy Name Elementary School, Bryant Junior High and Central High School.
In the 1960s, Dorothy successfully advocated for hot lunch and sex ed at Bancroft School while Dick became involved in the Model Cities program. Dick also worked on housing with the Powderhorn Community Council, NRP and PPNA’s Housing and Land Use Committee. Dorothy was involved at Church of the Holy Name, with the adult enrichment group, CCW, the Saint Vincent de Paul Society and the Fall Festival, as well as serving as an election judge for decades. Both were active in the DFL.
In recent years, the Pitheons operated an informal food shelf out of their dining room a couple days a month. For many years, their house was open to family and friends who needed a temporary home during rough times.
The couple founded Dick’s Metropolitan Carpets in 1978. After Dick retired, Dorothy managed the company until this past winter. The store was at 48th and Chicago and then at 56th and Chicago. The Pitheons were members of both local business associations, where Dorothy served as treasurer until 2020.
[Editor’s Note: I first met Dick when he was running for City Council in the 9th Ward in 1973. He lost that race, but he never gave up his desire for public service. While he worked with the Chicago Avenue Business Alliance, he was able to get decorative street lighting for the businesses at 48th and Chicago by tirelessly lobbying City Hall and the Public Works Department. It was a grand accomplishment.]