Dick Blons: Short in Stature But Large in Character

Thu, Feb 23, 2017   By Carleton Cronin    13 Comments

This will be a short appreciation for a man who was not large in stature, but was large in character. Dick Blons was an old-fashioned sort, with manners and the firm views of one who had a good start at home. He was full of the little homilies that are the props with which he expressed his thoughts about – well, everything. I can see him in his role as a school counselor, quiet yet commanding and at ease with the most troubled youth as he gave his carefully crafted assistance. Dick had a way about him that made everybody at ease and a quiet, happy view of the world. He was full of aphorisms with which he parried we who were more sour and fretful. That made him a friend to many in our community.

Richard Blons

About 40 years ago Richard Blons and Michael Zannella became my neighbors across the street, having moving here from Manhattan. Dick took a position with the Los Angeles Unified School District, first as a history teacher then as a counselor, continuing his worthy life’s work. Within a short time we became acquaintances, soon blossoming into friendship. My four growing boys eventually made themselves known at Dick and Mike’s home and our connection became stronger. Dick graced our table at dinners, lit candles with our granddaughter at Hannukah and remembered the Seder questions, revealing how little he had forgot of his roots.

Richard Blons was a gentleman. He was also one of the most forgiving persons I have ever known, sometimes, however, with a mild castigation for one who might not be quite as open as he. He loved our children as an uncle might and was generous in his praise of their accomplishments. We will miss his influence. We will miss him. He passed away on Feb. 22, 2017

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Carleton Cronin

About Carleton Cronin

Carleton Cronin and his wife, Toby Ann, have lived in West Hollywood since 1974. They have raised four sons here, and Cronin has long been an astute observer of civic life.

View all posts by Carleton Cronin →


  1. John Morgan WilsonFri, Mar 10, 2017 at 4:25 pm

    I’m just now learning of Dick’s passing. I had the privilege of serving with Mike and Dick on the West Hollywood Book Fair planning committee for many years before its demise. Warm, generous, hard-working, unpretentious — both men. You got the sense that they genuinely loved life and other people, and were devoted to each other. RIP Dick, and good thoughts to Mike.

  2. Daniel RodriguezFri, Feb 24, 2017 at 9:42 pm

    Dick’s warmth, kindness, and wisdom has rubbed off not just on me, but also on many others in our community. He has been my role model since the first time I met him.

    I loved our lunches at Ed’s with Mike and Dick……Mike, I’ll see you at Eds, Dick I miss you already, but I will never forget you.

  3. Bruce ThibodeauFri, Feb 24, 2017 at 2:46 pm

    The warmth, love, and kindness of Dick Blons will always be remembered. Such a wise man with a depth of spirit, intellect, and charm. Dick and Mike will always be the deep foundation of my West Hollywood family …. with their roots in the Twin Cities and NYC, they kept us connected to what is important in our lives ….the love and support of our friends, the civility needed in a tumultuous world, and the resilience to adapt to any challenge. Words cannot express how much we will miss Dick and how much we love Mike during such a difficult time for him. This is a couple I will emulate for the rest of my life and can only hope to leave the legacy that they have on our lives. Thank you!

  4. DonaldFri, Feb 24, 2017 at 2:45 pm

    Saddened to hear about the passing of sweet Dick. We send our love to Mike — Donald & Luis (Carl thanks for the tribute – your are always a class act) Donald

  5. Richard KarlissFri, Feb 24, 2017 at 1:48 pm

    It was easy to see that Dick was special.
    He was kind, gentle, smart and that smile!
    I haven’t known Dick for that long, but it was long enough to know how much his loss will be felt by those who were fortunate enough to be around him.

  6. Ted Von RudneFri, Feb 24, 2017 at 12:27 pm

    Dick…you will be missed but never forgotten. Much Love, Ted

  7. Leslie KarlissFri, Feb 24, 2017 at 11:52 am

    This is such a beautiful tribute to a lovely man I was lucky to know for only for a short time. He was so gentle and kind and sweet – clearly a man content in his world.

    Mike, I’m so sorry for your loss. xxx

  8. Larry BlockThu, Feb 23, 2017 at 10:22 pm

    I would also like to thank the author of this piece Carleton, a legend in his own right, for stepping up to write this today. Thank you for putting pen to paper to give us a chance to send wishes or share stories. Hope that you started a trend, – to be remembered…

  9. pat dixonThu, Feb 23, 2017 at 7:14 pm

    i was so touched to read this trubute to Dick. i knew him but a short time but upon frst meeting i was very soon struck by his wisdom and compassion. he was an endearing soul and we will miss him.

  10. Mike DolanThu, Feb 23, 2017 at 7:08 pm

    Sadness has enveloped me. Richard was pure, kind, and funny. Jay and I will miss him so much. Richard represented so much of what West Hollywood is and we had the joy of knowing him briefly.

    Michael we feel your pain. We felt the love between the two of you when we saw each other.

    Our love and thoughts are with you. We are deeply sorry for this loss. Michael, you were the best for Richard and he for you. That has not, nor will ever end. Jan and I love you and are here for you.

    The both of you are just a delight.

    Love, Michael Dolan and Jay Fuentes

  11. Larry BlockThu, Feb 23, 2017 at 6:43 pm

    Sad day for all to lose one of the warmest hearts in our city. Richard and his partner of 55 years Mike can often be found in the council chamber always interested, always listening and always smiling. Richard will be missed but never forgotten and always admired.

  12. MannyThu, Feb 23, 2017 at 6:20 pm

    Richard was a beautiful soul that will forever remain in the hearts of those who knew him.

    So long my friend, neighbor, hero.

  13. Peter GahanThu, Feb 23, 2017 at 5:33 pm

    A typically thoughtful appreciation of one of West Hollywood’s most exemplary citizens, an active believer in local democracy, and with Michael, who has all our best thoughts, a role model for many of us. He will be greatly missed.

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