Longtime Idyllwild resident and former owner/operator of Idyllwild Cable TV, Richard “Dick” Rondeau, 85, died Friday, Dec. 3, 2021 in Hemet, after a long illness.
He was born June 18, 1936 in Lynn, Massachusetts, to Louis Rondeau and Grace Furey Rondeau. As a child he moved to Sierra Madre with his family and attended local schools until high school when he went away to Bellarmine, a Catholic prep school in San Jose.
Shortly after high school and some college at Santa Clara University, Dick met Carolee Hurley and the couple married in 1959. They lived in Palm Desert and started a family that eventually numbered five children.
Dick also helped start a cable TV business in Palm Desert. In those days, without cable, there was little to see on TV. Dick quickly learned how to install the service and bring entertainment to homes all over Palm Desert. Along the way he worked in the homes of — and met — many celebrities, including Lucille Ball, Bing Crosby, Phil Harris and others.
Dick soon wanted to expand his business. He fell in love with the nearby mountain town of Idyllwild and thought he could build a solid cable TV business there. He moved his family to Idyllwild in 1965 and his dream was realized.
When not climbing poles or wiring houses, Dick was active with his kids as a coach for Idyllwild Pop Warner and Little League teams as well as Boy Scouts. He was a practicing Catholic and attended Queen of Angels Catholic Church for many years. He was a grateful member of AA and sponsored dozens of AA members.
He and Cari divorced after 22 years of marriage. Dick married Sherrie Dietsche in 1984. They divorced. Dick loved Idyllwild and stayed on the Hill as long as his health permitted. In 2009 he moved to Hemet where he lived bravely with COPD for many years.
Dick is survived by his two former wives; his sisters Cynthia Cook and Carol Alcorn; and four of his five children: Greg Rondeau, Geof Rondeau, Shelly Rondeau Heller and Rich Rondeau; 11 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren. He was predeceased by his son, Brad Rondeau.
A memorial is planned for 1 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 15, 2022 at Calvary Chapel Jurupa Valley, 4752 Felspar Street, B-101, Jurupa Valley. Coffee and fellowship will follow the service.