TRIBUTES & DEDICATIONS

In Memoriam

Richard "Dick" Thomas
(1926-2016)


Richard "Dick" Thomas was a part of WestCare Foundation before the name existed. In 1973, Dick was a high ranking employee with the Teamsters International Labor Union. In that capacity, he was instrumental in getting a $50,000 grant to help start a small heroin treatment center called "FitzHouse". This funding established our organization and allowed us to open our doors! With this ongoing assistance, "FitzHouse" flourished. It was originally located at G Street and Madison and then moved to the "Las Vegas Hospital" on 8th and Ogden. "WestCare Foundation" was born at this time, and the name has remained the same for the last three decades. The original Board, which included Dick Thomas, hired WestCare's current Chief Executive Officer, Richard Steinberg, who has been at the helm all these years.

WestCare has been in business for 43 years and grown due in part to Dick's ongoing commitment to support those dealing with substance abuse. Michael Lavin, Senior Vice President of FitzHouse Inc. shares that Dick supported recovering people "when it was not fashionable or acceptable to do so." Due to Dick's dedication over the years, he has saved thousands of lives including youth, adults, and families. Through the Bernie Buckley Charity Golf Tournament, he has ensured sizable donations annually which help WestCare continue to provide services to those less fortunate.

Dick remained an active and viable Board member from the beginning to his passing on February 21, 2016. He has consistently aided in the growth of WestCare which today serves 17 States, 144 cities, 3 U.S. Territories (Guam, Virgin Islands & Puerto Rico), and recently expanded to the Republic of Palau.

WestCare Foundation will continue to honor Dick Thomas as a lifelong friend & supporter. CEO Richard Steinberg says "he will be sorely missed by his WestCare Family!" We were blessed to have him working with us so closely all these years. His gifts of support and friendship will be cherished forever. Dick's legacy will forever live on in our programs. We assure his family and friends that we will keep his name, memory, and spirit alive in all we do.




Stanley L. Brooks
(1950-2015)


Stan Brooks was a giant of a man who had a passion for helping others in need. Those struggling with risky lifestyles were particularly close to his heart. His dedication was evident to everyone he encountered in his personal or professional life.

Stan's daughters remember that "he always made time. No matter how big or small...you were always there when we needed you." Stan and their mother instilled good values and morals in them and showed them how far that could take them as adults.

Friend and co-worker Dawn Ruzich remembers Stan as the heart and soul of the Sheridan program – the reliable one everyone went to. She says "He will be deeply missed but will live forever in our hearts."

One of Stan's clients says "There is no doubt in my mind that God exists because when I did not care about anything, God placed me in the hands of Stan Brooks."

Prior to joining WestCare, Stan served in the U.S. Air Force including time in Vietnam. He also had a career as an Air Traffic Controller. Stan joined WestCare in 2006 and led the Substance Abuse Program at the Sheridan Correctional Center in Illinois until his death in 2015.




Rev. Dr. James G. White
(1962-2013)


The Reverend Doctor James G. White, WestCare's Regional VP in Wisconsin, was quiet and gentle, respected, dignified, revered and inspirational.

It is not lost on us that The Reverend Doctor White passed away on the 50th anniversary of the historic March on Washington D.C. The remarkable revival of Milwaukee's Harambee project will forever hold his legacy, bestowed through a life of social and spiritual service and wise guidance. He once wrote in the Milwaukee Community Journal:
"No matter how bad we think things are in our own lives, the fact always remains that there is someone else out there who is worse off than you are. Giving to others in your own time of need can provide a spiritual and emotional lift like nothing else can."
Wisconsin Congresswoman Gwen Moore remembers the Reverend Doctor White as a tireless advocate for civil rights, youth and the poor. Milwaukee has lost a great man who consistently supported our underserved communities. A powerful voice for the voiceless, he provided support to those suffering from health related issues. In his former role as Milwaukee County Supervisor, James worked each day towards advancing the lives of Milwaukeeans as a strong community activist. In his calling as an ordained minister, he sought to fully embody the Christian spirit through his work.




William L. King
(1932-2013)


Only his family and close friends likely knew the name William Lindsay King. But everyone knew his public moniker: Tex. Our WestCare family lost a legend on June 29th, when Tex King passed on.

One of the longest serving WestCare volunteers, Tex helped grow the agency for 32 years. First, as an original Fitz House board member in 1979, and continuing as Chairman of the Board and then long-time Treasurer. More recently, he also chaired the WestCare affiliate Fitz House Enterprises. Tex selflessly gave his time and leadership to our cause. He was soft-spoken, but led by gentle persuasion.

In tribute, Board Chair Jim Wadhams called Tex "a solid man who cared about his fellow man no matter what their condition might be. An example for us all." Indeed, that's what Mr. King leaves for those crossing the bridge that Tex helped build.

Tex King was an Air Force veteran and a retired Clark County teacher. He and his late wife Lee were married for 50 years. One of his grandchildren, Spencer Overman, put it this way: "He was the rarest of men. His integrity, unmatched. He loved all without hesitation, and gave without a second thought."

William Lindsay King lived a long and significant life. And WestCare will forever remember him as, simply, Tex.




Harold C. McKinney
(1924-2010)


The history of WestCare goes deep into the hearts and souls of hundreds of volunteers who have committed their precious personal time to our cause.

Hal McKinney was one of those community leaders who asked the right questions and usually knew the wise and thoughtful answers. He served many years on the Board of The Third Floor program in the 1980s while he was still Sheriff of Fresno County. Then, following retirement, he continued with his civic commitment to us by joining the newly-created WestCare California Board of Directors.

Sheriff McKinney passed away in Fresno on the First of July, 2010, at the age of 86.

He made no secret of the fact he took pride in being a 'tough cop'. But he also had the acute realization, through his work and family life, that addictions are far easier and less expensive to treat outside the incarceration environment. That said, he also crusaded for personal accountability and punishment when all else fails. In that regard, his reputation was one that could be affectionately and respectfully called 'the velvet hammer'.

WestCare has been blessed by our long relationship with this wonderful, kind hearted, exceptionally street-savvy man. One who helped build the strong bridge over which our current and future volunteers will traverse.




Robert J. McNutt
(1920-2008)


Robert J. (Bob) McNutt, Chair Emeritus of the Nevada WestCare Board of Directors, passed peacefully on February 13, 2008. He was a retired consulting civil engineer. He is survived by his wife of sixty years, Pat and his daughters, Marcia and Jane.

In 1973, he and Dick Thomas were drafted by Zel Lowman to help form a substance abuse treatment facility. Today, that agency, then known as Fitzsimmons House, has grown from a single male residential program, with a budget of $100,000 into WestCare, a nationally known and respected program of social services and treatment facilities helping to contain and reduce drug abuse from California to Florida and the Virgin Islands, with an annual budget over $75 million.

Bob was active in the business community.

He helped organize and was the first President of the Southern Nevada branch of the American Society of Civil Engineers. Registered as an engineer in six states, he oversaw projects in both the public and private sectors. He was also the first President of the Uptown Kiwanis Club in Las Vegas and received a Distinguished President's award.

He was an Elder in the Presbyterian Church (USA). He served as Moderator of the Presbytery of Nevada, Moderator of the Synod of the Pacific and Stated Clerk of the Presbytery of Nevada. He also served on many boards and commissions of the Presbyterian Church.

A quote from Bob:
"When someone who has lived a long and fruitful life dies, the only reason to be sad is that the living who loved him will miss that person and that's the sole reason that I am sad. In this life, a good legacy is all that anyone can ask for."

Though small in stature, Bob McNutt left a large legacy that will long be remembered by his friends and family. His good works are seen in the buildings he engineered, but more importantly, in the lives that he helped save through the WestCare Family.




Arnold Andrews
(1942-2006)


Arnold Andrews, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for the WestCare Foundation's Eastern/Offshore Division, based in St. Petersburg, was among the victims of the Sunday, August 27th crash of Comair flight 5191 in Lexington, Kentucky. He had been in Kentucky attending a WestCare board meeting.

At WestCare, Arnold oversaw the Foundation's substance abuse and mental health treatment programs and facilities in Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Prior to joining WestCare, Arnold served as Executive Director of Catholic Charities, a non-profit organization that provides a broad range of health care, social services and affordable housing for low-income persons in the Tampa Bay area. He served as Catholic Charities' Executive Director Emeritus.

Before that, Arnold served for 23 years as executive Vice President of Operation PAR, Inc., a substance abuse research and treatment organization based in Pinellas County, guiding the initial set-up and long-term development of what has become one of the largest and most acclaimed substance abuse agencies in the United States.

WestCare Foundation President/CEO Richard E. Steinberg wrote:

"This terrible tragedy took one of the best people ever to serve WestCare. He was one of the finest, most honorable human beings I have had the pleasure of knowing and working with. We have lost the best of the best."

Arnold was the past Vice-Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Catholic Charities USA. He was a member of the Catholic Health Association's New Covenant Phase IV national task force; St. Anthony's Health Care Systems' Board of Trustees; the Florida Catholic Conference Social Development Commission and Farmworker Justice Committee; and the Tampa Bay Academy Charter School. He was also a board member of the Allegany Franciscan Foundation Fellows Program and was a founding board member of the Hispanic Services Council of Hillsborough County.

He was honored in Tampa as 2005's "Hispanic Man of the Year" for his public service by the Tampa Hispanic Heritage, Inc. Arnold was a life-long resident of Tampa. He was a graduate of the University of Tampa, and attended the University of West Florida Graduate School of Psychology.