Regina gas jockey Dick Assman, who rose to fame in 1995 on the Late Show with David Letterman, has passed away.
Richard (Dick) Arthur Assman, 82, passed away peacefully in his sleep on Aug. 15.
“Assmania” started after a local ad was placed in a Regina newspaper to say that Assman, who worked at Petro-Canada, was moving to a new location.
Letterman pointed to the hilarity of Assman’s name and the short comedy bit snowballed into a recurring joke.
Assman was eventually flown to New York to appear on the show, and said the appearance was “something else.”
“It was great, everything was first class. I enjoyed it.”
The correct pronunciation of his German name is OSS-man, but Assman didn’t mind playing along with the joke.
“Nobody really said anything before, but now they do,” he said last year.
“It’s OK with me. If you want to have fun with it, go ahead.”
While many people will remember Assman for his name, his family remembers him as the third oldest of nine children.
“Even when he got involved with David Letterman, it never went to his head,” she added.
His niece, Judith Silverthorne, said Assman used his fame to help out with causes. In one notable instance, he beat Bret “The Hitman” Hart in a charity arm wrestling match.
“He would just go out of his way, even when he worked at the service station. If somebody needed a little extra help or anything he’d do that,” Silverthorne said.
“However he could, he would help people or direct them in the right way.”
A celebration of his life will be held on Monday at 1 p.m. at Speers Funeral Chapel on College Avenue in Regina.
Assman’s family want to keep the funeral a private affair, and ask people that want to remember him make a donation to the Heart and Stroke Foundation in Dick’s name.
“Just to give something to show their gratitude for the time they had with him,” Michalycia said.