Saturday, March 2, 2019

Obituary for Dennis Richardson

My Dad's (Secretary of State Dennis Richardson) obituary:

July 30, 1949 - February 26, 2019

Dennis Michael Richardson passed away on Tuesday, February 26, 2019, from a brain tumor, in his Central Point, Oregon home, surrounded by family. Known for his service to others (both visible service and the quiet service done when no one was watching), for his dedication to God (and country), for being an honest attorney and politician, and for his devotion to his family (he would always interrupt a meeting to take a phone call from his wife or children), Dennis' death leaves a loss only God can comfort.

Dennis was born on July 30, 1949 in Los Angeles California to parents Ralph (Mike) and Eva (McGuire) Richardson. He is preceded in death by his parents, and his siblings David and Donna. He is survived by his sister Doris Skelton, his wife Cathy Richardson, his son Scott Richardson and his daughters Jennifer Vranes (Matt Vranes), Valerie Richardson Harmon (Theron Harmon), Rachel Richardson Whoolery Matthew Whoolery), Nikki Richardson Hom (Paul Hom) Mary Rose (Daniel Burnell), Marie Richardson Coffman (Jared Coffman), Laura Jones and Alyssa Richardson Coombs (Paul Coombs) as well as his 31 grandchildren.

In 1969 he joined the US Army and flew helicopters in Chu Li, Vietnam during the Vietnam War. While flying combat missions in and out of enemy territory, he was honored with 8 medals, including the 19th Award Air Medal and the Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Bronze Star.

In 1973 Dennis married Catherine (Cathy) Jean Coyl in the Los Angeles temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

In 1976 Dennis earned a BA and then in 1979 he graduated with his Juris Doctorate from Brigham Young University. He was the first (and probably only) law student who was both the Chairman of the Moot Court Board of Advocates and at the same time published an article in the Law Review. Immediately moving with his family to Oregon, and passing the Oregon State Bar, Dennis practiced law for 30 years.

Dennis always planned to spend the first half of his life providing for his family, and the second half of his life serving. With that in mind, he served on the Central Point City Council and then in 2002 was elected to the Oregon House of Representatives where he served for 12 years (six terms).

As a state legislator Dennis was elected to the positions of Speaker Pro Tempore, Chair and Co-Chair of the Joint Senate--House Ways & Means (both Subcommittee and Committee), Minority Whip, and Vice-Chair of the House Health Care Policy Committee.

Dennis always joked he wasn't new to politics, after all, he raised eight daughters (one daughter gave him a license plate frame to memorialize this saying). In July 2013, Dennis won the Republican nomination for Governor of Oregon with a 65% vote in the Primary, although he lost the General Election. In November 2016, Dennis was elected as the Oregon Secretary of State, the first Republican to be elected Oregon Secretary of State since 1980.

Dennis always declared that no matter his public achievements, his most important accomplishment was being a good father of nine children, a good grandfather to his 31 grandchildren, and a good husband after more than 45 years of marriage.

Friends and family are invited to attend the funeral and celebration of life for Dennis M. Richardson to be held on Monday, March 4, 2019 at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints at 3900 Grant Road, in Central Point, Oregon. A viewing will be held from 9:00am to 10:30am with a service following from 11:00am to 12:00pm. Interment will be at Memory Gardens.

As the 26th Secretary of State of Oregon, Mr. Richardson will lie in state for public viewing on Wednesday, March 6th, 2019 from 9:00am to 1:30pm in the rotunda of the Oregon State Capitol at 900 Court Street NE, in Salem, Oregon. A state funeral will follow in the House Chamber from 2:00pm to 3:45pm. All are welcome.

To honor Dad we are donating money to his favorite charity Every Child Oregon, which helps foster children.

#dennisrichardson #ORSOS #EveryChildOregon


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