Dan Richmond passed away peacefully on Feb. 17, 2021 in Prineville, Oregon.
Born in Nebraska during the Great Depression, he grew up helping on the family farm homesteaded by his grandfather. They moved to South Dakota where Dan loved swimming in the hot springs and his sister Dorothy was his high school teacher. After high school Dan entered the University of Nebraska while working nights at Russell Stover, earning his BA degree with honors and joining Phi Beta Kappa. After celebrating with friends, he left on the late train bound for Seattle. While working at Safeway, Dan completed grad school at the University of Washington, earning a Master of Science degree and joining Sigma Xi, the scientific research honor society. His draft deferral over, Dan served in the US Army in Seoul, South Korea after the ceasefire, teaching GED classes to his fellow service members. His troop ship stories became part of family lore, as did his tales of adventures in Japan, including Mt. Fuji.
In the early 60’s while supervisor of personnel testing at Boeing in Seattle, he hired his future wife Karlene, and soon after they began their lifelong adventure together. The passions they shared were many, especially climbing and just ‘getting out there’ at every opportunity. Dan’s interests were eclectic, ranging from archaelogy and astronomy to sci-fi and Zen. The list could fill a page.
Not long after buying their first home in Kirkland WA, the Boeing layoff began so Dan enjoyed a year off, exploring the countryside with their 2 year old son Doug while Karlene worked part-time. Soon former co-workers were hired by the State Higher Education Personnel Board in Olympia, and Dan joined them as a Personnel Research Analyst. He enjoyed this work which included travel to all of Washington’s State colleges and universities, working with staff at those schools. The adventures continued, including a trip to Hawaii where they climbed Haleakala (downhill first), and many trips in the western US and Canada.
After 20 years Dan retired, and after Karlene did also, travel became top priority and the 3rd camper soon traded for a 5th wheel. After several years of winters in the south, never the same place, they sold their home the day after listing. It was a big step – as much as they loved adventure, making a beautiful home and gardens was important too. But time for new adventures, some of them wild – being caught in a sudden t-storm on a 12,000’ ridge in Colorado, a snowstorm at Ft. Davis State Park, Texas with frozen waterline after day of 7 degree weather – and so many wonderful new memories, among them climbing Mt. Dana in the Sierras, their highest, though far from hardest, climb.
Eventually it was time to settle down. After searching for the right place while on the road, coming down the Prineville grade with their 5th wheel and up Juniper Canyon where family now lived, felt lie home. Within a short time they bought a couple acres with mountain views on a hill just south of town and got to work planning the right house for it while continuing their high country adventures. Over the years, those adventures involved fewer worn out climbing boots but never stopped, despite his failing health. Dan still sang every time he got in their truck, even if only going into town.
Dan is survived by his wife Karlene Richmond, his sister Dorothy Richmond, sister and brother-in-law Mardyth and Bob Peterson, and extended family. He was preceded in death by his son Douglas Richmond, his parents Anna and Frank Richmond, and brothers Ray and Philip Richmond, both Navy pilots in World War II.
Dan knew life is a great adventure and shared that passion with so many along the way. A family celebration of his life is planned.
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