Ragnar Felix Nowakowski

06/11/1922 — 09/16/2005

From Richland, WA, US | Born in Manitowoc, Wisconsin

Ragnar Felix Nowakowski

Ragnar F. Nowakowski, resident of Richland since 1955 and former Tri-City Herald reporter, died Friday, September 16, 2005. He was 84.

Mr. Nowakowski was born June 11, 1922 in Manitowoc, WI. He attended Sacred Heart parochial grade school and Lincoln High School where he earned a varsity letter in swimming. He was graduated in the class of 1939 and then attended the University of Wisconsin at Manitowoc for a year before transferring to the campus at Madison, WI to major in Journalism. His college career was interrupted for a year while he worked in a shipyard to earn enough money to attend college for another year, and again in 1942 when he enlisted in the U.S. Army.

After basic training in Clearwater, FL, he was assigned to the Army Air Corps, then to cryptographic school in Pawling, NY and finally to the Army Airways Communication Service. He served in communication stations at Kodiak and Elmendorf AFB at Anchorage, AK.

He then returned to the University of Wisconsin, completed work for his bachelor’s degree and was graduated in the university’s centennial class of 1949.

Mr. Nowakowski worked on daily newspapers in Albert Lea, Minnesota and Webster City, Iowa, before joining the Tri-City Herald news staff as the Richland reporter in 1955.

He covered news events at the Hanford nuclear plant, as well as in the city of Richland. Among them was the transition of Richland from government-owned and –operated city, to conventional, citizen-voter ownership.

During those years he also interviewed many national and world figures in the fields of science and government, many of whom were Hanford visitors. Among them were Dr. Glenn Seaborg, Hans Bethe, Edward Teller, Madame Indira Ghandi, Vice President Lyndon Johnson, Sens. Henry Scoop Jackson, Warren G. Magnuson, Barry Goldwater, Hubert Humphrey, Adlai Stevenson, Dixie Lee Ray, and John Glenn.

In 1965, Mr. Nowakowski left The Herald to join the Atomic Energy Commission now Department of Energy in Richland, as public information officer until 1970. During this time, the AEC changed from single-contractor to multiple-contractor operation at Hanford.

In 1970, Mr. Nowakowski resigned as Acting Director of the Information Division to become manager for Mike McCormack in his campaign for the U.S. Congress. He served as Administrative Assistant to the Congressman in Washington, D.C. for a year and then as District Representative in the 4th Congressional District.

In 1973, Mr. Nowakowski rejoined the Tri-City Herald as a general assignment reporter until 1976 when he became an information specialist for the Washington Public Power Supply System, now Energy Northwest, in Richland. He retired from the Supply System in 1985.

Over the years, Mr. Nowakowski took part in many civic activities. He was a member of the Richland JayCees and was editor of their state newspaper. He served on the board of directors of the Richland Rod and Gun Club, Goodwill Industries, and the Community Action Committee. He was a member of Christ the King Church.

In 1943, Mr. Nowakowski married Mary Pritchard whom he had met in kindergarten and who was his grade school and high school classmate. They were apart while she attended Nurses’ training in Milwaukee, and he attended the university in Madison, and married in an Army chapel at Ft. Custer, MI after he was called to active duty. After discharge in November 1945, he returned to Manitowoc and worked for two years as employee magazine editor of MIRRO aluminum co.

At the time of his death they had been married for 63 years.

Survivors are his widow, Mary Pritchard Nowakowski; daughters, Mrs. Darrell Jean Moorman, Finley; Mrs. David Renée Olson, Oakley, CA; and Marya Nowakowski, Enterprise, OR; five grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Rudolph J. and Josephine Nowakowski of Manitowoc, WI, his sister, Corola, daughter Dianne Perry Nowakowski and granddaughter, Kim Perry.

Services will be at Christ the King Catholic Church, 1126 Long Ave. in Richland on Thursday, September 22nd at 5:00 PM. No reception will follow the service. Inurnment service will be private.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions to the Christ the King Church Building Fund, 1126 Long Ave., Richland, WA 99354 or Tri-Cities Chaplaincy Hospice House, 2108 W. Entiat Ave., Kennewick, WA 99336.

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Ragnar Felix Nowakowski

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  • Mary: I would like to take this time to say how sorry I am for your loss. It has been a pleasure knowing you and Rags. My prayers and thoughts go with you through this difficult time.

    Steve

    Steve Gordon
    November 4, 2014
    Richland, WA, US
  • Jeanne: I share in your grief for the loss of your dad. I remember Rags very well, and as I got older, truly enjoyed his work.

    My thoughts, prayers, to you, Darrell, your mom and sisters.

    Louise Moyers

    Louise Moyers
    November 4, 2014
    Cle, Elum, WA, US
  • Mary: It has been a pleasusre knowing you and Rags for the past few years and having you come to the barbershop. My heart goes out to you and your daughters during this time of loss. My prayers are with you.

    Wayne

    Wayne Sandifer
    November 4, 2014
    Richland, WA, US
  • Mary: I would like to take this time to say how sorry I am for your loss. It has been a pleasure knowing you and Rags. My prayers and thoughts go with you through this difficult time.

    Steve

    Steve Gordon
    November 4, 2014
    Richland, WA, US
  • Jeanne: I share in your grief for the loss of your dad. I remember Rags very well, and as I got older, truly enjoyed his work.

    My thoughts, prayers, to you, Darrell, your mom and sisters.

    Louise Moyers

    Louise Moyers
    November 4, 2014
    Cle, Elum, WA, US
  • Mary: It has been a pleasusre knowing you and Rags for the past few years and having you come to the barbershop. My heart goes out to you and your daughters during this time of loss. My prayers are with you.

    Wayne

    Wayne Sandifer
    November 4, 2014
    Richland, WA, US
  • I had the great fortune to work with Rags several times over the past 40 years. First when he worked for the AEC, later with Congressman McCormack, and then with WPPSS. Rags is still one of the best, and fastest writers I’ve ever known, and I wish to believe that he’ll now be writing new material for the Angels.

    Gary Petersen
    November 4, 2014
    Richland, WA, US
  • Renee and family: Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time. May God give you strength and comfort.

    Susan Nishizaki
    November 4, 2014
    Oakley, CA, US
  • That’s my Grandpa! Grandpa Rags. I like to think that I take after him, what with my prodigious writing talent and all. All my love to my mama, grandma rags, aunt jean and aunt marya. This memorial site is lovely.

    My fondest memory is of fishing in the river with grandpa rags and my sister up at “the cabin in the woods”. He made me throw my fish back because it was too small, and Erin got to keep her fish which upset me greatly. But such is life in the woods. When I wear a floppy hat, I look a lot like Grandpa in his fishing hat.

    XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXO

    Colleen Marlow
    November 4, 2014
    San, Francisco, CA, US
  • I worked with “Rags”as we all called him back thenwhile he worked for WPPSS. He was a quiet gentle man. He always said good morning to you. So sorry to hear ofyour loss.

    Becky Francisco
    November 4, 2014
    Pasco, WA, US
  • Rags was a professional journalist. He told it the way it was. He was a good friend and a great husband and father. He will be missed

    Bill and Mae Clothier
    November 4, 2014
    Burien,, WA, WA, US
  • i was sad to hear of ragner s death. i was a 1st cousin of his. my mother and his were sisters. my mothers name was anna borths. sincerely, maysel odell

    maysel odell
    November 4, 2014
    philipsburg, MT, US