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Richard Leroy Willems
06/19/1942 — 05/04/2010
From Richland, WA, US | Born in Los Angeles, California
Richard Leroy Willems
Richard L. Willems, 67, of Richland, passed away May 2, 2010 at home with his family by his side. He was born June 19, 1942 in Los Angeles, California to Ervin F. and Edna M. Willems. As a youth he earned the Eagle Scout and God and Country Award.
Dick graduated from Madras Union High School, where he was a four-year letterman in football, basketball, track and baseball. He continued on to graduate from Eastern Oregon College with a BS in Mathematics and was once again a four-year letterman in basketball, and went on to achieve a Masters in Human Resource Management from Golden Gate University.
He served in the United States Air Force from 1963 to 1975 as a Combat Pilot and Instructor Pilot, with a permanent rank of Captain and a temporary rank of Major. Dick saw four tours in Vietnam and received the Silver Star, Distinguished Flying Cross with 1st Oak Leaf Cluster, Air Medal with 10 Oak Leaf Clusters, Air Force Commendation Medal with 1st Oak Leaf Cluster, National Defense Service Medal, US Vietnam Service Medal with 6 Battle Stars and the Vietnam Campaign Medal.
From 1975 to 2003 Dick worked for Lamb Weston as Director of Human Resources.
He was a man of God, devoted to the Walk with Christ community, and Point Man Veterans Ministry. He enjoyed fly fishing, fly tying, aquatic entomology, camping and cooking.
Survivors include his wife, Marilyn, whom he married in 1982; daughter, Marette Willems and son, Eric Willems with his first wife, Carol; daughter, Sharon Baker; grandchildren Melissa Baker, Jeff Baker and Summer Willems; and great-grandchild Aliya Baker.
A memorial service of joy will be held at 11:00 AM Saturday, May 8, 2010 at Central Church, , 1124 Steven Dr., Richland, WA 99354.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Central Church, or to Hospice at Tri-Cities Chaplaincy, 2108 W. Entiat, Kennewick, WA 99336.
I admired him in journalism class in high school, But, unfortunately , he was really cute butnot so nice then. I had a big crush on him. And he teased me unmercifully . God bless that he achieved so much! His dad , the police chief, was a really great guy !
I know you will be watching to see when my christmas lights are up. You are going to be missed but always in my heart.
Canyon Lakes has lost a great member of our family. We are making a donation in Dick’s name in leiu of flowers. Know that our thoughts are with you and the family.
Marilyn and family. Our thoughts are with you. Love, Margaret and Bud
Oh, how I remember when Dick joined us in what we referred to as the Personnel Dept. at Lamb-Weston back in the 70’s in Portland! Loved that Tall ‘n Slim Guy!! He was among the early Good Guys in encouraging we women to aspire to management and for equal recognition in the workplace. I thank God for bringing Dick into my life, professional and personal.
Dear Marilyn and Family; We are deeply saddened in hearing of Dick’s passing. Dick was one of our all time favorite people in Lamb. Dick was always the “go-to” person anytime we needed assistance. We wish you the best, and pray for God’s assistance in dealing with this sudden loss. With sympathy, Doris and John Peterson
I was so sorry and suprised to see this notice.Dick was way too young. Although we have not seen each other for a while, I quite often think of you two, when I pass by your past homes here in Canyon Lakes and Meadow Springs. I know there are no words that can adequately ease your loss. But I can say from experience, that your love and memories will help to sustain you, during the days and years to come.
Thinking of you and yours, Wendy
Dear Marilyn and family: Thoughts and prayers go out to all of you. Sorry for you loss.
Dick left far too early but he leaves us the memories of a very sincere and caring person who would always take the time necessary to help others. Dick was wonderful to work with and always had great advice to offer me. We all will miss you Dick.