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Daniel Vern Firth
01/27/1935 — 11/29/2023
From Richland, WA | Born in Whitehall, IL
Richland, WA 99352
Richland, WA 99352
Daniel Vern Firth
On November 29, 2023, our mom Pat, lost her best friend and spouse of 70 years. Daniel V. Firth passed away at the age of 88. Dad was loved and admired by all who knew him. He had a gift for impacting the lives of everyone he met.
His wife and many children and grandchildren were the center of his life. Dad was so proud that our family numbers reached almost 100. He told anyone who would listen, how vast our family tree was. Dad and our mother were a superb and tireless example of how to love.
Dad was born on January 27, 1935 in Whitehall, Illinois. He was the proud owner of Dan’s Food Market in Leavenworth before moving to the Tri-Cities with mom.
Below is a sampling of what our amazing dad brought to his family.
Dan and I had a nighttime ritual that I will miss most of all. When we went to bed and were ready for sleep we would say to each other, “Good night. I love you. God bless you.” Then we would kiss seven times. Once for each of our kids. – Pat
“For anyone who knew Papa it is hard to pin down one specific memory of him. His sense of humor, love of life, love of Mama and family, kindness, dignity and inner strength and making everyone feel unique and special were just a few characteristics of this amazing person. My memories include Papa teaching; teaching me how to play the guitar, how to shoot a basketball and throw a football, throw and catch a baseball, how to build with my own two hands, teaching me about the value of hard work, devotion, faith and humility. During the many intimate moments with Papa, especially later in his life, I asked him how he ‘keeps the fire burning?’ He didn’t hesitate for a moment and replied, ‘David, family is the greatest gift of life.’ I am blessed to have had a Father who was a mentor, Papa and friend. Of all the memories of Papa, the one that is most life-giving for me is remembering Papa as loving us.” – David
The first thing I remember about dad is when I was a little kid. Dad would come into our bedroom and say to me “Hey, lets’ go fishin’!” Dad would take me to Lake Cachuma and would sit in a fold up lawn chair and fish while I watched. Dad reeled in a fish and said “you want to catch a fish?” I said “YES!” Dad cast out the line, handed me the pole and guess what!?! I caught a fish!! For the very first time! And the rest is history! The legacy of the Firth Family Fishing Trips evolved some years later. But, Dad started it, without even knowing it at the time…and it is something I will never, ever forget. Dad started this 28 year tradition, and if I can be a part of keeping it alive, I will do my best! I love you Dad! FISH ON! BITE ME!” – Bob
I miss his laugh. I miss his voice. I miss his hugs. I miss the man who sang Fire and Rain with me. I miss the man who coached my basketball team. I miss the man that laughed so hard at Johny Carson late at night. I miss the man that loved his family with all of his being. I miss him being there when I needed a shoulder. And he knew just when that was. He showed all of us, every day, how to love. How to be kind and good people. I miss that man and am comforted only in that he is happy and pain free in his new home. On earth he was the most remarkable man I have ever known. ‘loveyoubye’ Dad. – Lauree
“It’s virtually impossible to single out just one special memory of someone who was fun-loving, adventurous, kind, wise, goofy, talented and devoted as Dad (I could add countless more adjectives but…space.) Dad’s sense of humor, his laugh (he laughed a lot), his kind and gentle nature and so much more, have left me with countless, priceless memories I will treasure forever. One of my favorite memories is a day where dad and I drove around the town where he spent much of his childhood; visiting the home he grew up in, parks where he played ball and went sledding, the location of the bowling alley where he had a job as a pin setter, the first church he attended and other significant landmarks, including the precise location where he first met mom. I learned things about my dad I had not previously known…things the rest of my sibs may never know 😊 But that’s the thing about my Dad- he made everyone feel like they were his favorite.” – Jim
“I have many great memories of Dad but I guess what comes to mind are some life lessons. When I was very young I was kinda scared of him; if I did something wrong I would have to answer to him. When I gold older and was in trouble at school or something else, it didn’t matter what the principal or someone else said, I had to answer to Dad. When I had a job to do dad would say “Get up! You can sleep when you’re dead!” As an adult I would bring up times I got in trouble and dad would say “yeah, I was so rough on you.” I would say “no, you were always teaching me to be a better man and father” which I love, admire and respect him for. Those are some big shoes to fill and I’m still trying. As God was his moral compass, he was mine! Love you Dad!” – Steve
“I have many great memories with dad, from secret handshakes, playing catch in the yard, rooting for the Mariners and Seahawks in the Kingdome and the living room, learning work ethic at Dan’s Food Market, many golf Saturdays, fishing trips and so much more. One of my favorite memories was our six day, fifty mile hike we took through Goat Rocks when I was sixteen. Hiking and camping in the wilderness with nothing but God’s creation around us for days, getting to see a crystal clear, starry night and getting to share it with him will be a cherished memory forever. He was the greatest dad and friend anyone could ask for. Well done, Dad-Dee-Dah. Until we meet again, I love you.” – Peter
“It is impossible to choose a favorite memory I have about dad. How do I capture every special moment to share about the person who impacted my life the way dad did? From our silly hand gestures across the room, his contagious laugh, his immeasurable love of his family, teaching me work ethic and how to go above and beyond, commitment, acceptance, ‘this too shall pass’ and his unconditional love. Dad used to say “every day I find another reason to love your mother” and it was true. Over the past year, as I landed at the top of a hiking trail, I would take a picture of the sunrise and text it to dad and include “I love you dad!” Our mornings were shared by seeing God show up for us in the beauty of a sunrise. Though I miss dad terribly; I know he’ll be in the sunrise. I love you dad!” – Katie
Dad is survived by our mom, Patricia Ann Firth and seven children; David (Linda), Bob (Phyllis), Lauree Cannon (Bob), Jim (Jenny), Steve (Joni), Peter (Jodi) and Katie Klute (Jon). In addition, dad leaves behind 40 grandchildren, 38 great grandchildren and 3 great great grandchildren.
A viewing will be held at Einan’s Event Center on Friday, December 8th 2:00p – 5:00p with the rosary starting at 4:00p. The funeral will be held the following day, December 9th, at 12:30p at Christ the King Church in Richland. The graveside service and reception will follow immediately after at Einan’s Event Center.
Dad had a love of supporting the children being treated at St. Judes. In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to this incredible organization.
The Knights of Columbus of Leavenworth and Cashmere will miss Dan. He was very generous as a Knight and member of our Council. He was especially kind, letting us hand out Tootsie Rolls in the fall to raise donations for the Washington State Special Olympics. Most of the money stayed here in the upper Wenatchee River Valley and was donated to two houses that are homes to adults with disabilities and Special Olympians: Bangsund Dwelling Place and Upper Valley Connection.
I remember going on family trips with the Cannons to Casey’s grandparent’s house as a child. Their home was always filled with laughter, singing and love. Dan always made me feel like one of his own grandchildren with his fun loving words and gentle nature. My deepest condolences to the Firth family. Heaven has gained an angel to watch over you all. Rest in peace Dan.