GOEDDE, R. L. (Dick) R. L. (Dick) Goedde served as a tail gunner during World War II, flying a B-17 bomber named "Ticket Home." On Tuesday evening, April 23, 2013, Dick punched his final 'ticket home' when he died of complications from bacterial pneumonia at Pullman Regional Hospital. He was 87. Dick was born in Uniontown on May 18, 1925 to Henry & Catherine (Kelburg) Goedde. After graduating from Uniontown High School in 1943, he enlisted in the Air Force where officers quickly saw his potential as a tail gunner. Not only was he a superb marksman, he could slide his slender frame into the plane's tight tail quarters to man twin, .50-caliber machine guns. Three times he completed the required number of sorties, flying for six to eight hours at a stretch, but each time the commander raised the limit. After flying 34 missions over Germany and France, Dick was ordered to fly a 35th mission with a new crew. Dick declined. When his commanding officer threatened to demote him, Dick said, "Go ahead and bust me. I don't need my stripes in the hereafter." After the war, Dick went to college at WSU, where he earned a degree in psychology. When asked why he wanted to stay in the Palouse, he always praised the opportunities for bird hunting and fishing. He was an avid trap shooter and long-time member of the Lewiston Gun Club. In his later years, he played golf several times a week at the Lewiston Country Club. For 63 years, Dick was a member of the Lewiston Elks Club, and he also belonged to the Uniontown Knights of Columbus and the American Legion. Dick met Maxine (Kambitsch) at Coeur d'Alene Lake, and they married in 1951. Before becoming the president of Farmers State Bank in Uniontown, Dick held a variety of jobs to support his growing family. He sold life insurance for Mutual of New York, managed the Uniontown-Colton Telephone Company, kept books for the Potlatch Lumber Yard, and worked as a teller and bookkeeper at the bank. He was also the Uniontown City Treasurer from 1952-1963. Even while juggling all these jobs, he managed to build the house where he and Maxine lived for most of their married life. During Dick's 41-year career in the Farmers' State Bank, he became known as a banker with a heart. Not your typical banker, he always had a friendly greeting for his customers, and he boasted that he never wore a tie. Dick's "bankers' hours" often extended into the evening and weekends. His children remember Saturday visitors who needed an immediate loan to buy a truck or a piece of farm equipment, and there were even some middle-of-the-night calls from unlucky individuals who needed money to get out of jail. In those days, a promise and a handshake were often enough to seal a deal. Dick and Maxine shared 62 years together. Dick is survived by Maxine and three children: Gayle Goedde and her husband John French of Douglas, Alaska; Gerri Goedde and her husband Jeff Billett of Seattle, and Guy Goedde of Uniontown. Dick was preceded in death by his son, Gregg Goedde. His grandchildren are Mikaela Rodriguez of Burlington, Vermont; Marita Rodriguez of Seattle, and Milena Billett of Seattle. Dick's surviving siblings are Henry Goedde of Spokane, Dona Hanson of Spokane, and Alice Nason of Kirkland. Dick was a great storyteller, and his favorite stories were about his war experiences. We heard them many times without ever tiring of them. He was a devoted husband and father, and we will dearly miss him. Dick was a communicant of St. Boniface Parish. Father Joseph Sullivan will conduct a graveside service at St. Boniface Catholic Cemetery in Uniontown, WA on Saturday, April 27, at 3 o'clock. Military Honors will follow. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Uniontown-Colton group of emergency medical technicians, the Shriners' Hospital in Spokane, or the
. KIMBALL FUNERAL HOME OF Pullman, WA is caring for the family. Online condolences may be sent to www.kimballfh.com
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Kimball Funeral Home
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Published in Spokesman-Review on Apr. 26, 2013