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William Richard Nash

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William Richard Nash Obituary
William Richard Nash Our beloved William Richard "Dick" Nash passed away peacefully at home on December 8, 2013, at age 95. His long, exemplary life was an enduring testament to excellence of character, strength of conviction, and devotion to his loved ones. He was an exceptional husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, and was deeply loved by his family. In his long and fulfilling life, he possessed an unusual blend of strength of character with complete modesty and without need for accolades for his many talents and accomplishments He was a quiet, compassionate person, and a true gentleman. Dick was born October 30, 1918, in Albany, Oregon, and completed high school in Klamath Falls. He attended Oregon State College (University) and met his future wife, Jeanne Johnson, when his Phi Delta Theta fraternity brother set them up for a blind date. Dick received his bachelor of science in engineering in 1942, and entered the Naval Air Corps during WWII as a pilot in 1943. Jeanne and Dick were married in Hollywood, Florida, while Dick was on leave. He then left for his duty as pilot of a PBY Naval Seaplane in the Aleutian Islands of Alaska and spend the remaining time in the war in that area, flying in hazardous weather, executing both gravel and water landings in remote, freezing locations. He enjoyed these challenges in addition to the camaraderie with his crew and was proud to serve his country, to which he was very devoted. After the war, Dick returned to his new bride and met his first child, 6 month old Jack. Jeanne and Dick started their new life together in Eureka, CA. Dick joined his father-in-law, Arthur Johnson and brother-in-law, Donn Johnson, in the family men's clothing business, "Arthur Johnson's Men's Wear", where he later became a partner/owner until his retirement, when son Jack Nash and friend Art (Thanos) Dalianes became the new owners. He was very happy in this business and it gave him a great life and satisfaction, and his work ethic and long hours spent were noticed by all who knew him. This family business was in downtown Eureka for 75 years (and also in Arcata for 10 years) and was a landmark in the local business community. Dick liked to travel. He took his junior year off in college to drive 14,500 miles across the United States, Canada, and Mexico with a friend in a 1929 Model A Ford they had overhauled the summer before. Jeanne and Dick spent their life together traveling extensively all over the world, going to Europe 16 times, including family visits with relatives in Sweden, as well Asia, Africa, New Zealand, South America, Canada, and all over the United States. They enjoyed learning about different cultures, and taking adventurous trips, for example, going by balloon across France, observing animals in Africa, and taking small boats in the Galapagos Islands. For many years, Dick co-piloted small planes with friends, traveling to Mexico, stopping along the way for gas and meals. When his granddaughter, Courtney, asked him which was his favorite trip, he answered, "the one down the aisle with your grandmother." Dick and Jeanne also spent many years skiing with family and friends at places like Bend, Oregon, and Vail, Colorado. They stayed at Mount Bachelor Lodge which housed guests right on the mountain in its early years. Dick was always the first on the slopes no matter what the weather was like, and urged everyone else to get out there when he could hear the diesel engines at the ski lift starting up. He was an avid duck hunter, and was a very active member of the oldest chartered duck club in California, the Humboldt Fish and Game Club. Their clubhouse is still intact on the grounds of the National Fish and Wildlife Refuge across from College of the Redwoods. As usual, he became their historian and record keeper. Dick also loved to fly fish, and spent many fall seasons with his friends on the Upper Klamath River. He had a wonderful smoked salmon recipe that was not written down and which his family will not be able to duplicate. For much of his life, Dick golfed every Wednesday with his buddies, an activity that gave him much pleasure, and it was something he and Jeanne enjoyed on the weekends as well. He enjoyed picking apples, and often made applesauce, apple cake, and baked apples. Dick did not like seeing anything go to waste and led a life of moderation. Dick was a lifelong learner, and spent many hours at his computer researching and reading, always amazing his family with his ability to remember obscure facts, people's names, historical events, topographic features and altitudes of mountains around the world. In his retirement years he enjoyed communicating with his fellow aviators and old friends by email and forwarding photos and stories. He continued to drive until a month before he died, and played dominoes every Saturday evening with Jeanne. Jeanne and Dick took great pride in their home in Trinidad, which had built in 1979, and where they often hosted family and friends, like they did in their Eureka home. They enjoyed people and had friends from around the world. Dick gave much back to his community. He joined the Downtown Eureka Rotary Club in 1954 and served as president in 1961, and at his passing, was the longest serving local Rotarian. He was a charter member of Baywood Golf and Country Club and a past president. Dick served on the boards or advisory committees of Eureka YMCA (was active in developing Camp Ravencliff), American Red Cross, American Cancer Society, Boy Scouts of America, Salvation Army, Vestry of Christ Episcopal Church, Clarke Memorial Museum, and as a long time member of the Eureka Elks Lodge and the North Coast Vintage Aircraft Society. He thoroughly enjoyed going out to breakfast with the ROMEOS (Retired Old Men Eating Out). Dick was a true family man, a warm, sentimental and loving father, grandfather, and great-grandfather who said very little but when he did it was often poignant. He was devoted to his wife, Jeanne, and they were blessed to have been able to celebrate 70 years of marriage on August 19, 2013. Dick was preceded in death by his parents, Rose and Bill Nash, his brother Bill Nash, and his beloved son, Rickie. He is survived by the love of his life, Jeanne Johnson Nash, son Jack (Wynona) Nash, daughter Cathy (Dale) Hasz, Jan (Howard) Hunt, his grandchildren Jeanne (Mike) Collins, Rick Hasz, Burleigh Wilson, Courtney (Jeff) Munther, Amy (Adrian Kamada) Hunt, and Cameron Hunt. Great-grandchildren include Selena and Kaitlyn Collins, Hayden Hasz, and Miles and Grayson Munther. Donations in Dick's name may be made to Clarke Memorial Museum (240 "E" Street, Eureka, CA 95501) or Humboldt County Historical Society (703 8th Street, Eureka, CA 95501), or to . At Dick's request, there will be a private family service in Trinidad. A celebration of Dick's life will take place at a later date. Please sign the guestbook at www.times-standard.com and click on obits.
Published in Eureka Times-Standard from Dec. 20 to Dec. 22, 2013
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