Richard Rice DeRoux

  • "...many fond memories of you in San Francisco and summers..."
    - Susan See
  • " a great sorry for..."
    - chet thomas
  • "Brooke, I am so sorry for your loss. You and Richard have..."
    - Peggy Weaver
  • "My sincere condolences to Richard's family."
    - Virginia Donaldson
  • "If ever a person was timeless, it was Rich. I could always..."
    - Stoney Compton

Long-time Juneau resident Richard Rice DeRoux, 67, passed away suddenly and unexpectedly October 25 in Anchorage. He died of natural causes.

Richard was born in 1947 in Ketchikan, a third-generation Alaskan. His parents, Betty Rice and Harold DeRoux, who preceded him in death, were both raised in Juneau. He graduated from Juneau-Douglas High School in 1965, and lived in Juneau most of his life, until moving to Anchorage in 2001 with his wife, Brooke Miles.

Following high school Richard lived for awhile in San Francisco, where he notably worked as a sales clerk at world-famous City Lights bookshop, rubbing elbows with famous Beat poets. He later attended the fledgling University of Alaska Southeast, in Juneau. His attitude throughout his life was that of an iconoclast, his great love was popular music, and his collection of recordings was extensive.

Richard was among a group of Juneau residents who brought public radio to Juneau in the 1970s, helping set up a broadcast station for KTOO-FM in a spare room in the high school auditorium. He served as program director from 1975 to 1980.

He was a popular presence on Juneau airwaves during the 1980s and 90s, volunteer hosting a morning musical program on KTOO showcasing his eclectic musical tastes. He would sometimes string tunes together with a thematic base, and offer it up as his creation. He was probably the first deejay in Juneau to play reggae, and he could also get very creative with such routine tasks as might be required by the FCC.

Many will remember his annual playing of Arlo Guthrie's "Alice's Restaurant" on Thanksgiving, which became a tradition. Long before the activity became main-stream, he was making mix-tapes for friends and family. Richard also liked to dance and performed with Juneau Dance Unlimited for a few years in the early 80s.

For Richard, Juneau was a sunny place, and spring his favorite season. He often sported an early
natural tan, along with a colorful beret and scarf.

Richard married Brooke Miles in 1981, who survives him. He is also survived by his step-father Robert Quist; brothers Daniel and Kenneth; sisters-in-law Sybil Davis DeRoux, Joann Grady, Kathleen Miles and Helen Miles; brothers-in-law Nelson Miles and Craig Gibson, and numerous nieces and nephews.

Richard has been missed by many in Juneau ever since he moved to Anchorage. Now he will be missed even more deeply, and remembered fondly.
Published in The Juneau Empire on Nov. 30, 2014
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