February 19, 1937 ~ June 2, 2013
Born in Louisville, Kentucky to Dick and Mary Lou Neeson, he relocated to Seattle as a teenager and graduated from O'Dea High School in 1955. After serving in the U.S. Army National Guard, he worked for the Boeing Company until the crash of 1970-71. He then developed a highly successful business, Neeson Electrical Specialty, which he operated until 2004.
Dick's passion was inboard hydroplane racing, a sport that he engaged in as an owner, driver and race official from 1966-2000. He was the proud owner of the How 'Bout That, Running Bare (2 boats of that name), Crew's Delight/Short Circuit, Ole Blue/Madam Blue, and Blue Mirage. His proudest achievements were two world records achieved by the Madam Blue, driven by Mike Hanson, in 1983 and 1985, and winning the American Power Boat Association (APBA) national high point award in 1984, again with Mike Hanson driving Madam Blue. He was a lifetime member of the Seattle Inboard Racing Association (SIRA). He served in many leadership positions within SIRA over the years, including that of Vice Commodore and often assisted with the annual Seafair unlimited hydroplane race. He officiated at many inboard and unlimited light class hydroplane races over the years.
Having lost his 4-year-old son, David, to leukemia in 1969, Dick regularly donated platelets at Puget Sound Blood Center for the rest of his life.
He enjoyed fine wines and wine tasting and took multiple wine-tasting trips with friends and family around Washington, Oregon and California.
He was a tropical fish hobbyist for more than 40 years.
While he could not read music, he played the piano and accordion beautifully, having been taught by his father, who was an organist and music teacher. Always ready to make a friend, he kept those friendships well and committed himself to being present for friends in need.
In heaven he rejoins his parents, brother, John Neeson, and son, David Neeson.
He is survived by his wife, Kaye Neeson; daughter Beth Schoenmakers, daughter Paulette Deckers, her husband, Tom, and grandchildren, Alora, Emma and Casey Deckers; and by his sisters, Mary Ford (Larry), Jo Samuelian (Gil), and brother, Paul Neeson (Karen).
The family is grateful for the excellent care Dick received at Harbour Point Assisted Living, Providence Regional Medical Center, Providence Hospice, and Bethany at Pacific Rehabilitation Center.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations be made to the Northwest Parkinson's Foundation (www.nwpf.org) or blood/platelet donations be made to your local blood center.
A Memorial Service with reception following will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Wed., 6/19; at Beck's Funeral Home, 405 Fifth Avenue S in Edmonds.
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Published in The Seattle Times from June 12 to June 13, 2013