Captain Richard B. McNees, USN, (Ret.) |
Richard B. McNees, Sr. died on September 30, 2012 at his home at the age of 93. He was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 59 years, VeMae (Sandy) Sanders McNees. They met in Jacksonville, FL where he was stationed as a young pilot and she was finishing nurses training.
Richard is survived by his son, Richard (Cathy) McNees, his daughters Cheryl McNees (Kurt Gores) and Linda (Wayne) Armstrong, seven grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his younger sister, Grace Rawlings of Spokane.
Richard was born on September 1, 1919 in Salem, Oregon. He graduated from Twisp High School and felt a strong connection to the Methow Valley all his life. He then attended Willamette University and the UW before joining the Navy in 1940. His intention to serve his country for two years before attending law school became a 32 year career as a naval aviator.
Richard was a Pearl Harbor Survivor. During WWII, he flew missions over Iwo Jima and mainland Japan.
During his long career, he flew more than 40 different types of aircraft, from biplanes to jets. He particularly enjoyed his assignment as commanding officer of Fighter Squadron 101 aboard the carrier USS Midway. He ended his naval career after six years as the commanding officer of the NROTC unit at the UW.
Thirty two years later, he achieved his original goal to attend to law school at UW, graduating in 1975. He was in private practice until 1988 in downtown Seattle and later in Mill Creek, WA.
While waiting for his bar exam results, he and his wife, Sandy, made a trip around the world, which included crossing Russia on the Trans-Siberian Railroad. He loved to travel and experience different cultures, often playing golf.
Richard was known for his community involvement in Rotary and his many years of service to his church. He was always willing to give counsel and help others.
Published in The Seattle Times from Oct. 3 to Oct. 7, 2012