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Richard Straw


1926 - 2012 Obituary Condolences
Richard Myron Straw

July 25th, 1926 - October 14th, 2012

SALEM - Richard departed this world on Sunday, October 14th after living a full life. Born July 25, 1926 to Myron and Emma Straw in St Paul, Minnesota, Richard was the oldest of three brothers. He was preceded in death by his brother Harold and is survived by his brother Thomas.

On November 19th, 1949, Richard and Dorothy were married. They went on to have five children, and many adventures. He is survived by Dorothy and four of his five children, Richard, Michael, Martina, and Maija. His loving son Robert died in 1982. He is also survived by grandchildren Kristi, Moon, Guthrie, Marika, Malia, and Kiana.

From 1944 - 1946, Richard served his country in the US Army, then in the Army Reserve and Minnesota National Guard from 1946 - 1950, followed by active service in Korea from 1950 - 1952.

Richard graduated from the University of Minnesota with a BA in Zoology in 1949 and received his PhD in Botany from the Claremont (California) Graduate School - Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden. Richard enjoyed a long academic career at California State College, Los Angeles, from 1956 - 1981, thereafter Emeritus Professor of Biology. During those years he took his family to Peru where he was a Fulbright lecturer in genetics and ecology in 1963 - 1964, and to Malaysia as Peace Corps science and math education support staff from 1966 - 1968. In 1981 he moved to Ashland, Oregon where he became the Director of Computing Services at Southern Oregon State College from 1981 - 1992, thereafter Emeritus Professor of Computer Science. During retirement he volunteered for the Oregon Flora Project for many years and enjoyed fly fishing, travel, and visiting with his children, family, and friends. Wherever he went he generally found flora of the genus Penstemon, the subject of his dissertation and in which he had an enduring interest.

Services will be held at Prince of Peace Episcopal Church, Salem, October 27th at 1100 A.M. A reception will follow.

Memorial contributions in lieu of flowers may be made to Prince of Peace Episcopal Church, or to the Oregon Flora Project, Oregon State University.

Published in StatesmanJournal on Oct. 21, 2012
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