Richard H. "Dick" BARRETT
1930 - 2021
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BARRETT, Richard H. "Dick" Richard H. (Dick) Barrett passed away in Spokane on April 12, 2021 of Vascular Dementia. He is survived by his wife, Pamela Plese Barrett, his children, Ken Barrett (Tara) and Janet Chavez (Paul); his wife's children Bill Robinson, Kirkland, WA and Annmarie Rose, Spokane; grandchildren Carla Larsen, Danville, CA, Douglas Chavez, Jillian Rose, and Elias White, all of Spokane and six great-grandchildren. He is preceded in death by his parents and brother. Born in Seattle August 21, 1930, he attended Lincoln High School and was president of the student body. Writing has been a part of Dick's life since childhood. Starting at the age of five and continuing in grade school, Dick edited a neighborhood "newspaper" called The 34th Street Gazette. His mother had the front page typeset. He delivered them to neighbors and mailed them to family, including his grandfather who worked for the Yakima newspaper. He went on to receive a degree in Journalism and Economics from the University of Washington while serving as a reporter for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. He was a member of Theta Pi Fraternity. Following graduation Dick worked as a radio station news director in Ontario, OR and later edited a weekly newspaper in Payette ID. He came to Spokane in 1955 where he joined KREM-TV and Radio as one of the area's first television news directors. He was at KREM 14 years as News Director and served in production and newscaster for three TV news shows daily; moving to Producer for all on-air material for the television station, in those days included talent, camera work, graphics, production and direction. He also served as producer of sports, public affairs and children's shows. He went on to manage a local advertising agency. Dick served as president of the Spokane Ad Club (now Spokane Advertising Federation); volunteered several years as assistant manager for the Spokane Interstate Fair and track announcer for the Spokane Fairgrounds Speedway. In 1970, Dick became the Executive Officer for the Spokane Board (now Association) of Realtors, a position he held until 1983. Dick served a term as the president of the Multiple Listing Service Northwest Council, a multi-state organization. During those years his volunteer activities included serving as a member and then president of the Spokane City Plan Commission for several years, chair of the March of Dimes, co-chair of District 81 school siting committee, and six years on the Aquifer Committee. In 1980 Dick was elected to the first of three terms in the Washington State House of Representatives. During two of those terms he was Floor Leader for the Republican Caucus. After completing his third term, he decided it was someone else's turn to represent the then 5th district in Spokane and joined Pam as she resumed her career as a lobbyist, opening Barrett & Associates, a lobbying and association management firm in Olympia. While Pam resumed working in the field of real property interests, Dick worked with Eastern Washington University as it's Government Affairs Director, the Seattle Police officers Association and the Washington Hotel Association. In 1994 Dick and Pam retired but not before they noticed a part-time management opportunity managing a small private condominium on the shores of Kihei, Hawaii and accepted the position. Dick suffered a massive heart attack in 1996. With 30 % heart damage, doctors gave him no chance of survival but suggested prayer. From Maui to Washington State to Washington D.C., prayer groups, bible study groups, and assorted churches prayed and 25 days later Dick underwent a 6-way by-pass surgery and recovered with an unheard of 5% damage. Dick had become a Catholic convert in 1978. Moving to Kihei provided more time to volunteer in his parish. He served four years as president of the Parish Council at St. Therese Church. Together, Dick and Pam cooked and served Thursday's dinner to about 120 homeless people for five years out of the church kitchen. Returning to Spokane they continued to feed the hungry through the work of the St. Vincent dePaul Society, Dick eventually becoming the President of the Spokane Chapter. Dick was a 4th degree member of the Knights of Columbus Council 14394, and a Lector and Eucharistic Minister in his parish of each community in which he resided. His Vigil with Rosary Service will be Wednesday, April 14, 2021 at 6pm at St. Xavier Catholic Church, 545 E. Providence, Spokane, WA. Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10am, Thursday, April 15, 2021 also at St. Xavier. Face masks are required at both services. Please consider making a donation in honor of Dick to: Gonzaga Prep High School, 1224 E. Euclid, Spokane, WA 99207, The Poor-Clare Nuns, 4419 N. Hawthorne, Spokane, WA 99205, the Bishop White Seminary, for: Cor Christi Program, 429 E. Sharp Ave., Spokane, WA 99202 or Hospice of Spokane, 121 S. Arthur St., Spokane, WA 99202. Please visit Dick's online memorial page at to leave a message of condolence.

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Published in Spokesman-Review on Apr. 14, 2021.
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