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Richard John Wylie


1933 - 2019 Obituary Condolences Gallery
Richard John Wylie Obituary
Richard John Wylie
December 13, 1933 - December 21, 2018
Richard John Wylie of San Jose, California, known as Dick Wylie to family and friends, died peacefully at age 85 in his home on December 21.
Son of John and Ruth Wylie, Dick Wylie was born in Fresno and grew up in Palo Alto, graduating from Palo Alto High School (Class of '51) and Stanford University (Class of '55). Knowing he wanted to be an attorney from an early age, he attended Stanford Law School (Class of '58) and began a legal career that spanned 46 years. After short tenures in the Legislative Counsel's Office in Sacramento and as an assistant district attorney for Contra Costa County, he went into private practice. His work as a trial attorney included many milestones of success and leadership including president of the Santa Clara County Bar Association, executive board member of the California State Bar, and forming the San Jose law firm Wylie Leahy Blunt & McBride to serve workers and consumers in the South Bay (still existing today as Wylie McBride Platten & Renner).
Highlights of his legal and political activism include serving as volunteer counsel during the Civil Rights era including in Jackson, Mississippi, representing clients to prevent school segregation (Diaz vs San Jose Unified School District), chair of the Democratic Central Committee, and campaign co-chair and elected delegate for Robert Kennedy to the 1968 Democratic convention in Chicago. At the local level he worked on numerous campaigns in the 1960s and 1970s, and served in board and leadership positions to serve the disadvantaged and support the arts in San Jose.
Dick Wylie was a devoted and beloved husband and father, always spending time talking, laughing, listening to music, discussing news of the day, and never missing his favorite family vacation times at the beach in Santa Cruz and in Lake Tahoe. He worked hard toward his career but always prioritized and savored time with family and friends. He loved jazz, having played the trumpet in his youth and having begun the courtship of his wife Karen attending jazz performances. He was a Stanford sports fanatic, attending men's and women's basketball games, tennis matches, and every home football home game including bowl games, having been a walk-on player himself his freshman year. Last but not least, he loved his golden retrievers, training and caring for a string of four wonderful companions until his last months.
He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Karen Sue Cress Wylie, as well as his daughter, Pamela Wylie of Monrovia, CA, son Michael Wylie and daughter-in-law Margaret Wylie of San Francisco, and his two grandsons, Evan O'Toole and Lucas Wylie.
Plans for a memorial celebrating his life are pending. If you wish to make a contribution in Dick Wylie's memory, donations can be made in his name to the Law Foundation of Silicon Valley or to the Humane Society of Silicon Valley.


View the online memorial for Richard John Wylie
Published in San Jose Mercury News/San Mateo County Times on Jan. 13, 2019
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