Richard "Dick" FANNING
1933 - 2021
{ "" }
Share Richard's life story with friends and family
Send an Email
Or Copy this URL to Share
FANNING, Richard "Dick" Richard "Dick" Fanning of Diamond Lake passed peacefully to Heaven, on January 19, 2021 with his children by his side. He was born February 1933 in Spokane to Leland and Elizabeth Fanning. He comes from a prominent medical family; his grand- father was a doctor here from the 1880s up til 1940. He also had an aunt and two uncles that were physicians, all Dr. Grieve. His father worked for the young Washington Water Power Company as an engineer and later in the administration, from which he retired. Dick was a proud Lewis & Clark Tiger, class of '51, where he played football and was quite the boxer. He earned his BA in Recreation at WSC (WSU) in 1955. He made lifelong friends with some of his Phi Kappa Tau fraternity brothers and was an active supporter and member of the Cougar Club, WSU Foundation and WSU Alumni. He was a Season Ticket Holder to the Coug's home games (football, of course!) since the beginning. WSU is where he met Janice Draper, his wife for 22 years. After graduation he served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War as a medic and psychiatric tech. In 1958 Dick started his career with the State of Washington as a Recreation Director, with his focus on helping others to a better life. He spent 13 years in Port Townsend at the Fort Worden Diagnostic and Treatment Center guiding delinquent juveniles in outdoor activities and sports, giving them lifelong skills. In 1971 the family moved to Cheney when Dick transferred to Lakeland Village where he taught people with developmental disabilities social, athletic and outdoor skills that resulted in confidence and a better quality of life. Once the State started removing residents from institutions, Dick got in at the beginning of the Division of Developmental Disabilities where he supervised special-needs adults moving into our neigborhoods and becoming more independent and part of our communities. Dick was offered an early retirement package from the State that he 'couldn't pass up' and retired at 49 years of age. At this time he bought the Diamond Lake cabin that has been in the family since the late 1930s and went to work. Hard labor work! He dug out a dirt basement all by hand with a shovel, and added two additions which modernized much of this home. Now many friends and family members can stay. Dick's cabin was a favorite destination for summer vacations, the 4th of July, Cougar games, Bowl games, his annual birthday celebration in the snow 'Fire in the Woods', and for a quick drink, or two He was elected and served as the Diamond Lake Water & Sewer Commissioner for six years, and was on the Diamond Lake Improvement Association Board for many years. Diamond Lake became very much his community and he was involved in preserving the water quality and whatever it took for some good fishing. It is this community of friends that supported him in his last few years. After retirement Dick volunteered for a travel agency and took groups of adults, with developmental disabilities, to all the favorite vacation places like Disneyland, New Orleans, Hawaii and more. He found a way to travel and help others. He often spoke of his own travels with his friends to New Zealand and to Alaska, his Dude ranch experience and taking Lewis & Clark's path to the Pacific. One can't speak of him without mentioning his love for hunting deer and elk in the Olympics and Cascades, or fishing the pacific, fly-fishing his secret rivers or fishing for 'his' Diamond Lake fish. In his own words "mornings before work and on days off I headed to the rivers, ocean or mountains to fish or hunt". Dick Fanning is preceded in death by both of his parents, his life-long frat brothers, many of his friends, and his cousin Matt. He did not like outliving so many. He is survived by his daughter LeAnn Fanning Knoles, grandkids Elizabeth, Spencer and Clayton, and his son John Fanning and wife Christy, grandkids Julie, Michael, Marie, Michelle and Jacob and 10 great-grandchildren. Dick's wish is that no teary-eyed service be held, or gifts sent. Instead he'd be honored if donations were made to the Salvation Army or to WSU Foundation. We are honoring his request for a summer party up at the lake and to "have a blast" laughing and reminiscing.

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in Spokesman-Review from Jan. 27 to Jan. 31, 2021.
Memories & Condolences
Not sure what to say?
6 entries
February 2, 2021
Elizabeth Fanning, Merri Huang, Dick Fanning
Dick was the best "big" brother. He had great stories and solid advice. His "voice" always was upbeat even when he wasn't feeling so "up". My mother's favorite story about Dick's taking care of me - coming home to find me being bathed in the kitchen sink. It worked just fine!!
Merri Huang
February 2, 2021
I was Dicks Caregiver for about 4 months at the beginning of last year. He and I had many laughs and I’ll always have a place in my heart for him. He loved to get in the truck and take drives and always preferred to pay his bills in person and not online. He couldn’t stand it! He even took the truck once and drove it, even after the Doctor ordered him not to. He was a Force! I’m sure LeAnn remembers that phone call! He loved my little dog, Fawn. She would sit on his lap on one of his cougar blankets every time we would go for a ride and when he was sitting in his chair at home. He taught me how to cook fish right out of the lake and how to make the best mush ever! He told me about being a boy and how he worked for the circus and how he built a bunch of A-frames one summer. He had so many stories. He introduced me to so many wonderful friends of his. I hope to Celebrate Dicks memory in July with everyone. I will miss him very much.

Rest In Peace Friend
Liz McBride
January 28, 2021
Loved the "Fire in the Woods" and 4th of July up there at the Lake with him every year. He was a tough guy, epitomy of hard work and determination. Taught me to be thankful when you receive a gift, communicate often with your grandparents, a phone call is better than an email, to save money and pay in cash when possible- things I still do because he made it important.
Julie R Smith
January 27, 2021
He will be missed. I so sorry for your loss, LeAnn, John, and families
Dawn Miller
January 27, 2021
Thank you for your service to our country. Rest In Peace.
Washington State
January 27, 2021
Dick was one of met dad's best fraternity friends. I will cherish the summer and Cougar football weekends at Diamond Lake, waking to the sound of the Cougar fight song. He was a special guy and my whole family will miss him...
Brian Brenno
Invite others to add memories
Share to let others add their own memories and condolences