Richard Gary Olson, of Bellingham, died peacefully at his home on April 18, 2019. Born July 30, 1946, the third of eight children, he was very diligent and dedicated to all he took on. When he made a friend, it was for life.
Richard was a graduate of Nooksack Valley High School and Western Washington University. He attended Clearbook Lutheran catechism classes and as a young adult Rich was a member of the Everson Christian Reformed Church. He was drafted into the U.S. Navy and served during the Vietnam War on a supply ship. After his service, Richard became a CPA and worked as a partner in two local accounting firms, Metcalf Hodges and Archer Halliday. He had a passion for gardening and was known for citing the Latin names of the plants in his garden. He was instrumental in creating a genealogical history of the dairy cows on the Arnold Olson Farm near Sumas, and for brother Mark on the Mar Mel Dairy.
He enjoyed traveling; Spain and Turkey were two of his favorite places. With his superb memory, it was a challenge to play cards and win against him. He loved his many cat companions throughout the years. In retirement Richard enjoyed attending St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. He was an avid walker and enjoyed the outdoors. As a resident of the Marina Vista Condos, he enjoyed the community spirit of its residents, serving over 25 years as their treasurer and garden chairman.
Richard is survived by his partner of 31 years, Lennie Rae Hawley. The two of them were known for their annual Fourth of July P\party and many trips visiting family and friends.
He was predeceased by his parents, Arnold and Fran Olson; sister Sandra Olson; and brother Mike Olson.
Surviving siblings are Ron (Leslie) Olson, Dennis Olson, (Cathy Olson), Mark (Melody) Olson, Jane (Dan) Mauk and Kim Olson. He loved his many nieces and nephews and great-nieces and -nephews. We rejoice that he is in heaven. We will miss his gentle smile, robust laugh, calm and reassuring presence.
“You are the wind beneath our wings.”
At his request, no services will be held. In lieu of flowers, donations in his name can be made to Whatcom County Hospice, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church or the local Boys & Girls Club.