Dick Strathern

Dick Strathern

1938 - 2021

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Obituary of Dick Strathern

As some of you know, my dad, Richard Strathern, went on to his forever home to be with God. For those of you who have met him, you know that he was most kind hearted man, with the gentlest soul. He was the best dad anyone could have asked for and I am so blessed that I was able to call him my dad. Below is a copy of his obituary. I appreciate all those who have reached out to me and I apologize if I don't get back to you right away. I am currently staying in Oregon with my mom and children and I am unsure of when I will return to Ohio. Richard “Dick” Strathern, passed away on October 18th, 2021 with his wife Patty by his side, joining his parents, William and Mary Strathern and his good friend Dave Osborne in Heaven. A beloved husband, dad, brother, uncle and grandfather, Dick will live on in the hearts of his wife Patty, his daughter, Deana and son in law Chaz Marcial, his grandchildren, Jada Strathern, Cruz and Domenic Marcial, his siblings; Bill, Bob, Jim, John and Sister Mary Jean Strathern and their spouses, Delores (dec.), Monica (dec.), Marilou and Cathy respectively. He will also be missed by his friends, especially Pauline Newman and Jack Ardner and his many nieces and nephews and their children. Dick met his wife Patty in 1980 and they were married in 1988. He adopted their daughter Deana and was the most loving and devoted husband and father, always supportive and the best listener. In 2005, Dick became a grandpa for the first time. His granddaughter Jada was the apple of his eye and she was Poppa’s girl from day one. He was so proud of her talent and enjoyed sharing her musical videos with others. In 2013, he gained a son in law and a grandson in Chaz and Cruz and his family became complete with the birth of his grandson Domenic who followed in his Poppa’s footsteps with a love for storytelling and politics. Friendly and outgoing, Dick never met a stranger. He loved to regale others with stories of his past and his family. His family immigrated here from Ireland and he enjoyed researching his DNA and was always adding to his family tree. He never stopped learning and could always be found researching several topics of interest. Dick graduated from The University of Dayton with a BA in Political Science in 1961 and he received his Masters of Educational Administration from Xavier University in 1967. He began his career at Cathedral Latin High School where he taught from 1961-1965. From 1966-1973, Dick served as Assistant Principal of Covington Catholic High School and President of Bergamo Center in Dayton Ohio. From there, Dick expanded into other industries, acting as a Seminar Leader for Science Management Corporation in 1973, followed by two years as Plant Manager at Progressive Industries. Next, Dick decided to try his hand in the coal industry working for Panhandle Eastern/W&O Coal Company from 1967-1980 where he met his friend Dave. He loved to tell us about his first time in the mines, explaining how the staff said, given his use of crutches, he wouldn’t be able to go underground. He told them, “I can’t do my job if I don’t see what’s happening down there, we will have to figure it out.” He did go down in the mine. Dick often told us, “It’s ok to not know what you want to do yet. I was in my 40s before I figured it out. Life is about experiences and getting to know people, the rest will come with time.” It was at 42 that he found the place where not only would he spend the majority of his career, but also where he met his wife. He worked as Director of Human Resources at TRW/PCC Airfoils from 1980-1994. In 1994 he took a leap of faith and moved his family to Oregon where he worked for eleven years as Plant Manager for Precision Castparts before retiring in 2005. While Dick retired in 2005, he never stopped contributing. Whether it be campaigning or mentoring young politicians, Dick was always willing to lend a helping hand for something or someone he believed in. He served on the POIC Charter School Board from 2003-2005. This began his interest in serving the community and he started looking for ways he could become more involved. In 2006 he served on the Gresham Fire Citizen Advisory Committee. Dick had a passion for politics and served on the Gresham City Council from 2007-2010, with the honor of acting as City Council President in 2009. Though he retired from council, he loved calling Gresham home. He was one of the founding NextDoor.com Leads from 2013-2016, serving as President to the Southwest Neighborhood from 2013-2014. During the time, Dick helped NextDoor flourish, leading to full utilization of the website as the neighborhood’s main social media platform. In one of his greatest accomplishments, he led a citizen petition to put the election of City Councilor by districts on the ballot. It was during that time that he met his dear friend Jack, whose goal was to become a “helper” and learn as much about politics as he could. Jack says Dick welcomed him with open arms and he had soon become a full member of the committee. Together they succeeded in getting Ballot Measure 26-141, “Gresham Charter Amendment; Mayor Elected at Large; Councilors by District” on the November 2012 ballot. While it was not successful in gaining the votes needed to win, it was successful in presenting critical information to voters and Dick considered that a win. Later, he assembled his old Ballot Measure team and co-authored a letter to Governor Kate Brown on the topic of eliminating at-large elections. This letter was a comprehensive document that Dick made sure was sent individually to the majority of the Oregon Legislature. While the letter did not succeed in eliminating at-large elections at a municipal or city level, it may have been instrumental in passing HB 3310 in 2019, which was signed into law by Governor Brown eliminating the practice of at-large elections for school districts, water districts and others alike. His other political accomplishments included aiding in the campaigns of Mario Palmero and Eddy Morales. Even as it became harder for him, he continued to take part in his community in any way he could, most recently by mentoring Vince Jones-Dixon. As a polio survivor, who was passionate about helping others overcome obstacles, we ask, in lieu of flowers donations be made in Dick’s name to one of the following charities: March of Dimes - https://www.marchofdimes.org/giving/support-general.aspx Food for Families - https://www.food4families.net/take-action Memorial Mass will be held at St. Henry Catholic Church on Friday, October 29th at 2:00 p.m. and will be open to the public. 346 NW First St. Gresham, Oregon 97030
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Friday
29
October

Memorial Mass

2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Friday, October 29, 2021
St. Henry's Catholic Church
346 NW First St.
Gresham , Oregon, United States
Friday
29
October

Reception

3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Friday, October 29, 2021
St. Henry's Catholic Church
346 NW First St.
Gresham, Oregon, United States