Whitman County Gazette - Serving Whitman County since 1877

Richard Landers


October 24, 2019

Richard Landers

Richard Landers

Richard Austin (Dick) Landers, born January 21, 1933, in Acushnet, Mass., was the first-born of Austin T. and Ethel Landers. The family grew to include Bob, Barbara and Gary.

Being a naval family, they moved several times, eventually landing in northern Idaho. Dick attended high school in Spirit Lake. He left high school to enlist in the navy when he was 17 and served on a destroyer escort for three years during the Korean War.

Able to do just about anything, after honorable discharge he worked various jobs. His favorite job was working in the woods in Alaska, Montana and Idaho before deciding he needed a backup occupation. He attended meat cutting school in Ohio. He met Marlene while cutting meat and learning to make various kinds of sausages in a market in Spokane. They married June 16, 1962. They lived in Coeur d'Alene and Kellogg before ending up in Colfax, in 1966, where he was a meat cutter for Safeway.

After a short stay in town, they lived in a rented house in the country raising kids, dogs, cats, horses, chickens and a couple of pigs. When Safeway wanted to transfer Dick, the family decided to stay put. Dick went to work for Norm Willson Tractor, where he learned to be a mechanic by taking tractors apart and rebuilding them. He subsequently worked at Arrow Machinery, Western States Equipment, then went back to Alaska to be a mechanic for large logging operations. He loved the challenge of fixing equipment without the benefit of a parts department near. He returned home and retired in 1995.

Dick enjoyed the outdoors, hunting, fishing, and camping with friends and family. Some of his favorite times were spent around a campfire telling tall tales and enjoying the smell of wood smoke and pine trees, especially if there was a grandchild nearby. In later years, he spent hours sitting out in his yard with his dog on his lap, visiting with everyone who passed by.

He died on October 15, 2019, in Moses Lake, Wash., a result of complications from a stroke in his spinal cord. He is survived by his wife, three sons and one daughter, Rich (Cathy), Robbie, Steve (Kelly Ann) and Jim. He is also survived by nine grandchildren and six great grandchildren.

A celebration of his life will be held on Saturday, October 26, at 11:00 a.m. at the Methodist Church in St. John. Lunch will be provided at the Community Building following the service.

Memorials to a local charity of your choice or to the Fisher House Foundation. (Fisher House provides free accommodations for families with someone in various VA hospitals)


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