Steve Richards

Jan. 21, 1953 - May 17, 2024

Leaf - Earth Leaf - Earth Leaf - Earth Leaf - Earth

Steve Richards, a good and deeply loved man, has died at the age of 71. He left us suddenly on May 17, 2024, a short 4 weeks to the day after a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer. He was born to Robert and Charlotte Richards on January 21, 1953 in Chicago, IL the first of three boys. His nature as the oldest sibling was to offer himself as the caretaker - a role he spent a lifetime expanding to include many. Steve moved to the Pacific Northwest as a very young man with his best friend from high school wanting to take advantage of the many outdoor activities he loved - hiking, camping and above all, fishing. They were soon joined by other friends from the Midwest, creating a group who remain close today. They all will miss the annual 4th of July party Steve and his wife hosted on Camano Island. A talented fly fisherman, he built his own rods and tied his own flies for years. Recently he had begun to gift these to special friends – having discovered that even catch and release fishing felt too cruel to him in his retirement years. With subtle sly teasing, Steve would indulge his wicked sense of humor, amusing himself, and deeply delighting those who understood his gift. He knew a lot about a lot, but most often only quietly offered his opinions when asked. Except for politics – he loudly supported progressive policies and candidates with growing urgency these past number of years. As an adult, he maintained a long list of books he wanted to read in his lifetime, and created a book log where he wrote his thoughts of each book read. He made huge headway with his list, but laughingly added 10 book titles for every 5 read. He met his wife, Lola, in Seattle in 1980 and they married in 1981. Their son, Nathan, was born in 1982, thus beginning Steve’s mission to care for his beloved small family above all else – something he did without fail for the past 43 years. Even in his last stay in the hospital his concern for them was primary, at one point he asked a doctor to please get a chair for his wife who he could see waiting anxiously in the hallway outside his room. His love for his family was extraordinary. Later, Nate’s wife Stephanie and son Cameron expanded the family and he welcomed them with a joyful heart. Steve was employed by Western National Assurance for over 34 years, retiring as Regional Vice President and General Manager. He was well liked, respected, and valued and he cared deeply about the company and the people he worked with. He had a mission at work too – to do everything he could to help make the company successful, and every employee he supervised satisfied and proud of their work. His long career was largely a happy one for him. Steve leaves behind his loving wife, Lola, his beloved son Nathan, daughter-in-law Stephanie, grandson Cameron, and brothers Jeff and Scott and their families. He will also be sorely missed by the niece who delighted him, Flannery Kreutzer, his extended family, and by his many friends. There will be no service at Steve’s insistence, but his friends should toast him with an excellent glass of wine. Contributions directed to any conservation related cause would have pleased him. Condolences can be recorded on this website, or sent to the family at 4129 Preserve Drive, Camano Island, WA 98282.


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