June 14th, 2013
The News Times, Newport, OR 97365
RICHARD JOSEPH SPATH
Richard J. “Dick” Spath 82, Depoe Bay, Oregon died of lung cancer April 5, 2013 at Hillside House Assisted Living, Lincoln City, OR with his wife at his bedside. He was born May 7, 1930 in St. Louis, Missouri, the third of four children born to Edward Louis Spath and Margaret Rose Fargo.
He graduated from McBride High School in St. Louis in 1948, attended St. Louis University and Washington University, both in St. Louis, and graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in chemistry from the University of Missouri, Columbia, MO in 1956.
Following high school graduation he joined the U.S. Navy and served on the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Leyte for one year then was in the Naval Reserves while a student. He was called back to active duty during the Korean War where from 1952-1954 he served on the U.S.S. Lake Champlain aircraft carrier. He was honorably discharged after a total of four and a half years in the Navy.
In 1956 he accepted a sales position with Union Carbide Chemical Company and moved to New York City for training. He remained with Union Carbide for thirty years, working in sales and later, sales management. As a technical representative, he sold a variety of chemicals and resins to many different industries throughout the country. In 1977 he was promoted to Area Sales Manager with oil field and gas treating chemicals his specialty.
After training in New York City he was transferred to Chicago, Illinois where he met his future wife, Jan Carolyn Cook. They were married October 4, 1958 in Chicago, and became the parents of Nancy Carolyn and John Edward.
Working for a large corporation meant many moves for Dick and his family. They were transferred from Chicago to Atlanta, GA; then Chattanooga, TN; followed by a move to a lake front home they built near Ooltewah, TN. Those moves were followed by transfers to Columbia, MD; Mission Viejo, CA; Pleasanton, CA; and finally Dallas, TX. Dick took early retirement in 1986, and they chose Oregon’s central coast as their retirement location and built a home near Depoe Bay.
As a teen Dick played soccer and baseball, and later began playing both golf and his favorite sport, tennis. He was a certified SCUBA diver and jazz his favorite style of music. He was actively involved in his children’s activities as a member of PTA, swim team booster club, and he coached both Little League and soccer. After moving to Oregon, he was a member of the homeowner’s association, serving as an officer and on the board of directors. Until the last few years, he continued playing tennis at least once a week.
He was an intelligent, well spoken, though private person, who enjoyed his years of retirement because he never felt defined only by his job. No matter where the family lived or traveled, Dick could be counted on to research the area as thoroughly as possible. Favorite vacation locations included the Florida Keys and the Caribbean, and a Windjammer trip was his choice for the perfect cruise. Disneyland was the site of several family reunions and he and Jan celebrated their 50th anniversary there with their family.
He was preceded in death by his parents and eldest brother Edward. He is survived by his wife Jan; daughter Nancy (Robert) Davis, Oakland, CA; son John, Austin, TX; grandchildren David (Joy) Balemi, and Alex and Alicia Davis; brother Donald and sister Shirley D’Agostino, and several nieces and nephews.
The Spath family wishes to thank the staff at Hillside House, Samaritan North Lincoln Hospital and Hospice, and 911 responders for the attentive care given to Richard. No services are planned, but remembrances may be sent in his name to the American Cancer Society or to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research at michaeljfox.org.