Obituary: Richard Dean Padrick 1945-2022

Thursday, March 3, 2022


Richard Dean Padrick, known as Dick, or alternately, The Bartender, was born on March 2, 1945, in Los Angeles to high school sweethearts Jim Padrick and Avis Erdman. He grew up in California with oldest brother Jim and middle brother Rodney. They moved to Grants Pass Oregon for a while but eventually moved back to Los Angeles where he graduated from Inglewood High School. He played on the basketball team and was Senior Class President.
 
Dick attended California Polytechnic University at Pomona, again playing basketball, from 1965 to 1968. He eventually worked as a Civil Engineer, primarily designing water systems for new developments. Working as an engineer most of his life, he met Stacy Winnick collaborating on the design and construction of a traffic circle in Seattle.
 
Dick joined the Navy in 1969 and served with the Seabees (C.B.’s). His construction battalion served in Vietnam building barracks and preparing other essential infrastructure. After active duty, he served in the Naval Reserve, retiring in 1994, about 25 years total. He received a National Defense Service Medal, a Vietnam Service Medal, a Vietnam Campaign Medal, a Navy Commendation, and RVN Construction Service Medal, a Navy Achievement Medal, and a Meritorious Unit Commendation. He attained the rank of Captain.
 
Dick moved from California to Washington in about 1973. He lived in a mansion co-owned with nine friends on Queen Anne Hill. He built a house in Seattle. He finally settled in Lake Forest Park with Stacy in about 2003.
 
Dick was an avid climber, an activity he began during college. He climbed in the Tuolumne Meadows area in Yosemite (California) after college and continued climbing after his move to Washington. In 1975 he climbed Mt. Rainier (Washington), a notoriously fickle mountain. Mt. Hood (Oregon) was next in 1987. In 1993 he ascended Mt. McKinley (Alaska), a technically difficult climb which requires a coordinated effort even to reach the base. Mt. Whitney (California) and Boundary Peak (Nevada) must have seemed a walk in the park when he completed those ascents in 1995. In 1996 he joined the Highpointers Club, quit his job, threw his climbing gear into a vintage VW Bus, and drove to the remainder of the 50 states. Dick became a 50 State Highpoint Completer, the 62nd climber to ascend to the highest point in all 50 states, finishing on August 23 in 1997. Dick was an active climber through 2009 and attended several Highpointer conventions during the club’s existence.
 
He was also involved in the arts. In about 1980 he was one of the first board presidents of Danceworks Northwest. His early support of the Seattle arts community is remembered fondly.
 
Around 2006 Dick began volunteering with the Red Cross. He was deployed to a couple of hurricane efforts where he was involved with setting up shelters. Later he worked with local shelters, updating availability, capacity, and ADA requirements. His most recent efforts involved logistics of the vehicular fleet, which is extensive and complicated. All in all, he spent 15 years volunteering with the Red Cross.
 
Dick always seemed to be working on some effort to improve math education in Washington State. He coordinated the effort that led to the Where’s The Math? group developing the Washington Exemplary Mathematics Standards 2008 (WEMS).  This was a massive undertaking that involved many people. 
 
In 2014 his partner Stacy incorporated her pet sanctuary as a non-profit organization. Dick served as Vice President, offering bookkeeping support as well as hands-on emergency wrangling. Together they raised and nurtured a pet capybara, among other stray animals that seem to find their way to Stacy’s Funny Farm. In Stacy’s book about the capybara, Dick is fondly referred to as The Bartender. Other notable pets include two Shetland Sheep and Princess, a tiny hen who moved indoors and slept on the edge of the bathtub for three years.
 
Captain Padrick died of an acute stroke at age 76, in Edmonds, Washington on January 4, 2022. He is survived by his long-time partner Stacy Winnick, her children Rebecca and Samuel, the sheep Charlie and Hamish, and countless friends.

We will be gathering to share our memories of a person who will be greatly missed. Saturday, March 5, 2022 from 1pm to 6pm at 19023 33rd Ave NE, Lake Forest Park WA.



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