Richard Lyle Goedker was born on July 7, 1928, and left this earth on May 6, 2019, due to complications from a stroke. He was 90 years old. Richard, who went by the nickname Dick, was a longtime resident of Willapa Valley. Richard was the son of Earl and Vera Cox and had two sisters, Catherine and Marlene. Dick graduated from Willapa Valley High School in 1947 as a proud Viking. He decided to travel Western Washington after high school in search of work in the logging industry, a staple of Pacific County life. In 1950, not long after the end of World War II, Dick enlisted in the United States Army as a Heavy Duty Equipment Maintainer and was stationed at both Fort Lewis, Washington and Camp Kilmer, New Jersey. During his service time, Dick had the opportunity to travel to Europe and serve in the 547th Ordinance Field Maintenance Company as part of the United States Army’s 6th Army Command. He enjoyed his time in Europe, arriving via the English Channel and traveling to Germany, England and ending his tour with one-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see the Pope in Vatican City on Easter Sunday in 1952. Dick was honorably discharged from service on Nov. 30, 1952, from Fort Lewis.
After serving his country, Dick returned to the Willapa Bay area where he worked for Rubin’s Chevron as a mechanic before he joined what would be the company he would eventually retire from, Weyerhaeuser. He held various positions in the Raymond Weyerhaeuser mill, from Shop Foreman, Log Truck Driver Foreman, a stint in the parts room and safety. He reached the pinnacle of his career and the position he loved the most when he was appointed the Supervisor of Log Operations. Dick and his family were very proud of this accomplishment because he was the first person to hold the position without a college diploma. Dick retired from Weyerhaeuser after 29 years of faithful service.
Dick Goedker loved Pacific County and this was evident in his passions after retirement. He maintained his bond with fellow military veterans by serving in the American Legion Post 150 in Raymond where he rose to the rank of Post Commander. He was also a member of the Raymond Eagles lodge, the Lebam Methodist Church and served on both the Willapa Valley School Board and was the head of the Fern Hill Cemetery Board. Dick was famous around the valley when it came to his pickled and smoked fish. He always fancied himself a true professional and neighbors for miles could attest to this as they could smell that smoke house on later summer evenings.
Dick found joy in life by spending time in the outdoors hunting and fishing and with his three grandchildren. When his son was growing up, Dick was his farm team, Little League and Babe Ruth baseball coach for his son. He maintained a presence in the Pacific County sports scene when his grandsons were old enough to play. Later in life, he was an ever present force at football, basketball and baseball games with torn allegiances to Valley and Raymond. Even though his granddaughter lived across the country, Dick always made time for her. He and Ruth would fly her out for visits, always ensuring the grandkids came first. Throughout Dick’s life, family was always at the center.
He was married to his wife Ruth for 51 years until her untimely passing in 2005 at the age of 72. He is survived by his two wonderful children he was very proud of, William “Cougar” Goedker and Paula (Goedker) Miller; three grandchildren, Corey Miller, Lyle Miller and Shannon (Goedker) Stull and in the last years of his life, Dick had a special relationship with Nancy Bracket.
The family would like to pay special thanks to the medical staff of Willapa Harbor Hospital in South Bend. Their compassionate care during his final days was most comforting to him and his family. At Dick’s request, there will not be a formal funeral. The American Legion of Raymond, Post 150, will hold a small ceremony to honor Dick on May 18, 2019, at noon. Dick is set to be cremated at Stoller’s Mortuary in Raymond. Arrangements are in care of Stoller’s Mortuary in Raymond, Washington. You may visit www.StollersMortuary.com to leave condolences for the family.