Born: March 31, 1940
Died: August 05, 2014
Richard Carey Conatser passed away peacefully on August 5, 2014 with his daughter Kim and companion Jeri by his side after an 8 month extended illness. He is now at peace in Northwest heaven. He was born in Nashville, Tennessee at home, on March 31, 1940. He was preceded in death by his brother William, his mother and father.
Everyone needed to work, so the family moved to Detroit, Michigan. He graduated high school and right then enlisted in the United States Army. He was an MP and a dog handler and did tours of duty in Hawaii and Okinawa.
After his military duty was over with, he came back to work with his dad as a mechanic, working on trucks and other heavy equipment. It was during the Vietnam war that men were scarce so Richard hired on at Northwest Airlines, January 16, 1967 as a ground service employee at Willow Run airport in Detroit. Not wanting anyone to tell him what to do, he became an Equipment Service Chief. In 1976 he accepted a bid in Spokane, WA and ended his career after 32 years in Spokane. He went 13 years without calling in sick…that was quite an accomplishment. While working for Northwest he participated on the bowling team and attended many tournaments throughout the country. His airline career opened up a whole new world of travel for him and his family.
He is survived by 2 spouses, former wife Donna Cordes and present long-time companion Jeri Hershberger; 2 sisters, Marie (Richard) Kozole and Sylvia Gunn; he has 3 grown children, Richard Jr, Kimako and Cindy; 6 grandchildren, Nick, Jessica, Spencer, Savannah, Vinson and Levi; 3 great-grandchildren and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.
A man of many titles, he was Dad, GP, Bompa and Big Rich to Ginger and Wes. A huge thank you to the wonderful care from Moran Vista Care facility. They took exceptional care of him and us and in their eyes he was a true human being, not just a resident. Another huge thank you goes to Gentiva Hospice, Cathy Kilgore our RN caseworker. If ever an angel came to earth it was her. She went above and beyond anything we needed, had it there before we even asked.
At his request a private family service will be held on Wednesday, August 27, 2014. Following will be a hosted reception by Jeri for all family, friends and co-workers to celebrate and tell your favorite “Dick/Richard” story. And yes there will be blueberry cake donuts for the DONUT KING. The reception is at The Lincoln Center, 1316 N Lincoln St, Spokane, WA from 2-5 pm. In lieu of flowers, please make memorial contributions to Gentiva Hospice, 22820 E Appleway Ave, Liberty Lake, WA 99019 in his name.