Richard "Dick" Albert Slyfield
March 17, 1929 – August 3, 2019
Richard Albert "Dick" Slyfield, was born on March 17, 1929 in Seattle, Washington. Dick passed away peacefully in his home on August 3, 2019. He was under Hospice care for many months.
Dick was raised in the Fauntleroy District in West Seattle. He attended Fauntleroy Grade School, James Madison Jr. High School and graduated from West Seattle High School in 1948. Dick attended the University of Washington where he was a member of Beta Theta Pi fraternity. At the time of the Korean Crisis, Dick was a reservist in the US Coast Guard and in 1951 went on active duty for a two-year enlistment. He served as a hospital corpsman HM3. He was responsible for the health care of the crew and officers. His tour of duty on the cutter Newell, WDE422, covered weather patrolling and aids to navigation from the Hawaiian Islands to Japan, into the Korean war zone, to Adak, Alaska, and back to the home port of Honolulu.
After an honorable discharge from the Coast Guard, in November 1953, Dick married Jane Gede from Oakland, CA. They returned to Seattle, and Dick finished his Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration from the University of Washington.
After graduation, he took a position with Container Corporation of America (CCA) for ten years. When the physical plant was relocated to Portland, Dick left CCA and was hired by the University of Washington to work in the U of W Health Sciences and Hospital. In 1967, when King County Hospital, now Harborview Medical Center (HMC), came under contract with the University of Washington Medical School the Health Science department, Dick transferred to HMC as Director of Staff Personnel. Following reorganizational restructuring, he became the Senior Assistant Hospital Administrator. He retired in 1985.
Their first son, James Tennant Slyfield, was born in 1957. In 1959, their second son Frederick Elder Slyfield was born. Dick and Jane raised their family on Mercer Island and retired to their property on Caribou Creek in Kittitas Valley in 1988.
With his family, Dick had a keen interest in boating around Puget Sound, the American San Juans, the British Columbia Gulf Islands, and the mainland inlets, which encompass some of the most beautiful cruising area to be found. Other activities included skiing, hunting, and travelling. Rotary was a big part of his life. He joined Rotary on 6/6/66 and was a member for over 51 years. He was a member of the Rotary Club of Mercer Island and the Rotary Club of Ellensburg, serving as President of both clubs. He was the recipient of many distinguished Rotary awards from both clubs and from the Rotary districts. Dick was a member of Rotary's Paul Harris Fellowship, and belonged to the Rotary Travel and Home Hosting Fellowship. Dick was chosen as Rotary Group Study Exchange leader taking five young professional men for five weeks to Japan. The team was hosted by thirty-seven Rotary Clubs in Japan, studying and visiting businesses related to their careers.
Other organizational memberships included the National Ski Patrol for over 18 years and the US Power Squadron. Both organizations promote education and life safety.
His church affiliation was with the Fauntleroy Congregational Church, the Mercer Island Presbyterian Church, and Ellensburg Presbyterian Church. He was an Elder in the Presbyterian church. He was a past president of Presbyterian Ministries (PMI), which controlled several Presbyterian Retirement homes.
As an adjustment to retired life, Dick and Jane packed up their new pickup truck, loaded their old Conestoga camper, and toured the United States and the Maritime Provinces of Canada for five months. After this extensive motor journey, Dick became a distributor for Rocky Mountain Log Homes. After touring our country and Canada, their travels included the British Isles, Europe, Eastern Europe, Russia, Ukraine, Morocco, New Zealand, Australia, Fiji, Society Islands, Mexico, Panama Canal, Central America, Uruguay, Argentina, Chile, Peru, Ecuador, Columbia, the Falkan Islands, and around Cape Horn on a flat calm ocean.
Throughout his life, he spent many days hunting and saltwater fishing with his father, mother and brother.
He and Jane carried on their family traditions with their sons and grandsons.
Most important has been the love of his family. His devoted wife; sons and their wives, Jim (Elizabeth Bailey) and Fred (Rose Minor); grandsons and their wives, Hunter (Abby Scarlett) and Spencer (Nicole Thompson); and his extended family of cousins, nieces and nephews.
Dick will be remembered for his compassion, foresight, patience, ingenuity, the ability to fix most anything, and his punctuality. His favorite saying was "If you're not early you're late." He was a true dignified gentleman and always with a pleasant smile.
Dick was preceded in death by his parents Dr. & Mrs. Frederick Slyfield and his brother John (Jack) Slyfield, his aunts and uncles, several cousins, his brothers-in-law and a niece.
Memorial service will be held at the Slyfield home on Saturday, August 24, at 11:00 a.m. In lieu of flowers, please consider donation to Rotary Foundation, Hospice or Ellensburg Presbyterian Church Foundation.
Online condolences may be made to the family at www.brooksidefhc.com. Brookside Funeral Home is caring for the family.