Richard “Dick” LeRoy Topp Passed away peacefully in the presence of his family on January 16th, 2018. Dick was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on October 21, 1950, to LeRoy and Dorothy Topp. The family moved to Seattle, WA., Wichita KS. and then settled on Vashon Island when Dick was 12 years old. On Vashon, Dick distinguished himself at a young age, with his interest in ham radio, reaching places as far away as Russia while still in grade school. As a teenager, Dick excelled at math and enjoyed camping on the beach and waterskiing. He lettered in wrestling and football.
After high school, Dick worked for his Uncle Jim, building ladders in San Francisco. There he attended college part time, including photography and gold panning. He earned his pilot’s license and became proficient at landscape photography. He did a lot of camping in California, where he once photographed a rattlesnake by his fire.
Dick returned to Washington where he earned his Mechanical Engineering degree while working for Boeing. Dick met and married his wife Cherie Bevers. They moved to Monroe, built a house and raised a family. Dick had a twenty year career with Boeing and was well respected as a mentor and expert in Stress Engineering.
Dick was forced to retire early after a life altering stroke, which deprived him of his mathematical skills and his freedom. Over the last 18 years, Dick and his family struggled with his illnesses, finding creative ways to make life more accessible. (Special thank you’s to Kelli Oleson and Laney Johnson, wonderful caregivers who made life much more do-able.) Dick enjoyed spending time with family and pets, driving to shop at Fred Meyer or to get cheeseburgers. He will be remembered for his compassion, dry sense of humor, and his loyalty to his family. He never complained or asked “why me.” He never lost his ability to encourage others.
Dick is survived by his wife, children Oliver Topp (Kaori), Allie Berg (Kim), Lauren Topp, Hansen Topp (Carly) and grandchildren Reece, Rylee, Jackson, and Mason. His father, Roy Topp, his sister, Patti Moe (Stan), his brother, Marc Topp (Becky) nieces and nephews and great nieces and nephews. Dick was preceded in death by his Mother.
Memorial donations can be made to St. Peters Luther Church, Clinton,WA, or to Evergreen Hospice, Totem Lake, WA.
A funeral honoring the life of Mr. Topp will be conducted on Saturday, January 27th at 11 A.M. at St. Peters Lutheran Church 6309 S. Wilson Place, Clinton, WA 98236; http://www.whidbeynet.net/stpeters/. Pastor Mikal Hustead and Pastor Phil Claussen are officiating. A memorial potluck with the family will follow at the church reception room until 2 PM.
Bring food if you would like.