Born August 26, 1939, in Yakima, Washington and passed away Nov. 24, 2022 at the age of 83 in Brinnon, Wash. Dick was the third of five children born to Frank and Agnes (Benoit) Riel and grew up in Yakima. He attended Catholic grade school and graduated from Marquette High School in 1957. Dick attended Seattle University where he received a BS and MS in Mechanical Engineering. There he made life-long friends and met his wife, Karen (Bachelder) Riel, they married in Everett, Wash. on June 23, 1962, and settled in Kent, Wash. to raise their family.
Dick worked for Boeing for 35 years in the Aerospace Division then the Airplane Division where he made life-long hunting and fishing buddies. His inquisitive nature since childhood led him to teach himself the first computer languages in analog programming all the way through to the digital age. We’d love to tell you more, but most of his projects were high security, and we don’t know the details.
Dick enjoyed the outdoors, particularly bow hunting. Each fall he set out on long trips in the pursuit of elk, deer and occasionally a moose. With his beloved labrador retrievers, Emma and Aggie, he spent many weekends duck hunting. He took his family on yearly camping trips and hikes in the mountains to gather huckleberries.
In 1995, Dick and Karen purchased and built their dream home in Brinnon, Wash. on the shores of Hood Canal. In his boat, Nancy Marie, he spent countless hours crabbing and shrimping as well as walking along the shore and harvesting oysters. He also enjoyed fishing trips in Eastern Washington and several bucket-list excursions to Alaska to fish for salmon.
Dick was an accomplished craftsman. His workshop contained every tool to create furniture, trinkets, Christmas and birthday gifts, and special memory boxes. If the tool wasn’t in the shop, he’d draft and build his own. Dick’s family and friends' homes are filled with his handmade gifts.
Dick is survived by his wife of 60 years, Karen. Four children: Elizabeth (David) Corlett, Molly (Kevin) McCarthy, Mark Riel, and Eric (Linda) Riel. Three grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Dick is also survived by his brothers, David (Helen) Riel, Edward Riel, and John (Kathy) Riel; and many nieces and nephews. Dick is predeceased by his parents and his sister, Carol Riel of Yakima, Wash.
Funeral mass will be at St. Mary Star of the Sea located at 1335 Blaine St., Port Townsend, Wash. at 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 10. Burial will be at 11:30 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 12 at Gethsemane Catholic Cemetery at 37600 Pacific Highway South Federal Way, Wash. with reception to follow. In remembrance, please send donations to PBS (pbs.org), his favorite television channel, or the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation (rmef.org).