January 10, 1926
to December 10, 2012
David Blair Richardson was born on January 10, 1926 in Seattle, Wash. Much of his childhood was spent on San Juan Island where his grandfather, Friday Harbor attorney Ivan Blair, had a small farm. After graduating from Lincoln High School in Seattle, Dave worked as a radio disk jockey while studying Russian and other languages at the University of Washington. He served in combat as an infantry soldier during the final months of World War II, remaining in Germany to work for a year as an announcer-engineer at the American Forces Network headquarters in Frankfurt, Germany.
In 1947 Dave married Myra Jo Durham of Seattle. He graduated from UW in 1949, and then they spent several years in Washington, D.C. and Germany where Dave did language and communications work for the CIA. Returning to the Northwest in the fifties Dave became a pioneer television broadcaster, first at Channel 11 in Tacoma and then Channel 7, Seattle. At one time he was emcee of his own popular children’s show “Engineer Walt,” until he was stricken with polio.
In 1959 Dave joined KVOS-TV, Bellingham, working mostly at Channel 12’s transmitter site on Mt. Constitution. He and Myra Jo have lived on Orcas Island ever since. Dave was also a writer who contributed to many Northwest area publications. He wrote several books including two on the San Juans, Magic Islands and Pig War Islands. He also wrote Puget Sounds, an illustrated history of Radio and TV in the Northwest and he authored a leading textbook of Esperanto, the international language of which he was a life-long proponent. His final publication was “Shamrocks on the Tanana,” a biography of Richard H. Geoghegan, who lived on Orcas Island in the late 1800s and, also like Dave, was a linguist and Esperanto enthusiast.
Dave was a longtime member of Orcas Island Community Church, where he taught adult Sunday School, served as elder, and occasionally preached. He was considered the church’s resident historian, filming the construction of the current church building in the sixties and creating a short historical film for the church’s 125th Anniversary in 2009. He also was a member of the Northwest Pioneer Broadcasters and the Esperanto League for North America. Dave was an avid reader, writer and perpetual student; he was always eager to find a new area of interest to research. He was known for his humor; and he was a wonderful husband, dad and grandfather.
Dave died on Dec. 10 due to complications following an aortic aneurysm. He leaves behind his beloved wife of 65 years, Myra Jo; son Blair; daughter Shiela McIntire; son-in-law Steve; grandchildren Shannon and Brennan; and some nephews, nieces and cousins.
A memorial service will be at Orcas Island Community Church on Saturday, Dec. 29 at 2 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Orcas Island Community Church, Orcas Island Public Library, or Esperanto League for North America.
Arrangements are in the care of Evans Funeral Chapel and Crematory, Inc., Anacortes, WA and the San Juan Islands.
To share memories of Dave, sign the online guest register at www.evanschapel.com.