Chase Riveland | 1942-2021


Chase Riveland passed away on January 30, 2021, in Gig Harbor, Washington. He was 78. Chase was born on November 13, 1942, in Decorah, Iowa, to Cornell and Bernyce Riveland. He grew up in Wisconsin, graduating in 1960 from Glenwood City High School. He received his undergraduate degree and masters in social work from the University of Wisconsin. He enrolled in the Army and served as a Green Beret in Viet Nam, and served several years in the Army Reserve in Wisconsin, following his discharge from active duty.

He began his career as a parole officer in the Wisconsin State Department of Corrections and later served as Deputy Director of that organization before leaving to become the Director of the Colorado Department of Corrections for three years. Subsequently, he served as the Washington State Secretary of Corrections for twelve years. Always humble, he was an innovator and one of the most respected people in this country’s criminal justice system. He was not afraid to push back against poor public policy and was always striving for more humane policies and practices for the incarcerated. He was also a champion of diversity and women in the industry.

In 1997, he and his wife, Mary, moved to Orcas Island where they started a consultancy working in the fields of criminal justice and government reform. After retirement they divided their time between Palm Springs and Gig Harbor.

Chase loved spending time with family, golfing, reading, and travel. He was a wicked hand at black jack. We will always remember his personal advice to “Do Good!”

Chase is survived by his wife, Mary; his daughter, Wendi (Mark) Hanson; grandson Joshua (Caitlin) Hanson; and great granddaughter Stella; brother Larry (Cindy) Riveland, and sister Lynn (Tom) Bellinger. Additional survivors are stepchildren Jennifer (Benton) Wong, John (Nurcan) Faulk, Joshua (Gina) Faulk, and step-grandchildren Jaime, Phoebe, Porter, Isabelle, Julian, Walker, and Cora. He was preceded in death by his parents, stepfather Marvin Berg, stepmother Norma Riveland, and daughter Beth Ann.

The family suggests that, in lieu of flowers, you make a donation to your favorite charity in his name.