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Richard "Dick" Vandiver

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Posted: Tuesday, December 4, 2012 9:53 am

Richard “Dick” Vandiver passed peacefully into the night on Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2012. He bravely fought a short, fierce battle with a rare form of liver cancer.

Dick was born in Lebanon, Oregon on Jan. 1, 1938, to Paul and Irva (Snyder) Vandiver. He graduated from high school at Salem Academy in 1955. Dick attended Goshen College in northern Indiana where he met his first wife, LaVon (Springer) Devlin. Their first daughter, Joni Lynn ('59), was born in Indiana. He received his BA in Psychology at CU Boulder in Colorado two days before their second daughter, Jana Kay ('62), was born. Dick also earned a MA in Sociology at CU Boulder just before moving to Rock Island, Illinois where he taught at Augustana College. It was in Moline, Ill. that their son, Jack David ('66), was born. Dick earned his PhD in Sociology/Criminology at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Ill. in 1972.

The family moved to Missoula, Montana where Dick taught sociology at the University of Montana from 1971 to 1988. He held numerous positions in professional organizations and community agencies but he was very proud of the position he held and the influence he had in starting the Mountain Line Bus System in Missoula.

In 1988, he moved to Boston, Mass., where he worked as a Court Consultant, began his love of photography and started his Mother's Art Nature Photography business in Boston.

As a Trial Court Administrator and Court Consultant, Dick moved from Massachusetts to Florida and then to Denver, Colo. Dick's parents eventually required greater care and attention so he moved back to Oregon in 1996 to be near them. At that time he worked at the Oregon State Courts until his retirement in 2003.

In 2002, he moved to Gleneden Beach, Ore., to be near the ocean he visited frequently. He loved the ocean but even more, he loved the agates and other rocks the ocean would wash on to the beach. While attending a court conference in 2002, Richard met Janet Sweeney the love of his life. Their wedding in 2005 in Lincoln City joined two families.

Richard loved to visit his grandchildren wherever they happened to live (Hawaii, Washington, Florida, Colorado, Montana, and Australia). He made certain they all knew that he loved them, and how important they each were to him. He was known for his big bear hugs, his amazing breakfasts (especially when camping) and his incredible eyesight. He could spot a deer, a bear, a bird in the trees hundreds of feet away or a flower while he was driving up a mountain road or on his many road trips throughout the United States.

Dick was active in the local Lincoln City Congregational Church, UCC, as well as the United Church of Christ conference in Portland. He attended OCLI on Tuesdays at Salishan Lodge, was on the Citizen Review Board for Lincoln County and met with a group every Friday for breakfast and stimulating conversation.

Richard is survived by his wife, Janet Vandiver; his daughter, Joni Vandiver Isaman - husband David, children Kawika and Kaylynn; his daughter Jana Vandiver Felt - husband Stephen, children Sadie, Levi and Hadley; his son, Jack Vandiver - children Michaela and David; his mother-in-law Eileen Staniford; his step-daughter, Jennifer Aribibola - husband, Dele, children Derek, Sade, Ayodele, Kayode; his step-son, Jeff Sweeney - wife Christina, child Carter; his sister, Norma Jean Eason and his first wife, LaVon Devlin. In addition, he leaves behind many, many friends and relatives who will miss him dearly.

A Celebration of Life was held on November 19th at the Lincoln City Congregational Church, UCC. A service at the University Congregational Church in Missoula, Montana, will also be held this summer to celebrate Dick and his life. For information contact janavanfelt@gmail.com.

Donations may be made in honor of Dick to Caring Bridge, your local food bank or to any non-profit that you support, which reflects your passions: theological, peace and social justice, compassion and care.

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