Nov. 19, 1930 - July 7, 2011
Richard Ray Garver, a lifelong resident of Walla Walla, died on July 7, 2011, at the age of 80. He will be remembered for his generosity, his infectious laugh and smile, his story telling, and the nicknames he gave his many friends.
Born on Nov. 19, 1930, Dick was the only child of Hazel (Barnett) and Leonard Ray Garver. He
attended Walla Walla schools where he developed friendships that continued throughout his lifetime. The frequent visits from these friends and his family sustained and supported him in his last few months of life.
Dick left Walla Walla for four years to attend the University of Washington, where he graduated with a B.A. in history. In college, Dick managed the championship Husky men's basketball team and was a member of the Alpha Sigma Phi fraternity. Dick married his first wife, Karen (Russell) Garver, in Seattle on Aug. 29, 1953, and settled in Walla Walla on the Garver family ranch. They had two children, Russell
Ray Garver and Gregory Lee Garver.
A wheat and pea farmer throughout his life, Dick was also a leader in agricultural affairs and local politics. He was a past president of the Walla Walla County Wheat Growers and the Oregon and Washington Pea Growers Association, as well as the past head of the Republican Party for Walla Walla County and a liaison to U.S. Rep. Catherine May. He was Northwest chairman of the Special Industrial Radio Service
Association and director of the Walla Walla County Chapter of the Red Cross. He was a proud participant in the Aspen Institute for policy and leadership.
Dick married Ellen (Laurie) Tripp on Nov. 19, 1978. Dick and Ellen meet in college and were reunited after Dick's divorce from Karen. They shared a loving marriage for 32 years, and Ellen was by Dick's
side on his passing. Dick and Ellen shared a passion for Husky football, traveling to two Rose Bowls and rarely missing a game. Dick was a member of the University of Washington Tyee and President's
clubs, the Walla Walla Country Club, the Spokane Club, the Washington Athletic Club and the Walla Walla Elks.
Dick is survived by is wife, Ellen Garver; his son, Russell Garver and his wife Wanelle of Walla Walla, his son, Greg Garver of Waitsburg; his step-children, Eric Tripp and his wife Sunny Boyd of Indiana, Susan Tripp of Walla Walla, Joan Tripp, Kathleen Baldi and
her husband Ty of Seattle; his granddaughter, Olivia Garver of Waitsburg; and step-grand daughters, Robin Tripp of New York, Clancy Tripp and Moira Tripp of Indiana, and Anna Baldi of Seattle. He was
preceded in death by his first wife, Karen Garver.
A private family burial will be held at Mountain View Cemetery. A memorial celebration of his life will be held at the Walla Walla Country Club from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Wednesday, July 13, 2011. Memorial contributions may be made to Shriners Hopitals for Children in Spokane through the Herring Groseclose Funeral Home, 315 W. Alder, Walla Walla, WA 99362.