Richard Francis Ownbey passed away at home on Oct. 6, 2020, after a five-year battle with bladder cancer. He was 75 years old.
He was born in Colfax, Wash., in 1945 to Marion and Ruth Ownbey. He grew up in Pullman, Wash., and attended school there through 12th grade, except for fourth grade, when the family lived in Geneva, Switzerland, for a year while his father was on sabbatical leave. He graduated from the University of Washington in 1967 with a degree in zoology.
He joined the U.S. Navy in September 1967. He retired as a master chief petty officer in September 1997. He spent 22 years of his 30-year Navy career at NAS Whidbey Island, but was also stationed in San Diego, Japan, Guam and Millington, Tenn.
After retiring, he worked at Copeland Lumber until it closed and then spent a lot of years selling thrift store treasures on eBay. He was a Washington State Master Gardener for over 20 years and an avid stamp collector.
He and Kathy did a lot of traveling, including to South America and Europe, and he loved taking car trips all over the U.S., especially going to Texas every summer.
He is survived by his wife of almost 53 years, Kathy (Harrington) Ownbey; their three daughters, Jennifer Ownbey (George), Marcy LeCompte (Thom) and Joanna Reed (Mike); six grandchildren, Alex, Ryan and Jordan LeCompte, and Chase, Jack and Max Reed; his sisters, Martha Jones (Sid) and Barbara McLaughlin (Chuck); and his brother, David Ownbey.
A memorial service will be held at a later date due to current restrictions.
Family and friends are encouraged to share memories and condolences at www.whidbeymemorial.com