MEDFORD, Ore. — People across the state and country are mourning the loss of Oregon Secretary of State Dennis Richardson.
The veteran, lawyer, and former Central Point representative who was battling brain cancer, passed away Tuesday night surrounded by friends and family.
“My primary concern is for my current health and I’ve been able to join in the efforts of helping my grandkids,” said Oregon Secretary of State, Dennis Richardson.
Among his many accomplishments, he was a combat helicopter pilot in Vietnam, a lawyer, and dedicated more than 19 years of his life to public service.
When he was elected Secretary of State in 2016, he became the first Republican chosen for the position in more than 30 years.
“It was service and family,” said former Oregon representative Peter Buckley, a Democrat from Ashland. “Those were the two things. And he believed in family first and foremost, but he sincerely believed he was fortunate to have a successful and a good life and that he had an obligation to give back.”
Buckley remembers working alongside Richardson as a Co-Chair of the Budget Committee in 2011. He says despite their differing political views, Richardson was always someone he admired and respected.
“There are people that get into politics for different reasons, but Dennis’s reasons were very clear. He was there to serve. He was there because he had good fortune in his life and he was determined to help others,” said Buckley.
With an unwavering determination to help others and fight for what he believed in, Buckley says Secretary Richardson was a fighter… till the very end.
“He has a great family that meant so much to him,” said Buckley. “[He would] never stop fighting to have as much time with them as possible.”
Secretary Richardson is survived by his wife, 9 children, and 31 grandchildren.
All of us at KOBI-TV NBC5 extend our deepest sympathies to the Richardson family.
Amanda Rose is a multimedia journalist for NBC5 News. Amanda graduated from Columbia University earning a Master’s degree in Journalism. She also received a Bachelor’s degree in English with a specialization in literature from the University of British Columbia.
She’s a Los Angeles native, but is thrilled to return to the beautiful Pacific Northwest and is passionate about reporting on the criminal justice system.