Dick Downard

Richard "Dick" Grant Downard

Sept. 1, 1936 — May 9, 2019

From Richland, WABorn in Burlington, IA

Celebration of Life

  •   Starts:
    Sat, May 18 2019, 2 p.m.
  •   Location:
    Richland Baptist Church

    1632 George Washington Way, Richland, WA 99354

Richard Grant (Dick) Downard went to be with his Lord and Savior May 9, 2019.  He was the only child born to Raymond Neil and Berniece Agnes Downard on September 1, 1936. He was born in the same house where his mother was born in Burlington, Iowa. Dick grew up in northern Indiana and graduated from Calumet Township High School with the class of 1954. After graduation he joined the Navy. He rose to the rank of 2nd Class Petty Officer. He served as Radarman on the Ice Breaker USS Glacier, which sailed to Antarctica on Operation Deep Freeze II. Upon discharge from the Navy in 1957, he went to DeVry Tech in Chicago on the GI Bill. After completing the courses there, he was hired by Inland Steel in East Chicago, Indiana, as an apprentice electrician. He continued taking classes at Purdue University - Calumet Campus. 

Dick met the love of his life, Gracie Ann Copper, on a blind date arranged by a classmate.  They were married on June 2, 1962, at Black Oak Baptist Church in Gary, Indiana.  God blessed them with three sons, Dave, Dan, and Dickie. 

Dick Downard

After 19 years with Inland Steel, the family moved to Washington state in 1978. Dick was hired by Westinghouse Hanford to work at the FFTF. He was an Electrical Maintenance Engineer when he took early retirement at the age of 59.  Aside from the fact Gracie cried upon arrival in Tri-Cities when she laid eyes on the barren landscape, eastern Washington grew on them and they remained even after retirement.  

Dick served his Lord and Savior faithfully in local churches serving as Deacon, Sunday School teacher, and jokester for over 50 years. His hobbies included oil painting and golfing. He loved watching his boys play sports where he coached and refereed with vigor from the stands. He never missed a game and always took them to camps and tournaments. 

Dick is survived by his wife of 56 years, Gracie; son David (Bonnie, grandchildren: Dylan and Kylie); son Dan (Melanie), grandchildren: Bethany, Lindsay Haak (Jackson), Natalie, Jennifer, Woodley, and Nolan); and son Dick (Tricia, grandchildren: Delaney, Timmary, Merrily, and Cassidy). 

A service celebrating his life will be held at Richland Baptist Church on Saturday May 18th at 2 pm. 

Dick believed heaven is a real place and to spend eternity there you must believe in Jesus and that Jesus died to forgive you of your sins to make that possible.  See John 3:16.


Guestbook for

Richard "Dick" Grant Downard

  • Gracie, My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Dick was always smiling when I saw him.

    Paula Gray
    May 20, 2019
    Kennewick Washington
  • Gracie, so saddened to learn about Dick. Sending you my heartfelt condolences.

    Marsha Larson
    May 18, 2019
  • Dick and Gracie were both very important in my life when I first moved to Richland in the mid-1980's. They were both involved with mentoring the young adults at Richland Baptist Church. Dick had a very infectious laugh and he was always extremely welcoming and friendly. He conducted himself and lived his life consistent with the strong faith that he professed. His family is a testimony to the great man he was. As difficult as this must be for the family, they can truly rejoice that this wonderful man is now resting in heaven. I am so truly sorry for your loss.

    Steve Airhart
    May 17, 2019
  • Dick will be missed greatly by all who knew him. When my family first moved to the Tri-Cities it was families like the Downard's that made us feel like we had family there in the "Desert". Dick truly loved the Lord and was an inspiration to me personally. I will miss him, but know that I will see him again someday in Heaven. Gracie you are in my prayers daily. God Bless!!!!!

    Scott Brauneis
    May 15, 2019
    Pensacola Florida

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