Richard Lee Myking

June 18, 1934 ~ March 23, 2021 (age 86)


Richard Lee Myking was born on June 18, 1934 in Seattle. He lived there with his parents, Louis and Jetta Myking until it was time to go to college. They attended Phinney Ridge Lutheran Church and Dick graduated from Ballard High School. He came to Pacific Lutheran College in 1952 and graduated in 1957. While at PLU he played in the band and was a member of the esteemed Choir of the West. Dick loved to sing and especially to travel with the choir. He later went on to earn a Master’s Degree in Marine Biology from PLU. Those studies included three excursions to Eniwetak Atoll in the western Pacific Ocean to observe and study ghost crabs.

As a young adult, Dick spent time on commercial fishing boats with uncles and cousins from his Dad’s side of the family. His Dad died when Dick was just 15, so those fishing experiences in Alaska and on the coast of California were very special to him.

Dick met Marlene Christine Hovland at PLU and they married December 28, 1956. Four children followed: Mark in 1958, Cheryl in 1959, Kurt in 1960 and Rick in 1962. As a family, they took trips across America during several summers, camping each night along the way in a different location. Dick is famous in his family for his precision packing of the station wagon car-top carrier! Those trips would last a month and included stops in national parks, historic sites, state capitols, relatives in North Dakota and Minnesota and most every educational or photo-worthy pullout along the way. The Mykings all cherish those times. The entire family also went to Hawaii together in 2006 to celebrate the 50th wedding anniversary. What a wonderful time all 25 of us had over Christmas and New Years on the beach at Waikiki! Another trip was in order as the 60th anniversary rolled around. This time it was the four “kids” of Dick and Marlene and spouses, along with two very lucky great granddaughters.

Dick taught school in the Bethel School District for 30 years, almost all of which was at the junior High level. During his career he coached basketball and wrestling, and even served as an advisor to the cheerleading staff. In 1975 he was selected as the District’s Teacher of the Year, and he was a top-three finalist at the Washington State level. Mr. Myking, as many students over many years knew him, will be greatly missed. Outside of the school environment he was a leader in Cub Scouting and in summers drove a berry bus working in the Puyallup valley berry fields for Matlocks and Ingalls farms.

Dick and Marlene resided in Parkland, Washington, where they were active in their church, Trinity Lutheran. He was a Bible study leader, choir member, served in church government and always a staunch example of his strong faith. Other things that he loved to do included hiking, mountain climbing (summiting 5 peaks), sailing his boats, the Bluebird and then the Sea Mew. Any animal that became the pet of Dick and Marlene was a lucky and blessed pet indeed! Dick had his dog Spot for years as a boy, then dogs Spot, Jocko and Chewie and cats Butch, Elf and Tippy as life went on.

His most particularly loved vocation, starting at the age of 6, was playing, and later teaching the accordion. He took part in the accordion band at the annual Norwegian Høst Fest in Minot, ND for over 20 years. He participated in festivals and accordion camps in Silver Falls, OR, Mesa AZ, Leavenworth, WA and different parts of California every chance he got. Recently, before the pandemic, he loved entertaining at several nursing homes.

Dick is survived by children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Mark’s children are Christine (daughter Leah) and Daniel, with Patricia.

Hank and Cheryl’s children are son Cory, Cheryl’s sons Patrick and Kyle (wife Amber, daughter Remi, son Tobias) and stepdaughter Teheresa (daughter Zoey) along with Hank’s sons Travis (wife Leslie daughters Kiera and Andelynn) and Tyler (wife Jessica, son Tanner, daughter Emma).

Kurt and Anna’s children are son Karl (daughter Arula, fianceé Katie) and Anna’s sons Lucas (wife Rachel, daughters Madeline, Eva) and Eric (wife Megan).

Rick and Gails’s children are son Brandon (wife Kelsey, daughter Palmer) and daughter Karissa (fiancé Kanchan, daughter Magdalena).

Dick was preceded in death by his parents Jetta and Louis, stepdad Herman, (wonderful grandpa to his kids), in-laws Caroline and Selmer, grandson Bryan Alan, and great granddaughter Grace McKenzie.

Dick was surrounded by the love of his entire local family throughout the 23 days of March, blessed to be in no pain and to have meaningful visits with one and all of them. He was extremely thankful also for a long, in-person conversation and sharing of memories with his friend of more than 60 years, Jim Scearce. He passed from this life to eternal life so very peacefully; in our presence one moment and gone the next. Thanks be to God.

The family will establish a scholarship to provide lessons to new, aspiring accordion students through the Northwest Accordion Society.

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