In loving memory of Richard Thomas Girard: 1932-2023


Richard Thomas Girard of Battle Ground, Washington, passed away peacefully on Jan. 4, 2023, at the age of 90, due to complications from long-standing congestive heart failure. He was visiting his daughter, Lucinda Loudon, in Stonyford, California, at the time.

Richard was preceded in death by his wife, Marie, in 2015. Also preceding him were his two sisters, Beverly Ritter and Donna Duyn, and two of his brothers, Roy Girard and Tom Girard. He is survived by his two daughters, Kristina (Bob) Seth and Lucinda (Bruce) Loudon; two grandsons, David (Sandra) Seth and James Seth; two great-grandchildren; and two of his brothers, Bob Girard and Bill Girard.

Richard was born Jan. 6, 1932, to Roy and Louise (Frerking) Girard, of Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, the fourth of seven children. His early years coincided with the Great Depression and World War II. When Richard was 11 years old, the family moved to Vancouver, Washington so his father could work in the shipyards. The family eventually moved to rural property west of Battle Ground and settled there. Richard met his future wife, Marie Bloomquist, of Hockinson, Washington, while they attended Battle Ground High School. Both graduated in 1950.

Due to the influence of his older brother, Roy, who was a U.S. Air Force pilot, Richard joined the Air Force and served briefly during the Korean War. He then began helping his father in his trade as a house plasterer. This introduced him to the building business, and from there, Richard soon became a general contractor. He built many houses and a few small apartment buildings in Vancouver during the late 1950s, most of which are still standing.

After a downturn in the housing market in Vancouver forced Richard out of the building business, he followed the example of his father-in-law and became a logger, starting his own small company. The business grew ever larger for about the next 15 years, finally branching out into high-lead logging, road building and a small tire company. In the 1970s, Richard received a letter of commendation from the Washington Department of Natural Resources for the high quality of the tree-thinning job his company had done on a timber sale.

Another economic downturn, this time in the logging industry, sent Richard into his final career, that of a long-haul truck driver. This proved very successful and enjoyable. He continued working in that field for about 30 years, until his retirement at age 82. He liked to tell people about the “one million accident-free miles” he had achieved.

After his retirement, Richard was able to devote more of his time to caring for his expansive lawn, using the skills he had learned while running a golf course for a couple years during the early 1960s. He enjoyed keeping his home landscaped like a beautiful park. He loved colorful flowers and he also produced home-grown tomatoes in the summer, giving away the extras to appreciative family and his friends at church.

Richard married his high school sweetheart, Marie Bloomquist, at Elim Lutheran Church in Hockinson, Washington on Nov. 6, 1954. The couple remained together for the next 61 years and had two daughters. Richard loved to have his family with him and sometimes would include them in his forays to the mountains when he was logging or on his trucking trips. He also enjoyed family vacations. Whether it was an impromptu day at the Oregon Coast or a lengthy, well-planned expedition around the Southwest, he loved to travel. He took his family to visit most of the National Parks in the West as well as many other fun destinations from Canada to Mexico.

Faith in God was another important factor in his life and one that he made sure to pass along to his daughters. A highlight of every week for him was attending church services along with his family.

No funeral or memorial service is immediately planned. The family will notify friends and relatives in the future when a memorial gathering is scheduled to celebrate his life.