Obituary: Richard “Dick” Stowell

Grandfather, longtime CUSD educator, rascal, chef

Richard “Dick” Stowell died Saturday, November 26 at his home in Kenmore, Washington. He leaves a rich legacy of laughter, learning, and lifelong loyal friendships.

Dick was an educator with Claremont Unified School District for many years (most of them at Mountain View Elementary). Born in Edgerton, Wisconsin, he moved to Upland at age 11. He often recounted his days of playing in the many nearby orange groves.

Life was precious to him, and worth every bite at the apple. He filled his leisure time with adventures that included cycling, motorcycle riding, scuba diving, downhill skiing, and repeat hiking trips in the Grand Canyon. Summer trips to Lake Shasta and winter jaunts to Mammoth were frequent when he lived in California. Some of his fondest memories include trips to his brother’s fishing lodge in Alaska and being in and on the water with his son in Hawaii.

As his Chaffey High School classmates and former colleagues at Mountain View Elementary know, he loved to pull friendly pranks or find moments of levity in daily life. To this day, almost every friend or family member has a story about his antics. Among them: pink flamingos appearing in your front yard, a furry cat toy in your medicine bottle, a big rock at the bottom of your backpack discovered at the end of the hike, or curtains from a fabric he knew you disliked hung up in your bedroom while you were away.

One life event he always valued began during his time in Claremont in the 1970s when he and his former spouse, Diane, hosted a family of 10 who had immigrated from Vietnam. He cherished the deep and lifelong friendships he made with those family members.

He was a voracious reader, particularly of biographies and other nonfiction works. A true Gemini, he had many books going at the same time, and the teacher in him generously shared factoids, interesting details, or discussion topics from whatever book he was reading at the time.

The kitchen was another happy place. He was known for his homegrown, homemade berry jam, chicken tacos, fresh salsa, barbecued salmon and halibut, and many, many other delicacies. After a session in the kitchen, he’d often say while serving up a meal “I saved that piece for you.”

Upon retirement, he and his wife Tiena moved to Spokane, Washington, where between specialized teaching assignments, he took up the hobby of brewing beer. This led to a part-time job at Jim’s Home Brew supply store, and a rich friendship the couple shared with its owners. He also attended a brewing science program at UC Davis.

In 2004, the couple relocated to the Seattle area, where he continued to work part-time in the classroom, for the Shoreline School District. Seattle is also where he studied ukulele and explored the north Lake Washington neighborhoods by electric bike. In his later years, his passion for cribbage took the form of a standing date with a dear friend and neighbor, plus many hours of cribbage time with his family.

In recent months, he was cared for by a devoted circle of caregivers, including his wife, Kini, Jessica (Evergreen Hospice), Tony, and sister-in-law Jayme.

He is survived by his wife, Tiena Lynes; brothers Roger Stowell (Marilyn) of Spokane, Washington, and Mel “Butch” Stowell (Donna) of Chino; children, Dean Stowell (Pi’ikea Miller) of Honolulu, Denise Beaumont of Las Vegas, Nevada, Anna Moody of Kellogg, Idaho, Sarah Moody (Kel) of Vancouver, Washington, and Terri Ryan of Santa Cruz, California; dear friend Tom St. Clair (Maura Maldonado) of Glendora; grandchildren Liloa and Kawai, Josephine, Aka, Kelsey and Bailey, Celina and Diego; great grandson Duke; and numerous nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his father, Clarence “Hap” Stowell; mother, Ann Stowell, neé Popp; previous wife, Diane Stowell; and sister, Mary Hallett.

A celebration of life will be held in or near Kenmore (in the Seattle area) in mid- to late-April.

In lieu of flowers the family recommends donations to Feeding America at feedingamerica.org, or your local food bank.

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