Col Ret Richard JW McCollum

July 12, 1931 - December 05, 2018

Col Ret Richard JW McCollum

July 12, 1931 - December 05, 2018


Colonel Richard McCollum “Dick”, age 87, died peacefully December 5th, 2018. He was a distinguished military officer, educator, volunteer, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather.

Dick is survived by his wife, Barbara; three daughters: Rebecca Green, Catherine Frye and Lea Bocek. He leaves behind four grandchildren: Kellie Georgio, Allison Porter, Molly Barth, Jered Bocek, and 4 great granddaughters.

He is a veteran of the Vietnam War, where he earned several medals, including Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, and Combat Action Badge. He grew up in Bellingham, the son of Edward and Dorthea McCollum. He graduated from Bellingham High School and received his Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Washington in 1953. After his graduation, Dick married Barbara J Welsh and joined the Army as an officer.

His military career took him to Carmel, CA where he attended Army Language School. After learning Polish, he was sent to Germany to aid Polish defectors. He later took two tours to Vietnam. He also spent time stationed in Washington, Oklahoma, California, Kansas, and Virginia where he worked at the Pentagon.

After retiring from the Army, as a full Colonel, Dick pursued a career in banking at Seafirst National Bank. After retiring from banking, he returned to college and earned his Master’s Degree in Education from Western Washington University. He found meaning teaching at-risk youth at La Venture in Mount Vernon. After he retired from teaching, he spent his time volunteering at the courthouse with his wife, ushering at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, volunteering as a member of the neighborhood watch, he was part of the emergency response system, and served as president of his condo complex on Garden St. In his retirement, his greatest joy was being a grandparent. His grandchildren lovingly knew him as Bompa. He was the consummate example of a polite, dutiful, intelligent, optimistic, gentleman, always pleasant and kind.

Services will be held Saturday December 29th at 1:30 pm at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, and he will be buried in a family plot at Greenacres, in Ferndale

In lieu of flowers, the family respectfully asks that any donations be made to St. Paul’s Endowment Fund or The Whatcom Humane Society.

Memorial Service

  • Date & Time: December 29, 2018 (12:00 AM)
  • Venue: St Pauls Episcopal Church
  • Location: 2117 Walnut St Bellingham, WA 98225 - (Get Directions)

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3 responses to Col Ret Richard JW McCollum

  1. Judy Tice says:

    We have such fond memories of Dick. He was always smiling,very easy to talk to, made us feel welcome. Due to illness, we are unable to attend the service, but will be there in spirit. All our love to all the family.Judy & Don

  2. Really, really, really sorry I can’t make it. Uncle Dick was one of a kind.3be7p

  3. Lea, we are so sorry for you and your families loss of your dear Father. Sending all of you our heartfelt condolences.Connie & Gordy Longanecker

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