Richard Neil Pickard, age 68, passed away at home on February 26, 2019. He is survived by his wife and soul mate Amy Bruce; daughter Taundra Copley (Matthew), sons Gabe Pickard, Ryan Cilibraise, Christopher Cilibraise, and Jeffrey MacDonald; grandchildren Piperlee Copley, Eban Copley, and Landon Cilibraise; brothers Robert Pickard and John Pickard (Jim Gutai), and sister Carol Zimmerman (Ervin).
Richard lived his life to the fullest. He was born in Colorado Springs and lived there briefly. His childhood home was Detroit. He had many tales of adventure to tell about growing up on Marlborough Street. After graduating he worked in the auto plants. When he lost fingers in an accident there he decided he was “to stupid to work around machinery “ and he became a pharmacist. After working in Michigan, he moved to Bellingham in 1991 and worked at Ferndale Drug (where he biked to work for years) and later, Cost Cutter in Mt Vernon. He chose to leave pharmacy for his dream job as a janitor. He loved to provide vacations for his family creating amazing memories and life experiences. He believed in doing what he could to help the environment (biking, non-consumerism, organic foods and gardening practices). He reached out to everyone whether it was the workers at the Food Co-Op or Hardware Sales, his Queen Street neighbors, on the trail, he was friendly and helping to all.
His daughter, Taundra, has done a beautiful job of capturing her father’s spirit in the following passage. May we all be as welcoming, accepting, generous and kind as this man.
It’s hard to embody all I’ve lost in a moment and all I’ve gained in so many wonderful moments and a lifetime of memories that would fill any cup to over flowing. My father walked peacefully into that final beautiful sunset…passing unexpectedly in his dreams. He did not fear endings and only saw beginnings in everything and everyone. If he helped you, then you in turn helped him in just permitting that trespass into giving nature. He loved exchanges between all people and things…and threaded a wicked story…even if maybe you’d heard that one before. You’ve never had an argument with him, only a discussion, because he wished to exhaust and understand all points of view…even if at times it seemed human nature was most baffling to him and he was an observing outsider. He will be missed more than I can put words to but I’m certain he left with no regrets or ill thought of anyone beyond curiosity of how he could leave more good in just the passing of a daytime hour. He walks past that sunset and perhaps it shines brighter because of it…perhaps you shone brighter because of him. I love you forever, Dad, and now you live on in our dreams and our doings.
Friends and family are invited to gather to share memories and compassion at the family home, 2601 Queen St, Bellingham, on Saturday, March 9, from 1pm – 3pm.
In keeping with Richard’s selfless nature, memorial donations may be gifted personally to a person experiencing homelessness, or made to HomesNOW, homesnow.org, or The Lighthouse Mission, thelighthousemission.org.
- Date & Time: March 9, 2019 (12:00 AM)
- Venue: The Queen Street House
- Location: 2601 Queen St Bellingham, WA 98226 - (Get Directions)