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Obituary: Mcwilliams, Richard D. “Dick”

Tue., Aug. 12, 2014

Age 84

McWILLIAMS, Richard D. “Dick” Longtime Spokane resident Richard D. “Dick” McWilliams passed away on Friday, August 8, 2014.

Dick was born in Spokane to Rose and Justin McWilliams on September 13, 1929.

He attended St. Augustine Catholic School, followed by studies at St. Anthony’s Seminary in Santa Barbara, California from 1944 to 1945.

Upon returning to Spokane he completed coursework at Gonzaga Prep, graduating in 1947.

Dick’s undergraduate work at Gonzaga University was shared with service in the Navy Reserve.

He graduated from Gonzaga in 1952, while performing two years of reserve service.

He then went on active duty for the Navy from 1953 to 1954.

In 1955 Dick married Mary Lou Stevens.

The couple began a family while Dick was attending Gonzaga Law School.

He received his law degree as part of the class of 1923 in 1958.

Dick began his professional career in 1958 as a prosecutor for Spokane County.

In 1960 he joined the law firm of Paine, Lowe, Coffin, Herman and O’Kelly; today the firm still serves the Spokane area under the name Paine Hamblen LLP.

He became a partner in 1961.

In 2008 Dick retired from Paine Hamblen, and received recognition from the company for practicing law for 50 years.

He was appointed a member of Board of Regents for Gonzaga University on October 21, 1976.

Dick served as President of the Spokane Country Bar Association from 1977 to 1978.

He was recognized with the Smithmoore P. Myers Professionalism Award in 2000 by the Spokane County Bar Association.

Dick also served on the Gonzaga University Law Council.

Beyond his legal work Dick was involved in the community on many levels.

He and his son Rob initiated the local Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation fund raiser in 2001, in honor and memory of his late son, James Edward (Eddie) McWilliams.

The golf tournament has raised over $1.3 million for the cause of diabetes over the past 13 years.

Dick joined the Lions Club in April 1959, and was recognized for 55 years of service on Aug 4, 2014.

He was a long time driver for Meals on Wheels and also donated to many Catholic charities and causes including House of Charity.

He donated heavily to his alma mater, the Gonzaga University Law School, which recognized Dick’s contributions with the “Dick and Mary Lou McWilliams and Family Study Room 367.”

Dick was a longtime member of The Spokane Club, and a lifetime member of the Manito Golf and Country Club.

He enjoyed fishing, golfing, duck hunting, skiing, and spending time at summer residences with his family at Newman and Priest Lakes.

Dick was a devout Catholic who attended mass daily at various churches in the Spokane area.

Dick was preceded in death by his loving wife of 59 years, Mary Lou; by his siblings, Stuart McWilliams, Peacha McFaul, and Margie Budig; and by his son, James Edward.

He is survived by daughter, Nancy McWilliams Wright (Dan); and sons, Rob (Debbie), Pat (Sharon), and Dan (Janice).

He is also survived by nine grandchildren: Megan, Mitchell, Tracey, Cori, Casey, Nicholas, Zachary, Brenna and Owen.

Services will be held Thursday, August 14, at Our Lady of Fatima Church, 17 East 33rd Avenue, Spokane, WA 99203, at 11:00 AM.

A Vigil will be held Wednesday, August 13, at Our Lady of Fatima Church, at 6pm.

In lieu of flowers, please send donations to: The Juvenile Diabetes Association at,


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