Richard Vander Yacht
June 7, 1931 – November 19, 2014
Richard (Dick) Vander Yacht, age 83, passed away Wednesday, November 19, 2014, surrounded by family and friends.
Dick is survived by his wife Ida at the family home in Blaine; two sons, Gary (wife Erin) and Dale (wife Shannon) of Blaine; three grandsons, Joshua, Jason (wife Jessica) and Jonathan; numerous relatives and friends. He is preceded in death by his parents, George and Inga Vander Yacht; his brother Leonard and his sister Ann. He is survived by his brother Jim Vander Yacht of Salina, Kansas and sister Mary Henry of Ferndale and many nieces, nephews and special friends.
Dick was born in Bellingham and lived his entire life in Whatcom County. He contracted polio during a local outbreak in 1946 but lived an active life despite suffering constant physical problems caused by the affliction. After graduating from Lynden High School in 1949, he worked for five years in the commercial fishery in local waters and Alaska. In 1951, he was drafted for the Korean War but failed to pass the physical exam due to problems caused by polio. He married his high school sweetheart, Ida, in 1952, and they spent 62 wonderful years together.
In 1954, he began a 48-year career of work in the office of Border Brokerage Company in Blaine. He became a licensed customs broker in 1959, a partner in the firm in 1960 and was active in the business until his retirement in 2002. He was noted for his honesty in all business dealings and fairness to his employees.
Dick was active in many community and business affairs. He served as President of the Washington State Brokers Association, Vice President of the Northern Border Brokers Association, Director of the National Customs Brokers Association, was one of the founding fathers of both the Northern Border Brokers Association and the Pacific Coast Council of Customs Brokers & Forwarders, and was an organizer of the first annual WESCCON Broker’s conference. He organized and spoke at numerous seminars for Canadian & US Brokers associations, the US Department of Commerce, Oregon State Department of Commerce and various branches of the Canadian Government in British Columbia and Alberta. He also served on the Blaine School Board for 4 years.
His hobbies were hunting, fishing, hiking, camping, horseback riding in the high Cascades, trap and skeet shooting, gardening, tree farming and writing. He was a firearms safety instructor for the Washington State Game Department and National Rifle Association for 30 years, a life member of Custer Sportsmen’s Club and served as president for eight years in three separate terms. He helped build the original Lynden Shotgun Club on Berthusen’s Park property in 1947, was an officer of the Lynden Shotgun Club for many years and president of the International Trap and Skeet Association for two years. Dick and a few close friends organized bingo games which earned enough money to build the existing facilities & shooting range of Custer Sportsmen’s Club on Birch Bay-Lynden road and the new Lynden Shotgun Club at Berthusen’s Park. He was a proud member of NRA, life member of North American Hunting club, member of Safari Club International, an active member of the Washington Farm Forestry Association, served as a board member of the Whatcom County chapter of WFFA, and the family was named WFFA Family of the Year. He joined the Whatcom Writers and Publishers group in 2009 and made a new circle of friends.
Dick traveled extensively on brokerage business and numerous hunting & fishing trips. He loved the pursuit of big game, pheasants, grouse, waterfowl and fishing for trout and salmon. He hunted in Alaska, the Western USA, Texas, Canada, New Zealand and made five hunting safaris to Africa. At the age of 70, he bagged the second largest bull elephant taken in Zimbabwe in 2001, with ivory tusks weighing 76 lbs. x 69 lbs. He wrote extensively of his hunting adventures, wrote numerous articles and stories for local magazines (Horse Source & Northwest Retirement), published four western fiction novels & wrote dozens of short fiction stories for friends and relatives. He loved to camp, work and hunt on the family tree farm near Colville, WA, and spent many enjoyable weeks each year at his “Meadow Crick Lodge”. After his wife Ida, his children and grandchildren, tree farming, hunting, fishing and writing were his loves in life.
At his request there will be no funeral nor memorial service. He sends best wishes to his family and friends and has these last words. “I send my heartfelt thanks to the special friends who were an important part of my life. I wish we could have done more together. You touched my life with a friendship few persons ever know and supported me in time of need.”
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Lynden Shotgun Club, P.O. Box 837, Lynden, WA 98264, Wounded Warrior Project, P.O. Box 758517, Topeka, KS 66675, National Rifle Association, 11250 Waples Mill Rd., Fairfax, VA 22030, or Whatcom County Farm Forestry Association, 585 E. Bakerview Rd., Bellingham, WA 98226.
Share your condolences and memories online at gilliesfuneralhome.com. Arrangements are entrusted to Gillies Funeral Home and Cremation Services of Lynden.