Dick Pooley May 18,1980.  The caption on the back of the photo reads, At Dave Hitchcock by Irv Jones.
Dick Pooley
  • 95 years old
  • Date of birth: Sep 6, 1920
  • Place of birth:
    Haverford, Pennsylvania, United States
  • Date of passing: Oct 26, 2015
  • Place of passing:
    Vancouver, Washington, United States
US Navy WWII, Mountaineer, Mountain Rescue, Ski Patrol, W7HUY, Volunteer, and Father. Let the memory of Dick be with us forever!

Welcome friends of Dick!  Please share your remembrances of my dad.  I remember him as my wonderful dad for 95 years.  You probably remember him through our family, mountaineering organizations, or as W7HUY, on the air since 1939.

Dick's Memorial Service was held Jan 30, 2016 at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Portland, OR.  It was very special with US Navy Honor Guard, MRA Honor Guard, and Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue Pipes and Drums.

Donations in Dick's name should go to Mountain Rescue Association or Mountain Rescue Association Honor Guard

Memorial Tributes
This tribute was added by kim padilla on 7th September 2016

"Happy Birthday Dick!!  So glad I got to know you and your sons. I think of those fun days often!!   I am sure you are enjoying your eternal life!"

This tribute was added by kim padilla on 11th February 2016

"I am happy to have known Dick back in the 1980's.  He was my boyfriend Bills father.  My most memorable time with him was when he took me up to the Summit of Mt. Bachelor one weekend when we were staying at his friends cabin. Bill, his son was competing in a downhill race, and thinking that I was a good skier, Dick took me hiking up higher than the last ski lift, little did I know, we were going to ski down the face of the mountain!  When we reached the top, down he went gracefully to the bottom and down I went on my bottom.  I slid the whole way down, but I made it.  I still have great memories of being with the Pooley men!  A special time in my life.  Dick will  surely be missed!!"

This tribute was added by Bill Pooley on 1st February 2016

"Rocky Henderson's Eulogy Speech at Dick's Memorial Service

In St Paul's Cathedral in London there is an inscription on the floor.  It refers to Sir Christopher Wren, the architect of that magnificent cathedral and is a quote from his son.  It reads simply, "If you're searching for his monument, look around."

Today we are gathered here in this cathedral to reflect on the life of our friend, Dick Pooley.  In a sense we are here searching for his monument.  I would suggest that we don't have to look around very far to find several of Dick's monuments.  

In 1986 Dick had just retired from Tektronix and somehow connected with the Silcox Hut restoration project.  The Hut had been built in 1939 as the warming hut and upper bull wheel house for the second ski lift in America. Over the years it had suffered neglect and abandonment.  There were discussions going on about possibly just burning it down.  Dick, always the visionary, stepped in as the project engineer for the volunteer team that tackled the project.   For the next several years Dick practically lived at Silcox, working 6 days a week, managing crews, digging ditches, engineering solutions.  Getting a reliable water supply was a formidable challenge.  It was Dick's experience, and keen mind that solved the problem with a pump and pipe all the way from Timberline, a 1000 foot drop below.  If you have occasion to stop by Silcox Hut, "Look Around"  and see one of Dick Pooley's monuments.

Another monument of Dick Pooley is the Mountain Rescue Association.  Most of us know that he was the first president of the MRA, our George Washington so to speak, but he was more than just the first president.  He was the visionary, the facilitator, the negotiator, the driving force to see what needed to be done to make things better.  

Let me take you back to Dicks early climbing days.  At age 17 he did his first climb of Mt Hood up Cooper Spur in the middle of a 20 person rope team with one experienced Crag Rat at each end.  Next thing you know he was volunteering to help the Crag Rat Flare Gang, hauling heavy loads up the Elliot Glacier to illuminate the mountain to the delight of the residents of Hood River Valley below.  That attitude and willingness to help when needed led to an invitation to join the Crag Rats and his participation in the Mazamas, Mt Hood Ski Patrol and then the Mountain Rescue and Safety Council of Oregon.  Speaking of helping out, I got an email this week from one of his friends that he helped.  Let me read it.

Dear Rocky,
For many years I taught snow and ice climbing courses on Mt Hood. Dick was the one who was responsible for setting up the courses through Lewis and Clark College. He didn't need to, but he attended most of the courses, helping me out with the students. Needless to say, he became my best pupil! Those were good days and I fondly remember those times.
Signed:   Yvon Chouinard, founder and president of Patagonia Inc.

Yvon probably doesn't remember me but I was one of those students and that is how I met Dick Pooley.

It was in the late 1950's after several large and challenging missions that mountain rescue seemed to need some larger organizational structure.  How can we learn from each other? And help each other be safer and function together across state lines. Dick caught that vision and helped mold it into what we now call the Mountain Rescue Association. It was June 1959 at Timberline Lodge that Dick was elected the first president of the MRA.  Today the MRA consists of almost one hundred teams and over 2500 members, all a fitting monument to Dick Pooley and a life well lived."

This tribute was added by Bill Pooley on 31st January 2016

"I apologize to all who had to read the shameful words posted in broken English by some twisted person with hate in their heart.  The posting was deleted but possibly not before some of you had to see it.  Clearly the evil of a memorial bomber.  Such is the world we live in where cyberspace is not limited to normal people."

This tribute was added by Lynn Buchanan on 29th January 2016

"Photo of Dick at the 2009 MRA Conference at Mt. Hood.  Lt. to Rt.:
Lynn B., George Sainsbury, Dick in his black and white checked shirt , Jim Whittaker, Dee Molenaar, Mike Norman."

This tribute was added by Nick Steffanoff on 28th January 2016

"When I transferred from National Ski Patrol (Willamette Pass) in 1967 Dick encouraged me to join the MHSP and was a great mentor.  I also remember his fellowship during a MHSP trip to Bogus Basin circa 1972.  Dick was a forthright and hard working patroller."

This tribute was added by Jeff Scheetz on 28th January 2016

"I was fortunate to work with Dick in several volunteer organizations later in his life (American Alpine Club,  Portland Mountain Rescue, Friends of Silcox,  Amateur Radio Relay Group).  I always remember how helpful and knowledgeable he was, and his immense willingness to share his experiences.   Many of us will miss him dearly."

This tribute was added by John Wilberding on 27th January 2016

"I was an apprentice ski patroller in 1968 in Mt. Hood Ski Patrol.  Dick was in charge of the patrol fund raiser dance.  He assigned me to preparing the dance ticket books and to selling same.  He encouraged me to be a patroller and to take leadership positions.  What a great mentor, skier , patroller, rescuer and leader."

This tribute was added by Barbara Edmiston on 27th January 2016

"What a fantastic leader and mentor. Dick and I were his honored learners and looked up to him as we joined the Patrol around the 80's.
Not a richer man of knowledge was this man of the Mountain. God take him to paradise where he shall live in glory.  I so miss all those who have passed that meant so much to us during our tour of duty. They were honorable men and some taken too early. Hugs to family. PS. our church in Portland was St. Marks next to Trinity Cathedral  until we moved to St. Barnabas in Beaverton."

This tribute was added by Dave Clarke on 23rd January 2016

"I had the pleasure of meeting and chatting with Dick years at Cloud Cap Inn, Timberline Lodge and the Crag Rat Hut.  Dick was a true gentleman and very humble regarding his huge contribution to mountain rescue.  The impact of his vision to create the MRA and his work serving as it's first President lives on today as we strive to live up to his legacy.  I remember him talking about going out to rescue a friend in need in the mountains- a friend he had not yet met.  Dick's spirit of willingness to help a stranger and consider them a friend sticks with me still and is an inspiration.  He will be remembered and missed."

This tribute was added by Bill Pooley on 20th January 2016

"Welcome friends of Dick!  Let me be the first to post a tribute.  I will continue to update this web site with more content as time goes by.  I hope you enjoy reading about Dick and sharing your own remembrances."

Leave a Tribute:
Invite your family and friends
to visit this memorial:

Subscribe to receive e-mail notifications when others contribute to this memorial.

Click on a photo to enlarge.

This memorial is administered by:

Bill Pooley


Have a suggestion for us?

We are waiting for your feedback!