Richard "Dick" LeRoy Hollenbeck, 71, of
Salem, Marion County, OR, died in
his home on Monday, May 7, 2007 from unknown causes.
Dick was born February 26, 1936 in Yakima, Yakima County, WA to his
Richard Francis "Frank," son of Auda Emmet and Sara Adeline (Jackson)
Hollenbeck, and his mother Mildred Mae, daughter of William Albert and
Gertrude (Ansell) Lesh. Very early in Dick's life, the Hollenbecks moved to
Trout Lake, Klickitat Co., WA where Dick attended school and worked on the
In 1953, Dick went to live in Bonner's Ferry, ID with Gordon and Phyllis
Dietsch where he studied music and graduated from Bonner's Ferry High School
in 1954. While he was there, he became a very accomplished guitarist,
pianist, and trumpeter. A master of jazz, blues, and ragtime, in his early
years, much of what he knew about music he learned from "Deetz" (he always
called Gordon by his last name), who was a self taught, professional
musician. Dick's music has been described as deeply moving yet quite
On December 7, 1954, 13 years after the Pearl Harbor attack to the day,
Dick's brother-in-law Jack Connor drove Dick to Portland to join the United
States Navy. "Every time I went to Portland the summer before I joined," he
once remarked, "I would go into the Navy Recruiting Office and have the
recruiters tell me more 'Sea Stories,' and I would fill out a few more
forms." He served aboard the U.S.S. John A. Bole (DD-755) in the South China
Sea as a "fire control" electronics technician. Up until the very end of his
life, Dick stayed in contact with some of his old Navy friends by email and
Leaving The Navy after four years, he married Janice A. Morris from
Leandro, CA and had three children with her. He continued to work in the
electronics field for many years at such companies as Ampex, Sony, and
International Video Corporation, assisting in the development of prototypes
for some of the very first video tape machines at a time when transistors
were just coming upon the horizon and printed circuit boards were unknown.
Eventually, Dick moved to Oregon and returned to college. In the summer of
1988 he earned an Associate of Science degree in Electronics Technology and
Electronic Engineering from Chemeketa Community College in Salem, OR.
Outside of school, Dick was a philosopher, with a brilliant mind and a
cuttingly ironic sense of humor.
Dick is survived by his sister Elaine Connor of St. Paul, OR, by his
and brother-in-law Lois and Chuck Stevens of Trout Lake, WA, by his brother
and sister-in-law William "Bill" and Karen Hollenbeck of Portland, OR, by
his son Richard "Rich" Hollenbeck of Moreno Valley, CA, by his son and
daughter-in-law John and Karla Hollenbeck of Canyon Lake, CA, by his
daughter Margaret "Peggy" Stepe of Riverside, CA, and by his grandchildren:
Linda Hollenbeck of Santa Ana, CA, daughter of Rich, Andrew and Gregory
Hollenbeck of Canyon Lake, CA, sons of John and Karla, and Mara, Brita, and
Aris Stepe of Riverside, CA, the children of Peggy. Both of Dick's parents
preceded him in death-Frank in 1969, and Mildred in 2006.
A memorial service and interment is being planned for August 19, 2007
Klickitat County Cemetery in White Salmon, WA. The time of day will be
announced at a later date.
Special thanks to Elaine Connor and her children, Chuck and Lois Stevens,
Bill and Karen Hollenbeck, and all the people who went to Salem to take care
of Dick's affairs after his passing.