Cover photo for Harry Richard (Dick) Thurston's Obituary
1939 Dickie 2024

Harry Richard (Dick) Thurston

February 6, 1939 — February 4, 2024

Puyallup, Washington

Dick Thurston was the first child born to Helen Rosalie Borgert and Robert Wayne Thurston in Tacoma, Washington and peacefully passed away two days before his 85th birthday at Avian Family Care home in Puyallup, Washington.

 ‘Dickie’ had two siblings, his brother, Bob and his sister Susan. He attended St. Patrick’s grade school and was attending Bellarmine High School when he met Carol Solberg. The two married after high school while Dick was attending Washington State University and began their family in July of 1960. They welcomed six children into our world - Debbie, Rick, Bob, Carolyn, Laurianne, and Mark. Many years later Dick became grandpa to 15 grandchildren and came to be a beloved stepdad to his second wife Linda’s children, Arianne and Gabriel and grandpa to their children. 

Dickie enjoyed fishing, music and sports while he was growing up. He often told the story of listening to his parents on the piano at a young age, cultivating his love of music. He also cherished time with his grandparents, Grandma and Grandpa Borgert, and loved the time he spent at family gatherings as a child and throughout his entire life. His best friend, Ron Nino, remembers in grade school Dickie was the class arbitrator and at an early age believed in treating others with acceptance and fairness. Dick played football in high school and received the Most Inspirational Award for being an extraordinary team player. He continued his love of the game by playing in college, and on a local league, and by avidly cheering on the “Sea Chickens” for the rest of his years. Dick transferred from Washington State University to the University of Puget Sound to finish his bachelor’s degree in education. He went on to obtain his master’s degree while he was teaching at Whittier Elementary School in Fircrest, Washington.

 In the summers, Dick traveled to Alaska for the first few years of his teaching career to fish salmon and help support his growing family. He later purchased his own commercial fishing boat and spent many summers fishing herring throughout the Puget Sound on the boat he named the ‘Seabird’. All his children share his love for the waters of the Puget Sound. Dick’s students adored him and his non-conventional style. He taught his students the principles of kindness and respect for others. Carol and Dick raised their children in the Catholic church, and they opened their home to foreign exchange students and families from South America, Mexico, and Vietnam. Dick was always cheering for the underdog and his children remember him often reaching out to help those who were down on their luck or to befriend others who were different from the norm. Dick taught in the Tacoma school district for over 30 years and retired in 1991. 

During his teaching years, he met Linda Trott who was a student teacher at DeLong elementary and a concert pianist. Years later, after Dick retired, he ran into Linda again and they fell in love and married in May 2002. They often opened their Puyallup home to family, and Linda’s mom lived with them for several years before her passing in 2018. Dick also volunteered for Habitat for Humanity for many years during the latter years of his retirement. Dick was a cherished teacher, friend, husband, son, father, and grandfather. He was intelligent, unreservedly gregarious, and had the most remarkable sense of humor. He never drank or used drugs and was an enthusiastic runner. For many years he ran the Tacoma Sound to Narrows with his friends and children. He was an avid member of the Polar Bear Club and on New Years Day, for many years, he jumped into the icy waters of the Puget Sound in Olalla. He loved meeting new people and sharing stories and laughter with others. In his 85 years of living, Dick received and gave more joy than most.

 We will all miss his huge, unique spirit, his enormous appetite for life, and deep blue eyes! Dick was preceded in death by his mom, dad, brother and son, Bob. 

Written tributes can be made at 

A celebration of life will be held May 4th at 11:00 at Emerald Ridge High School at 12405 184th Street E, Puyallup, Washington, 98374.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Harry Richard (Dick) Thurston, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Celebration of Life

Saturday, May 4, 2024

Starts at 11:00 am (Pacific time)

Emerald Ridge High School

12405 184th St. E, Puyallup, 98374

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