Richard Geary, 79, Mar. 21, 1935–Oct. 19, 2014
Richard Geary passed away on Sunday, October 19, at his home in Lake Oswego, Oregon. He was 79 years old and a lifelong resident of the Pacific Northwest. “Dick,” together with his wife, Janet, of 42 years, devoted significant time and resources to philanthropy in both the Portland and Palm Desert areas.
Considered a shrewd business mind, after graduating Phi Beta Kappa from Stanford University with a bachelor’s degree in 1956 in civil engineering and a master’s degree in 1957, Dick Geary spent his 41-year career in construction with Kiewit Pacific Co. in the western US, including Hawaii, Alaska, and Western Canada. He progressed through a succession of management positions from engineer to president of Kiewit Pacific Co., and in 1988 became a director of Peter Kiewit Sons’, Inc. (parent company of Kiewit Pacific Co., headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska). Throughout his career, Dick was directly responsible for building and managing projects with a cumulative value of several billion dollars, creating a diverse management background in transportation, dam, treatment plant, commercial building, and manufacturing projects. Under Dick’s leadership, Kiewit Pacific Co. grew to a size that could handle projects of any dollar value, and currently builds over $1 billion dollars’ worth of work annually.
He is a past president of the Associated General Contractors Oregon-Columbia Chapter (1977), and was the recipient of the Golden Beavers Award for Management in 1999. After his retirement in July of 1998, he continued as a director with Peter Kiewit Sons’, Inc. until 2007. Dick was generous with his time and believed in leading by example. He served on many non-profit boards including trustee and past chair of the Oregon Health Sciences University Foundation, a trustee of the Oregon Symphony, past director of the Portland Opera, Friends of the Children, Lewis and Clark College, and the San Francisco Theological Seminary. He also served on the boards of Portland General Electric Co., Standard Insurance Co., and the Stancorp Financial Group.
Beyond his professional and philanthropic pursuits, Dick had a love of life and devotion to his family that carried with it a contagious optimism. His dry wit was unparalleled and appreciated by all those close to him. He enjoyed golf, fishing, and spending time with his wife and family in Lake Oswego and the Vintage Club in Indian Wells, Calif.
He is forever loved and survived by his wife Janet Hendrickson Geary, four children, Arthur Geary of Portland, Sarah Gustafson of Sisters, David Garner of Seattle, and Suzanne Geary of Portland, ten grandchildren, and one great grandchild. He is preceded in death by his daughter Elizabeth Geary.
Services are planned for 1:30 pm on Friday, Oct. 24 at Lake Grove Presbyterian Church, 4040 Sunset Drive, Lake Oswego. A reception will follow at Oswego Lake Country Club. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Portland Art Museum, Oregon Symphony, or OHSU Department of Neurology.