Richard "Dick" L. Petree

Mar 3, 1929 – Apr 23, 2015

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Richard “Dick” Petree

Born 3/3/1929 on Vashon Island, died April 23, 2015 in Burien. 

Loving husband of Joyce; father of Wayne (Kristi), Deborah (Jeff), Laura (Alan), Vicky and Shelly; 14 grandchildren, 21 great-grandchildren, 1 great-great- grandchild and brother of MaryCruz.  Dick was preceded in death by his son, Tom, in 1972.

Dick was a life-long resident of the Puget Sound area. He was the ninth of ten children born to his folks "Joe" and "Cate". He moved to Seattle at the age of 12, attending Saint Mary's Elementary and Odea High School.

He began his career with the Boeing Company in 1949, where he worked on the military and commercial flight line as a lead flight test mechanic. He enjoyed special projects in his career, including a trip to Madrid Spain, Bolivia and Ecuador. He retired after 40 years in 1989, and continued his special friendship with retired coworkers to this present day.

Dick had a zest for life and a love of music. He was often at his sisters' homes, or at a friend's, playing various instruments, including his beloved "gut bucket". He enjoyed tooling around his yard, building bird houses, and going on daily walks with his best friend, and much-loved wife of 47 years, Joyce.

Dick was young at heart, and had special friendships with his many nieces and nephews. He was always quick with a smile and ready for fun!

He was a member of Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church for over 55 years. He decorated for holidays, ushered, and was a handyman for various projects for the school and church.

Our Dad and Gramps had a special love for all his kids and grandchildren. He loved their visits, and was keenly interested in all the happenings within their lives.

We all have such wonderful memories of this well-respected man; please share one or two of these memories, or a story, that you may recall on this guestbook
that meant something to you. Dick touched each one of our hearts, and he will be missed by all. 

Visitation 4:00 PM – 7:00 PM Monday, April 27, 2015 at Bonney-Watson Washington Memorial, 16445 International Blvd, SeaTac.  Funeral Mass 11:00 AM Tuesday, April 28, 2015 at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church, 10240 12th Ave S, Seattle, WA 98168. 

Please sign online memorial guestbook at


Shelly Unger
Wichita, KS
May 8, 2015


Dad was born on Vashon Island in the year 1929, the year of the Great Depression.

He told us stories of his upbringing on the Island. Their long walks to school. How they would walk from one telephone pole to the next and run the next two, repeating this process, until they finally arrived. He told us stories of his mother Catherine. How she had 10 kids to feed. They were fortunate to have abundant seafood from the Puget Sound. A couple of the kids found an octopus caught in an inlet while the tide was going out. She came down to the beach, blocked the inlet with sand and bartered it away for goods.

Later had so much fun in get-togethers with his siblings and their children. Often, they involved ferry rides back to Vashon, clams, perch and crab all cooked right at the beach. OR the many potlucks on the shores of Star Lake..and of course Conconully.

Dad's heritage was of Swedish and Irish descent. His father Joseph immigrating from Sweden to Alaska. Dick and Joyce paid a visit to his cousin Rolf in Stockholm Sweden in the early '90s. Dad's grandfather, Per Gosta was caretaker of a small "castle" in a little town outside of Stockholm. Dad was blessed to step inside the home where his father, Joseph grew up. They visited gravesites of aunts and uncles in the Petree lineage and met many relatives.

Dad was a well dressed and respected man. Folks were drawn to him and he made friends easily. He could be quite funny..and you knew if he call you a "double clutcher" you were good with him!

He took daily walks and afterward would stop for his favorite hazelnut latte.

Dad was 86 and active to the end. He was not ill so this was quite unexpected.

Our family would like to thank the extended family and all his many friends for all the support and outpouring of love during this difficult time.

Wayne Prtree
Auburn, Wa
May 4, 2015

Richard Laurence Petree (Best known as Dick), or Uncle Dick to most, but mostly known as Dad to me, his only blood son,Wayne, passed away on Thursday (23 April, 2015).

It all happened so suddenly as there wasn't any sign of illness. From a headache to paralysis & coma like state within 3-4 hours.

I will miss him much more than I ever could have imagined. Sure,we didn't always see eye to eye on everything,but I think that's all part of growing up & becoming individual.

I have learned so much from the many things he's taught me over my lifetime. My dad was a master at fixing things. As I know how hard he work to make a good home for all 6 of us kids & a wife. Most of the time, because money was too tight to just buy new things when they broke. But many a time I watched him fix things just because "he could". He enjoyed a satisfaction of knowing he Could achieve these hurdles. These accomplisments also carried over to his mechanical abilities as well. I also possess these gifts from watching as well as working side by side with him. If I couldn't fix it, I would just re-design it to work. Just as he would. In my field of electronics, it made me an expert troubleshooter.(same with photography). Subsequently, it made the way I LOOKED at things & life from varying perspectives. And that's something that will stay with me forever.Love Wayne

Dustin Travis Unger
Okinawa, JP
May 2, 2015

Dick was my grandfather, my role model, and my hero (not just as a child, but even as I raise children of my own now).

Some of my fondest memories of Gramps was when I was growing up. I remember sitting on his stool or on his lap in the workshop in the basement of his house. I would love to just sit and watch (and eat the pistachios he had in a jar on the workbench) as he tinkered on, or fixed, so many different things.

Now I'm a helicopter mechanic by trade, and I'm pretty sure my love of working with my hands has its roots in that workshop.

I'll love and miss you Gramps,


Michael "SKI" Wisniewski
Grapeview, Wa
Apr 28, 2015

Dick was my Lead for many years at Flight Test, but he was much more than that! He was a mentor, a father figure and a good friend... I will miss him dearly at the retirement breakfasts...

Tim Reed
Tukwila, WA
Apr 27, 2015

I have known Dick and Joyce for 6 years. Both of them would make there daily stop at my coffee shop for a extra hot hazelnut latte, the way Dick liked it. My customers and I enjoyed our daily conversations with Dick. He could talk your ear off. You know he had a lifetime of experiences to keep you listening, from growing up as a child on Vashon, to his various vacations with family, working at Boeing's, to outside yard work. And his yard look's amazing. Let's just say he could of stayed all day, ok, well until Joyce would say, hey we have ice cream in the car. Then dick knew it was time to go.

I would like to say it was a honor to have known Dick. He will be missed by many that knew him.

Milton McMullen
Seattle, WA
Apr 26, 2015

A great and good friend to all ,including many at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church. Always available with his tool kit. His good nature and friendliness to all will be hard to replace.

This obituary is provided by Bonney-Watson, providing caring and compassionate funeral, cremation and cemetery services since 1868. We have a professional staff, four funeral homes, two cremation facilities and one of the largest cemeteries south of Seattle, as well as a comprehensive grief support program.