Richard Verver


image of Richard Verver

Richard Verver

Richard Verver’s life began on January 2, 1944 when he nearly became the first New Year’s baby.  He spent his childhood in both Ripon and Bellflower, CA until leaving to attend Dordt College in Sioux Center, IA. Upon graduation, he first taught in a one room schoolhouse and then moved to Seattle, accepting a high school teaching position.  During his teaching career, he positively influenced the lives of hundreds of students as he patiently and skillfully guided them while exploring together history, current issues, and directing numerous drama productions.

In 1972, a new elementary teacher caught the attention of this “confirmed bachelor” and he and Eileen were married in 1975.  Little bundles of joy arrived in quick succession as their family expanded with Ryan, Kevin, Kelly, and Teri.

In 1990, Rich traded writing lesson plans and correcting papers and joined the QFC staff, helping their largest store run smoothly.  In 2002, his life was drastically changed when he was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia PH+, and given a devastatingly low chance of survival.  He survived a lifesaving stem cell transplant and lived his last 15 years with pain, pokes and prods, hospital visits, and  uncertainty, but also with patience, hope,  blessings, faith, style, and grace.  He marked the importance of his transplant date yearly by sending flowers to his donor. During this time, he began to write poetry at all hours of the day and night and on every scrap of paper he could find.  He published these poems in a book entitled Unexpected Interruptions in 2006.  These added years also brought the joy of his children’s marriages and the birth of his 7 grandchildren,

Rich cherished his family and friends.  He nurtured his children, delighted in his grandchildren, and loved meeting friends for coffee where he readily shared his ideas and thoughts.  He was a member of the Cathedral Choir at UPC for 30 years and this group played a vital role in his life, offering him support and friendship.

Rich is survived by Eileen, his wife of 42 years, sons Ryan (Cristin) and Kevin (Cheryl), daughters Kelly (Chris) and Teri (Frank), his 7 grandchildren, brothers Sherm (Cece), Ken, and Gary, and numerous cousins, nephews and nieces. We will miss him and his gentle spirit. Soli Deo Gloria.

A memorial service is planned for Monday, March 5 at 1:00 at University Presbyterian Church, 4540 15th Ave NE, Seattle, WA.

In lieu of flowers the family has chosen three donations possibilities:  Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, University Presbyterian Church Cathedral Choir, and University Presbyterian Church Deacons Fund.

4 Responses to “Richard Verver”

  • Loretta Vander Pol says:

    Rich played an important role in the high school years of my kids. He was teacher, drama coach and taught them the value of reading the newspaper. I feel privileged that he was a friend and colleague who was a most remarkable Christian! Wishing God’s peace for his family in this great loss!

  • Ellen Matthewson says:

    Rich was such a wonderful, kind man. I knew him through UPC from the years I sang with the Cathedral Choir. He would bring cake to celebrate the anniversary of his second birthday every year. I am so saddened by his death. There is a huge hole left in the lives of everyone who knew him and loved him.
    I am thankful that I had the privilege of knowing him just a little.

  • Ken Yates says:

    I had the privilege of singing next to Richard for many years in Cathedral Choir. We both called ourselves recovering tenors since chemo had changed each of us from tenors to baritones. I will miss Richard’s friendship as we shared so much over so many years, including the fact that my wife and I were also married in 1975. RIP my friend, and I will enjoy seeing you running and skipping when we meet up again in Heaven.

  • Trudy Beach says:

    We hear in hushed tones of angels walking among us. They rescue, encourage, support, teach and comfort and even sing alongside those fortunate enough to pass through their lives. Rich was an angel with skin on, although he would disagree with this description because he was genuinely humble. We would sit downstairs in the UPC choir room between services sharing sections of the Sunday Times, quietly discussing an article that caught someone’s attention. Rich always expressed his comments with warmth and insightful humor. He simply extended Jesus’ love in his conversations and interactions with everyone and we were all blessed to know him.

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