In Memoriam

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Oren Richards ’45

Born in Portland, Oren lost his mother when he was four years old. After graduating from Washington High School, he attended business school, where he met the love of his life, Patricia Milne, and the two married in 1945.

Oren’s father convinced him to abandon ideas of pursuing a basketball scholarship and he entered Reed in 1940, where he excelled. The following year he joined the U.S. Navy Reserve as an apprentice seaman, continuing his studies at Reed, where he earned his degree in biology. He went on to medical school at the University of Oregon, and obtained his MD while continuing to serve in the Navy. After completing his residency at Providence Hospital, he served as a captain in the U.S. Air Force, commanding the hospital at Mather Air Force Base. Returning to Portland, he practiced internal medicine at Providence Hospital, retiring at the age of 80. He loved medicine, and knowing that he could make a difference in the lives of his patients made him the doctor people wanted at their sides in times of need. He was instrumental in setting up teaching programs for new doctors at Providence, and taught at the medical school for 20 years as a volunteer.

Oren served his country a third time as head of the Selective Service Board for the State of Oregon, and was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal for bringing compassion and empathy to the selective service office during the troubled times of the Vietnam War. He loved the coast and abandoned the city on weekends for his home in Ocean Park, Washington, where he fished for salmon, boated, dug clams, and enjoyed the serenity of the ocean shore. Patricia predeceased Oren, who is survived by his sons, Wayne, Jeffrey, Brian, and Guy. In his own words, he “lived the perfect life, no regrets.”

Appeared in Reed magazine: September 2016

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