Passage: Clayton Rich, M.D., environmentalist

On Feb. 22, we lost a great and dear leader. Dr. Clayton Rich was a neighbor, a friend and someone we all looked up to. When my husband and I first moved to our home, we saw signs announcing a meeting for a fish ladder in O.O. Denny Park. At the meeting, we were impressed by so many neighbors donating their professional talents, time and energy to an organization named Denny Creek Neighborhood Alliance (DCNA).

Rich happened to be president of DCNA that year. We later found out that Rich was a gifted grant writer and managed to get funds for many environmental projects. He contributed to many DCNA endeavors: building a fish ladder, planting native plants, caring for O.O. Denny Park, studying the watershed area, preventing erosion and slides and preserving 40 acres of urban forest.

Given his tenure as dean of Stanford Medical School and his work at the National Institutes of Health, Rich knew how to work with people in all levels of life, with humor, level-headedness and commitment.

Members of our community have begun to express their memories of Rich . These reflections include his generosity, great care about the environment and his community, his wealth of knowledge and resources, his dedication and integrity and his positive impact on the people and places around him.

Without his quiet and careful work behind the scenes, DCNA would not have been able to fund many of the projects we are now proud of. He left a legacy and a deep imprint on our little community, and we all feel enriched by having known him.

The Finn Hill Park Commission will be dedicating the picnic shelter at O.O. Denny Park as a memorial to Rich. In this way, there will be a place and structure where we can remember our beloved friend. We will think of Dr. Rich standing over the salmon stream as the water rushes out into Lake Washington and then into Puget Sound. His memory will live on, as will his work. Clayton Rich will certainly be missed.[[In-content Ad]]