Media Room


Governor Kate Brown
Secretary of State Dennis Richardson’s Funeral
Wednesday, March 6, 2019

I am honored to stand here today and share a few words about Dennis, as we come together to honor his life and career of service to the people of Oregon.

Dennis’ first priority was always, always to his wife of more than forty-five years, Cathy, and to his nine children and thirty-one grandchildren. I know Dennis was a devout husband, father, and grandfather to you all.

On behalf of the state of Oregon, we are holding you all in our hearts at this time. I know he loved you all dearly.

As many of you know, Dennis and I were on opposite ends of the political spectrum — but I feel that’s what makes me uniquely positioned to talk about what it was like to work with him.

Regardless of what side of the aisle his colleagues sat on, Dennis’ kind heart guided him and his work. He always treated me — and all our fellow lawmakers — with kindness, respect, and civility. This is his legacy that I will always remember, and it’s a very important one in today’s world.

Dennis embodied what it means to be a dedicated public servant: hard-working, passionate, and wholeheartedly committed to making Oregon a better place on behalf of those he represented.

Many of our state’s public servants share these values, and so I like to think that his legacy will live on through all of our work, under the ideals he shared with us.

His reputation for perseverance not only guided him through his fight with cancer, but it also gave us all reassurance that he was fighting cancer with the same determination he brought to work every day. And fight he did, because he loved being Secretary of State.

He ended his journey in statewide office as our Secretary of State, but he started in southern Oregon. So while his roots sprang from the southern part of our state, his reach extended to every Oregonian by the end of his career.

He led a rich, colorful, and fulfilling life. Oregon is a better place thanks to his service to our people, and his love for our home.

We mourn today, the loss of a wonderful human being. A true Oregonian.