Richard Ernest Mitlyng, 72

Published 7:01 am Sunday, April 17, 2016



Richard Ernest Mitlyng, 72, was born July 19, 1943, in Montevideo, Minnesota, to the late Ernest and Veda Mitlyng. He passed away March 22, 2016, in his home in Anacortes, after 14 years battling cancer.

Following graduation from high school, Richard enlisted in the U.S. Air Force and served over 20 years as a crooning radio and television broadcaster in Thailand, South Korea, and Iran. Upon retirement from the military, he settled in Washington State, obtaining his Master’s Degree in Teaching from Western Washington University in Bellingham. He then joined Mt. Erie School to teach as a beloved fifth-grade teacher, specializing in the sciences and the art of making students laugh. Throughout his time in Anacortes, he brought creativity and joy to the community as a production coordinator for the Anacortes Arts Festival, and as the founder and leader of the Senior Ukulele Ensemble.

Richard was a farm boy, an Air Force Senior Master Sergeant, a versatile performer, a skydiver, a band leader, a technology guru, an excellent chef, an incessant tinkerer, and a beloved, familiar sight to see wheeling around town on his Segway. He was also a father, a grandfather, a brother, an uncle, a husband, and a wonderful friend. He was a unique and beautiful man, and he is already missed.

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He is survived by his daughters, Lisa (Jeff Knight) and Liana; his grandsons, Brad and Sam; his brothers and sister, Errol (Anne McNamara), Alan, and Marcia (Marshall Kohn); all of his nieces and nephews; and his many close friends.

Richard did not like to say goodbye to his loved ones, so we will not try. Instead, we will celebrate his life and the many lives he impacted. The celebration will be at Seafarer’s Memorial Park on May 1, beginning at noon. All are welcome, and partygoers are asked to bring with them a favorite joke or story about Richard, and something delicious to share. Richard loved partaking in good food and drink with friends, and he would hope for only merriment on his account.