Richard Gower Semple, Sr.

Firebird Pilot



SEMPLE, Richard Gower, Sr. Lt. Col, USAF, Ret. Born March 30, 1934, to Caroline and Paul Semple, in Minneapolis, MN, Richard passed away in Spokane on February 25, 2013 after a long illness. He graduated from Mercersburg Academy in 1952 and Ohio Wesleyan in 1956. After graduation, he began a 24-year career as an AF pilot. He saw duty in North America, the Arctic, Europe, Africa and Asia. The majority of his career was as a C-130 pilot, including a one-year combat tour as an AC-130 Spectre gunship commander. After retirement, he served the Spokane community as a past president of the NE Kiwanis Club. He was a coach and north side commissioner for SYSA soccer. Dick was also a lifelong model railroader, built RC model airplanes, and built industrial models. He is survived by his wife of 46 years, Cathie; his children, Danielle (Ron) Basta, Fr Richard Semple, Jr, Michelle (Kyle) Orendorff, and John Semple; grandchildren, Calvin, Meredith, Lauren, Kirtis, Kaden, and Reagan. Rosary and visitation will be at 7 PM at Assumption Parish on Thursday. The Mass of Christian Burial will be at Assumption at 10:30 AM on Friday. Interment will be at 3:00 PM at the Washington State Veterans Cemetery, Medical Lake.