Richard Ladd “Dick” Saylor, 10/8/1927-01/24/2019, passed away peacefully with his family by his side. “I’ve had more fun than anyone should be allowed.”
Born in Piedmont, California to Robert & Helen Saylor, Dick survived polio at the tender age of three. He attended Piedmont High School and received his Bachelor’s Degree from the University of California at Berkeley in 1949. In his youth, Dick
was actively involved in Boy Scouts and became an Eagle, serving for years on the Camp Wallace Alexander Staff, later becoming a Scoutmaster. He served a short stint in the U.S. Merchant Marines before entering UCB in 1945.
His love for the outdoors, High Sierra backpack trips, cool, trout-filled streams and multiple ocean crossings were the source of endless stories of appreciation. His wondrous joy of a captivating night sky, a sunset or a fine sailing breeze was passed on to his children Cathy, Jim, Joanne and Betsy.
In 1950, Dick married his college sweetheart, Catherine (Cay) Flaherty and they lived in Berkeley until moving back to Piedmont in 1964. Dick was now working in the insurance brokerage business started by his father – Saylor & Hill Co. in Oakland. Dick and Cay divorced in 1975. In 1981, with his second wife Trish, he retired and moved to Friday Harbor, Washington.
Throughout his lifetime, two avocations kept him “out of trouble” as he liked to say, singing and sailing.
Early in Dick’s life he was captivated by the sound of four-part vocal harmony when he discovered Barbershop music. This led to a lifelong pursuit and love of perfect vocal harmony. The “Baytown Four” gained National recognition with the Barbershop Society for their superb blending of classic harmonies. Dick continued his love of music, organizing quartets and chorus groups and singing with his buddies just days before his final breath.
Dick’s sailing life began early on, building boats with his brother Rod and racing their Hurricane Class sloop “Mistral” on San Francisco Bay. Multiple coastal and Transpacific races followed on numerous vessels. Dick successfully raced his Swan 36 “Eventide” on the bay and she provided a great ride to Kauai in the summer of ‘79. His latest and last sailing venture was aboard his new boat “Eventide II”, in May of his 91st year on Lake Como in Montana. Dick assumed the leeward rail position, tiller in hand, sighting the jib and playing the lifts heading upwind on a fine breeze.
Dick is survived by his children, Cathy Saylor Marthens (Phil) of Stevensville, Jim Saylor (Paula) of Kapaa, Kauai, Joanne Warren of Corvallis, Betsy Saylor (Steve Johnson) of Hamilton, beloved step-daughters Laura (deceased), Linda, Cindy and Diana; grandchildren: Jeremy, Jennifer, Katie, Amy, Jacob, Daniel, Sara, Molly, Saylor, Andrew, Lisa, Matthew, Christina, Clay and Amylrene; nephew, Steve Saylor (Carol) of Corvallis; niece, Laura Saylor Flett (Jim); great nieces/nephew: Anna and Jennifer Saylor, Dana Flett and Saylor Flett; great grandchildren: Isiah, Wapuhia, Blakelee, Breia, A.V., Breanna, Zoey, Alexis, Annabelle, Michael, Sophia, William, Charlotte, Theodore, Declan, Maggie and Solomon!
Dick’s greatest gift was how he made you feel. He could light up a room with his smile and put anyone at ease with his unassuming welcome and kind words. His acceptance and appreciation of people from all walks of life was always there to see and feel. His was a life well lived!
– Abide with me, fast falls the eventide.