Richard W. Arey of Chatham passed away on January 29, 2000, following a lengthy illness. A retired naval officer and veteran of two wars, he served as the first Executive Secretary of the Virginia State Air Pollution Control Board and as a member of the Chatham Town Council.
He was born on July 18, 1919, in Independence, Kansas, the second son of Guy W. Arey and Ruth Yoe Arey, and grandson of Ezra W. Arey, 75th Illinois Volunteer Infantry, and William T. Yoe, 137th Illinois Volunteer Infantry, both veterans of the Civil War. Raised in Independence, Kansas, he attended the University of Kansas for one year and then the United States Naval Academy, graduating in the Class of 1942.
He married Patricia Kane of Moorestown, New Jersey, daughter of Robert Rhea Kane and Jessamine Lindsay Kane in June 1942. During the Second World War, he served on the USS Indiana, participating in the Battle of Leyte Gulf in 1944. In 1945 he was reassigned to the USS Franklin D. Roosevelt and served on its commissioning crew. Following the war, he was attached to the U. S. Naval Academy and undertook graduate studies at Lehigh University. He served as the chief engineering officer on the USS Manchester during the Korean War, and acted as a fire direction control officer aboard that ship in support of the Inchon landings in September 1950. He received a Navy Commendation Medal with V during the Korean War. He also was awarded the American Defense Service, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign, China Service, American Campaign, World War II Victory, Navy Occupation Service and Korean War service medals.
Following the Korean War he served on the staff of the Commander in Chief, Pacific Fleet, as Executive Officer of the USS Wallace L. Lind, and as Commanding Officer of the USS Rich. He served in the Pentagon as a briefing officer to the Chief of Naval Operations in the late 1950’s. From 1959 to 1962 he was the United States Naval Attaché to Portugal. As Naval Attaché he coordinated the request of the Portuguese Government for assistance from the U.S. Navy in responding to the seizure of the Portuguese Lines cruise ship Santa Maria by political dissidents in January 1961. He was awarded the Medal of the Order of Military Merit by the Portuguese Government. He retired from the Navy in 1962 with the rank of Commander.
After his retirement from the U.S. Navy, he served as first Executive Secretary of the Virginia State Air Pollution Control Board and later as a member of the Chatham Town Council. He and his wife Patty traveled extensively and raised horses.
He is survived by four children, Alan L. Arey of Roanoke, Virginia, Stephen E. Arey of Tazewell, Virginia, Patrick K. Arey of Severna Park, Maryland, and Kathleen Carroll of Houston, Texas, and seven grandchildren: Amanda, Jeremy, Jeffrey, Lindsay, Anne, Molly and John.
The family requests that memorial contributions be sent to either the Maier Museum of Art, Randolph-Macon Womans College, 2500 Rosemont Avenue, Lynchburg, Virginia 24503-1526, or the Robert R. Kane Scholarship Fund at the Washington & Lee School of Law, Lexington, Virginia 24450.
©2002 by Marshall K DuBois
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