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Richard John Gierok

August 29, 1935 - November 22, 2020

Richard John GierokRichard Gierok, born in Cleveland, Ohio, passed away at the age of 85 in Salem, Oregon on November 22nd.

After high school graduation Dick joined the Army in 1953 and served as a paratrooper until he was discharged in 1955.  He graduated from Cal State - Northridge with an Associates of Arts degree in Business and worked for General Motors for 17 years before moving into sales and management in various industries.  Dick found he had a knack for sales and sold everything from furniture, to cars, to electronics, to horticulture nursey stock, and lighting systems.  After “retirement” Dick worked part time as a driver for Hertz, as a salesman and Bonsai instructor Garland Nursey in Corvallis, and volunteered at Willamette Valley Winery including wine sales in their tasting room.

His passion however was his family.  In 1956 Dick was introduced to Marilyn Fischer by Marilyn’s brother Bill.  Marilyn was a widower with two young boys, Dick fell in love with all of them and on May 11, 1957 Dick and Marilyn were married and together they raised a total of 5 children.

Dick was proceeded in death by his son Stephen Thompson.  He is survived by son Rick (Mary) Thompson, daughters Cynthia Gierok and Laura (David) Seger, and son Ed (Frances) Gierok.  They had 12 grandchildren, and four great grandchildren.  Dick was a devoted husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather.  He loved passing on his knowledge and expertise to his children and anyone lucky enough to know him.

Throughout life Dick developed a diversity of interests becoming a jack-of-all-trades and a master-of-most.  He had a natural mechanical aptitude and enjoyed his motorcycle in his younger days and cars especially America muscle cars.  His mechanical expertise saved his stranded brother-in-law Bill more than once and he made sure all his children gained at least a rudimentary introduction to automotive mechanics.  He enthusiastically took on tasks with his hands; he built a power boat with his brother Gary in his garage, he built furniture, decks, and tool sheds, he was an excellent cook and thoroughly enjoyed barbequing for his friends and family.  For over 35 years Dick practiced bonsai gardening years and was an active member of the Willamette Valley Bonsai Society, teaching Bonsai and judging the Bonsai competitions at the Oregon State Fair. In 2001 Dick and Marilyn became OSU Master Gardeners and his pursuit of gardening flourished for the rest of his life.    
“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”
1 Corinthians 13: 13
In lieu of flowers the family requests donations be made to Willamette Valley Hospice and Palliative Care

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Our thoughts and prayers are with you all.

Dick was a delightful man and we so enjoyed getting to know him!  

We are so sorry for your loss.  How comforting to know that he and Marilyn are now dancing with Jesus!  Our love and prayers are with Laura, David and the family.  

My sincere condolences to Dick’s family. I’ve known Dick and Marilyn since 1956 and my wife Diane and I along with Joyce and Bill shared some great and memorable times with Marilyn and Dick.

Uncle Dick was such a kind person to me and I will never forget the fun times we had during our family visits. He will be deeply missed, what an amazing life he and Aunt Marilyn had together.

Praying for strength and comfort for you all.


My Uncle Dick, such a live spirit I recall visiting in Georgia and the first lighting storm which a thunderbolt hit the ground outside the house. He said yes that’s what we get here in Georgia. They took us to Stone Mountain Park, what a memorable trip. Later in life he visited my Parents Bill & Joyce Fischer, along with my beautiful Aunt Marylin. I learned he like Bonsi, I never would have pictured him with that kind of hobby. He lived deeply, and always had that look in his eye of mischievous.  I know his soul is now free, and he is with my Aunt, and my Mother in heaven.  I’ll miss him, but never forget. Love to my cousins from your California Cuz Eric & Family . God bless you always. 

Dick, what a blessing you were! Wherever you entered, you brought the sunlight with you. You brought happiness, stability, and joy into Marilyn and her two little boys' lives when you married, and you created more joy and light with the children you went on to have have together. It brings comfort to all of us to know that you and Marilyn had a long and happy marriage, and that the family to which you devoted your life continues to carry on your legacy. I find myself thinking, "well, of course, Dick and Marilyn walk into eternity together, holding hands--how could it be otherwise?" Blessings to all your family.