Richard John Belgum
Richard “Dick” Belgum, a war veteran and Woodland resident, died peacefully surrounded by his wife Lynn of 68 years and family at Sutter Davis Hospital on September 9th. He was 91.
Dick was born on a farm near Wilmot, South Dakota. He grew up working the farm with his family including seven sisters and brothers. At fifteen, Dick’s family moved to Springfield, Oregon, where he graduated from high school while working full time at a lumber mill. He then relocated to California to start college.
Dick valued education and studied at San Francisco State University for his Bachelor of Arts, his teaching credential, and his Master in Education. He followed this with a doctorate from University of San Francisco in 1982. For most of his career he worked in elementary education administration at Oak Grove School District in San Jose, California, where he, ever the technophile, led the District in computerizing administrative processes.
Dick joined the US Marine Corps as a Second Lieutenant and rose through the ranks to Lieutenant Colonel. He fought in the Korean War and subsequently spent decades in the reserves. In 2018, Dick visited Washington, D.C. with the Honor Flight Program where he was recognized for his service to his country.
Dick’s thirst for knowledge, his sense of adventure and drive persisted throughout his life. He obtained his private airplane pilot’s license and flew into many airports in California and other states for 40 years. He built vacation homes in Boulder Creek and at Lake Almanor which four generations of his family enjoyed for decades. Even after selling the Lake Almanor house, family reunions continue at Lake Almanor with 100+ extended family members.
Dick loved to travel and spent a good portion of his retirement trailering around the United States, Canada, and Mexico from his retirement home of 25 years in Carson City. Dick developed a passion for photography and cooking in his later years and was adored by his walking group in Carson City. He was also active in amateur radio and supported the annual Pony Express Reenactment. In 2014, he took a heritage trip to Norway to visit his father’s family farm.
In the fall of 2014, Dick and Lynn moved to Woodland to be closer to their children who all live in California.
While Dick lived a very accomplished life, he will be remembered most for his consistent character and how he touched the lives of other people. He was extravagant in terms of how he gave away his time, energy, and finances in order to help and bless others. At the same time, he practiced his generosity in an understated way. Oftentimes, one didn’t realize what he had done until they saw the result. His humility, servant’s heart, and generosity flowed naturally out of an abiding faith in Jesus Christ.
Dick is survived by his wife Lynn and children Diana (Mike), Cynthia (Gerrit), Janice (Paul), and David (Pam). He has ten grandchildren and one dear great-granddaughter, Marigold, who was born in July 2020. He was preceded in death by his beloved grandson Matthew Pascuzzi.
His wife, siblings, and children gathered for internment at the Sacramento Valley Veterans Administration National Cemetery in Dixon on October 6th. A celebration of his life is planned when gathering restrictions are lifted.
In lieu of flowers, donations to University Covenant Church in Davis, California will be appreciated.