Astoria lost a good man with the recent passing of Richard Garner. Dick was the kind of person we should all strive to be.

Dick was always available to help. Always. If you needed help moving furniture, he was there willing to take the heavy end of the load. When the time came to keep the church grounds clean, he showed up early with a rake and a smile. Have a plan to renovate an old building? Dick was the first to sign on.

Early in his life, he was a salesman; everything from cars to appliances. We met Dick long after those days, but his stories about Astoria were countless, and always included a joke. Even jokes on himself, as he recalled life as a raw employee on the Astoria ferry.

In recent years, Dick was an ambassador for Astoria as a driver of the Cannery Pier Hotel & Spa's guest cars. We can only imagine the smiles and laughs his energy created during each ride.

Dick always had a new idea ready to try out on any willing ear. He was an idea machine. Most were about attracting people to church — his church — First Presbyterian. Bet when St. Peter opened the pearly gates for Dick on a recent Sunday morning, he was greeted with a flurry of suggestions on how to get more people into heaven.

Astoria will not be the same without Dick Garner, a true friend.

BRYAN and CECILIA KIDDER

Asheville, North Carolina