On Friday, December 28, 2018, longtime Sunnyside resident, farmer and cattle feeder, John Richard “Dick” Golob, passed away at the age of 85. He was a dedicated and loving husband to Barbara, and a caring, loving and proud father of six children.
Dick was born on February 24, 1933 in Yakima, WA to John William and Pearl Marie (nee Smith) Golob. He graduated from Sunnyside High School in 1951. He then attended and played basketball at Gonzaga University for two years then moved on and received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of Notre Dame in 1955. He served in the U.S. Army from 1955 to 1957 during the Korean conflict. During this time, he married the love of his life, Barbara Birdseye, on June 2, 1956. After leaving the Army, Dick and Barb returned home to Sunnyside, WA where they raised their six children and successfully ran Golob & Sons, a cattle feeding and farming operation.
Dick had a deep sense of civic pride and showed it through his involvement and dedication to numerous activities and committees. That road started with his high school involvement in FFA resulting in his meeting President Harry Truman and continued with his being elected as one of Sunnyside’s first Port Commissioners in 1964. His dedication and involvement is memorialized through Golob Landing, a namesake business and industrial park. He was very active in the St. Joseph Catholic church in Sunnyside and played a major role in fundraising for educational institutions including the St. Joseph Catholic grade school and Heritage University in Toppenish, WA. In an effort not to get buried by his involvement in countless organizations and committees, he worked hard to achieve a balance between his professional life and personal life. Dick and Barb enjoyed traveling worldwide, to include various trips to China, Antarctica and through the Panama Canal. They especially enjoyed cruising as well as their annual trips to Orlando, FL.
Being a cattle rancher on a large scale at Golob & Sons, it was natural that Dick practiced efficiency, sometimes to a fault. Dick would fill a couple home freezers with a whole beef at a time which was fine for the standard cuts, but not well received by his children when the only parts left were the weird parts. Dick also was an amateur pioneer in optimism. His favorite saying, when faced with a less than ideal situation, was “it’s better than a jab in the eye with a sharp stick.” Or, when injured “just think how good it will feel when it stops hurting.”
He lived his life with a “glass half full” attitude. This, combined with the age old Army mantra “you have to expect a few casualties in a large operation,” enabled him to make it through some days when one or more of his kids would make a bone headed mistake. Some of these blunders included cracking the engine block in the Mack truck, burning up the International 806, burying the Trojan loader in the silage pit and dumping a snowmobile into a lake. One of his kids even cut the roof off of the 1948 Chevy Pick-up without asking permission, although this did elicit a hint of dissatisfaction. Appreciating the risks and dangers of farm life, Dick was always relieved that no one was hurt. This outlook on life had an everlasting impact on how his kids looked at life as well as how they reared their children.
Dick was preceded in death by his father, mother, and brother, Donald. He is survived by his wife, Barbara, his 6 children, Brant (Gloria), Chris (Cindy), Tim (Patty), Diane (Sue), Vickie (James), and Randy (Carrie), 12 grandchildren, 10 great grandchildren, and 3 great-great-grandchildren.
Viewing and Visitation will be held Friday, January 18, 2019 from 3:00 pm to 8:00 pm with recitation of Holy Rosary at 6:00 pm at the Smith Funeral Home Chapel in Sunnyside, WA. Mass of Christian Burial will be Saturday, January 19, 2019 at 10:00 am at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Sunnyside, WA with burial to follow at Lower Valley Memorial Gardens in Sunnyside, WA. Memorials in memory of Dick may be made to V. Rev. Michael J. Ibach c/o Holy Family Parish 5315 Tieton Dr. Yakima, WA 98908, Heritage University 3240 Fort Rd. Toppenish, WA. 98948 or Lower Valley Crisis Center 600 North Ave. Sunnyside, WA. 98944. Those wishing to sign Dick’s online memorial book may do so at www.funeralhomesmith.com Smith Funeral Homes in care of arrangements.