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Richard Wayne Smandra 1943 – 2022

Richard Wayne Smandra 1943 – 2022
Photo by Sierra CastellanoRichard Smandra passed on March 23.

Richard Wayne Smandra passed away on Wednesday, March 23. He was 78 years old. He is survived by Diane Smandra, his wife of 59 years; his sons Rick (Robin) Smandra and Donavan (Pip) Smandra; his daughter Sierra Castellano (Jim); his seven adored grandchildren, Trevor, Austin, Jared, Natalie, Zach, Mia, and Enzo; his brother George (Irene) Eichel; and his sister Trudy May.

Richard, known to friends and family as Dick, was a warm and charismatic man who grew up in Kenwood. If you ever met him, you knew he was a man who came from traditional values, but his mind was generally open. Over his 78 years he was able to pick up a conversation with almost anyone and connect.

Richard was a hard-working self-starter with an entrepreneurial mind. He took on a number of jobs before starting Creative Redwood in Kenwood with his friend and partner Jeff Toddhunter in the 1980s. He and Diane later opened up Kenwood Lumber and Hardware, serving Kenwood and the surrounding area through the early ’90s.

Dick and Diane were often fixing up properties and reselling them for profit. They bought the old schoolhouse in Kenwood (currently Muscardini Tasting Room), which Dick remodeled. It was a beast of a project, but he took great pride in it.

Dick, Diane, Rick, and Donavan lived at Granellis’ property for years before enough money was saved to buy a ranch in Kenwood. They worked hard to build a home there for their growing family of five and were always up for get-togethers at the property with family and friends. Skeet shooting, greenhouse gardening, weightlifting in the barn, anniversary parties, birthday parties, and 4th of July fireworks over the pond are just some of the memorable times at the ranch.

Once the early ’90s came along, Dick, Diane, and Sierra moved up to Jacksonville, Ore., to retire. Dick loved his Oregon property and enjoyed mushroom hunting, living next door to three of his grandkids, and spending time with his friends. He was a social man but also valued moments of solitude and reflection in favorite spots on his property and his cherished Rottweiler Meadow.

Like many of us, he was often as difficult as he was charming, but for those of us who knew him as husband, dad, brother, son, grandpa, uncle, friend … his love for us and ours for him seemed to conquer all. As we say goodbye to Richard, we remember his distinctive laugh, his creative and entrepreneurial mind and, of course, his unconditional love. We also pay respect to the incredible challenges he overcame to become the Richard we knew … a testament to his will and the special people around him who were part of his journey. To all who knew Richard, we thank you for being part of his great life.

We will keep your memory alive through stories and raise a glass to you on your birthday each Halloween. We love you Dad/Papa and miss you already!

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