Sad News – Dick Werner Passes Away


Dick & Louise Werner receiving their award from Dave Olson

A NOTE TO TODAYS READERS (FRIDAY) We are going to keep this story going. The outpouring of love and honor has been amazing, close to double the visitors yesterday, and many will be here today reading this for the first time. Below is the story that ran on Thursday mid day. We encourage you to read the comments, that’s were the real tribute is. The true power of kindness and humor is a wonderful thing. 

Frank Myklos Photo of Dick Werner

Just when you thought there may be some relief from all this, we just got notice that long time Woody Boater and former ACBS President and official great guy, passed away this morning. This is of course very fresh news and what we do know is it was not CORVID related. 

The Pacific Northwest brain trust, Dick Werner, BK Powell and Hutch Hutchinson with

For many of us in this community, Dick was a bright light that brought humor and cheer to all. He loved to joke around and was an inspiration to many, and that ability of his, made this hobby, passion grow, and be fun. He was a mentor to many. To quote Paul Harrison, “He was just a superb guy  and the whole reason I got involved in the hobby organization”. Yes a shockingly short comment from Paul, which I think captures how we all feel. Speechless

A classic article from back in the day

Here at Woody Boater we took some fun jabs at Dick when he was the president of the ACBS, and he turned me around with charm and dignity. That special ability is still embedded deep into the Woody Boater and ACBS culture, we have him to thank for that.

Dick Werner of the ACBS and Lou Rauh of The antique boat center

He also was a key proponent of seminars. He went full force into them and was key in helping rookies like me and many of you new guys in learning the tricks of old classic boat ownership.

1942 Century Seamaid 20′ Triple – Dick & Louise Werner


To say Dick will be missed, is a tough one, because his legacy lives on in our entire community. We will see Dick whenever we work on our boats, go to a seminar, visit the Museum. His tone and passion, are a corner stone of all thats good here.

Right now up in heaven I am very sure Dick is visiting Chris and Gar, and getting in a debate about Reed and Prince screws.. And he is LOVING IT!

58 replies
  1. Dick Dow
    Dick Dow says:

    This is very sad news. We were looking forward to this year’s events on Priest Lake and the chance to see and visit with Dick and Louise – (providing we could get a word in…) 😉 I can’t say enough about his generous, ebullient, spirit and humor, passion for the hobby and people in it. We will miss him. RIP Dick. God Bless.

    • Lou Ronca
      Lou Ronca says:

      We have lost one of the finest Mentors I have known. Always an encouraging word. Always seeking the best in everything he did. Will be missed

  2. John Whitcomb
    John Whitcomb says:

    Sad. Dick was an inspiration to all of us and a great friend. He will be missed in many ways, but most of all, by the personal touch he gave everyone. RIP my dear friend.

  3. John & Jan Keener
    John & Jan Keener says:

    So hard to lose such a dear man, husband and friend. Dick gave us all the sense we were his closest friend.

  4. Brian Robinson
    Brian Robinson says:

    Dr. Dick the Dog Doctor was a genuinely good guy. He will be sorely missed. He and Louise were always warm and inviting. That booming voice. He was always happy to take a call to diagnose my dog over the phone when she was sick. He was never shy to prove a point on a boat even if it meant taking a knife to his own seat cushion.

  5. Paul H
    Paul H says:

    Dick was one of the best, from his legacy as an exceptional veterinarian, to his heavy horses and to his incredible passion and enthusiasm for vintage boats.

    Karen and I had the inestimable good fortune to buy our first vintage wooden boat from Dick Werner – the Satin Doll, his well known 1940 19′ BB in 2007. When we arrived to pick the boat up, Dick wouldn’t let us take it without signing up for the ACBS and the Okanagan chapter. Dick almost immediately encouraged me to become involved and invited us to many regional and national shows. The first of these was the 2008 International in Idaho, with the pre-events hosted by Dick and Louise at Priest Lake. What an introduction to the hobby that was.

    Starting with our first meeting Dick Werner, Karen and I can directly trace with an unbroken line a wide network of great friends and acquaintances all across North America, our introduction to Lake Dora and our decision to winter there, dozens of trips to places we’d have never otherwise seen, years of great experiences in various hobby organizations and 13 years of fun, value, friendships and high quality experiences.

    Dick’s good-natured self, boundless energy, enthusiasm, friendship and incredible generosity drew us in, as they did so many others. Thank you Dick and Louise, you made a huge difference.

    MICHAEL BOGE says:

    Such a passionate man that was just flat fun to be around. Dick’s trademark laugh, solid knowledge on woodies and the ability to take the time to help out new comers to the sport. Lucky to be his neighbor at Priest Lake…Godspeed to one of the “Good Guys”!

  7. Roberta
    Roberta says:

    I was just really getting to know Dick in recent years. A great man that will be missed by all who knew him.

      • Norm Kitching
        Norm Kitching says:

        Dick Werner, a “best friend “ to ACBS , will be sadly missed. Always a big smile, a warm heart, and lets go for a boat ride !
        Dick put his heart into our hobby and hundreds of hours of time , enjoying every minute and everyone he met. The energy you gave to ACBS will be infectious.

      • Al Olsen
        Al Olsen says:

        My wife Bonne and I met Dick in Florida and then he helped us arrange a seminar for the Hartwell boat show. After that we saw he and Louise up in Sandpoint Idaho and he invited us to his home for the weekend on Priest Lake and hosted us with dinner, breakfast and a great cruise around the Lake. He touched our hearts as I’m sure he did with many. A great gentleman
        and human being.

  8. floyd r turbo
    floyd r turbo says:

    I can’t add anything that hasn’t already been said about this fine gentleman except my deepest regrets and condolences to his family and the knowledge that he gave ACBS and this hobby so much more joy for being associated with it. RIP Dick.

  9. Brett Sargent
    Brett Sargent says:

    Dick was a true old school gentleman, that had a charm and uplifting spirt, that blessed everyone around him. He will be greatly missed, but we are all better people, because of the time we spent with him.

  10. B.K. Powell
    B.K. Powell says:

    With Dick’s passing I’m reminded of this poem by The Sailing Luther F. Beecher

    What is dying?
    I am standing on the seashore.
    A ship sails to the morning breeze
    and starts for the ocean.
    She is an object
    and I stand watching her
    Till at last she fades from the horizon,
    And someone at my side says,
    “She is gone!” Gone where?
    Gone from my sight, that is all;
    She is just as large in the masts,
    hull and spars
    as she was when I saw her,
    And just as able to bear her load
    of living freight to its destination.
    The diminished size and total loss
    of sight is in me, not in her;
    And just at the moment when someone
    at my side says, “She is gone”,
    There are others who are watching her coming,
    And other voices take up a glad shout,
    “There she comes” – and that is dying.

    Sail on Dick, travel well my Friend-

  11. Dick Winn
    Dick Winn says:

    What a devastating loss of an extraordinary man, who touched the lives of so many people and organizations. His enduring work as an early member of ACBS, and as a founding member of both the Columbia Willamette and Inland Empire Chapters led to an incredible number of friendships, including mine. It seems like yesterday that Dick, then the President of ACBS, called to have lunch. An hour later and after a very good sales pitch, I was the Treasurer-Elect of ACBS. As neighbors in both Portland and Priest Lake, we shared our passion for vintage boats, animals and our lake paradise. On occasion, he tolerated our fiberglass boats, at his dock along with his beloved Woodies. Dick will be remembered for his engaging personality, his sense of humor, his love of entertaining, his beautiful boats and horses, more friends than you can count, and his love for Louise. He was bigger than life and leaves a legacy of accomplishment and inspiration.

  12. Mark in Ohio (sometimes da U P )
    Mark in Ohio (sometimes da U P ) says:

    I did not know Dick. From all the pictures and comments, he sounds like a great guy. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends

  13. Tom Drozd
    Tom Drozd says:

    I first met Dick in 2000 at Lake Tahoe when he first brought Sweet Louise to the show. We remained close friends ever since. Him and Louise were the most gracious hosts that you can imagine. He will be truly missed by all that knew him. I was fortunate to have know him and call him my friend.

    Just had to post him and Charlie Brown.

    God Bless

  14. Tim Robinson
    Tim Robinson says:

    A good friend and a true gentleman. I will miss our telephone conversations. If you called Dick you could plan an an hour long call. One thing would lead into another and so on. One of the nicest guys I have ever known, I will always remember his humor. RIP Dr. Werner

  15. Bob Nelson
    Bob Nelson says:

    If it’s true that a man’s wealth is determined by the number of friends he left behind, then Dick Werner was a truly wealthy man. From the Pacific Northwest, to Florida, to New York people are saddened as he has left earth today. Whenever Dick called out your name from across a busy room, you knew you were in for a wonderful visit, RIP Dick, you will be missed.

  16. CenturyMike
    CenturyMike says:

    Although I never had the pleasure of meeting him, his passion for boating will be remembered. He is running with the thoroughbreds unbridled.

  17. Dane
    Dane says:

    Dick was a great Ambassador to the hobby, traveling all over the country to attend events. Here is a shot of Dick and Louise in Sweet Louise from 2001 at Cross Lake in Minnesota.

  18. John Rothert
    John Rothert says:

    I only knew Dick from Dora days…and his seminars….great fellow , deeply knowledgeable , truly to be missed.

    John in Va.

  19. Ross McIvor
    Ross McIvor says:

    Dick and Louise have been our neighbors at Priest Lake, 2nd house south of them or should I say 2nd dock south of them for I just don’t know how many years. It has been great and my heart goes out to Louise, family and the wooden boat community. Rest in Peace

  20. Lee Wangstad
    Lee Wangstad says:

    Dick was a wonderful recruiter that you just couldn’t say no to. His convincing style and his tenacious drive would induce you to do things before you really had any understanding of what it was that he was asking. I mean that in a very good way. A real talent and enthusiastic spirit that will be sorely missed. My condolences to Dick’s family.

  21. Todd C
    Todd C says:

    A real role model, made it look easy because that was who he really was. My fist really deep exposure to a lapstreak, because my boat broke, and he was cool enough to offer a ride. I had just met him, and he had all the time in the world (or so he made me feel) to talk me through the construction (and history) of his Sea Skiff. A true class act, super glad to have had the opportunity to meet him. Sincere condolences.

  22. clay c thompson
    clay c thompson says:

    someone told him i was good at varnishing, i’m not, but that didn’t stop him from talking me into doing a varnish seminar, how could anyone say no to such a great guy? he was someone to look up to for me. really will miss him

  23. Mike, Bonnie and Brian Fogarty in Ohio
    Mike, Bonnie and Brian Fogarty in Ohio says:

    So sorry to hear of Dick,s passing. He came to my house in Springfield, Ohio several years ago and bought my 1955 Century 16 Seaflyte lapstrake which he restored to new condition. I think he still had it. He was in Ohio to visit his son, I believe, and saw my ad. My son and I talked in my garage for at least an hour about my 1955 Century and woodies in general.
    The next day , we saw him again at a seminar at Antique Boat Center in Cincinnati. Later that summer he came to our Indian Lake ACBS show .
    He was always the unassuming gentleman and great ambassador for our hobby and will be missed.

    • Erica Zweifel
      Erica Zweifel says:

      The Century Seaflyte is back in the midwest and can be spotted on the Whitefish chain in Minnesota.

  24. Jack Schneiberg
    Jack Schneiberg says:

    I remember a June quarterly meeting of the ACBS held in Milwaukee, at the lakefront. Dick and I had grabbed our bag lunches after the morning events and found a seat on the steps of the lake front building at which the tall ship, “The Dennis Sullivan” docks. We sat and ate our lunch and watched the activity aboard the ship and talked way longer than we had been allowed for lunch. It was good to see Dick that day and remember the launching of his Century Triple on Lake Tahoe in 2000. Always a good companion.

  25. Erica Zweifel
    Erica Zweifel says:

    Sharing a pic of my dad during his early boating days. Thank you all for your kind words and remembrances.

  26. Don vogt
    Don vogt says:

    Sincere condolences to dick’s family.

    What a great guy. Not only a huge loss to the hobby in general, but especially here in n. Idaho. Others have listed many of his qualities and accomplishments above, but for me what particularly stands out was his infectious enthusiasm and energy, and willingness to always help others, with large concerns and small.


  27. Troy back in ANE
    Troy back in ANE says:

    Unfortunately another great that I was not able to spend time with. If we met it would have been at Dora, but I must not have, because it sounds like I would not have forgotten it.

    Best wishes and prayers to all.

  28. Jenn Soine
    Jenn Soine says:

    Please continue to share your favorite memories of our Pa, they are bringing so much love and joy to our family during this time! ❤️

  29. Stephanie & Jerry Cooper
    Stephanie & Jerry Cooper says:

    Our hearts go out to you Louise. We will miss Dick and his kindheartedness in the Priest Lake neighborhood.

  30. Terry Fiest
    Terry Fiest says:

    Once you met Dick Werner you had a friend for life. His passions were deeply rooted in his soul and his dynamic personality was electric. Their beautiful home on Priest Lake was like Mecca for all of the Antique Boating Community and I am sure that Dick will long be remembered for the famous Dry Rot Parties that brought all his friends together. Rest in Peace Dick.

  31. Wilson
    Wilson says:

    As Terry says, once you mey Dick, you had a friend for life. Their home at Priest .Like was indeed a mecca. I recall lDick taking me in for the last Lake Couer d’ Alene boat show, finding me room across the lake and a ride on everybody’s boat. Wonderful time….Wonderful people. We will miss .

    JUN MORRIS says:

    The first time I met Dick was at a small boat show in Penticton BC. We shared wood boat stories and our mutual fondness for Lyman Boats. Dick is an awesome guy. A wonderful wood boat steward. I will miss seeing him at the ACBS events. It was a privilege to know him.

    Godspeed Dick!

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