Capitol mourns Richardson at public funeral
The body of Secretary of State Dennis Richardson lay in state in the Capitol rotunda Wednesday morning, March 6, hours before his public funeral.
Richardson died Feb. 26 at his Central Point home after a months-long fight with brain cancer. The 69-year-old former U.S. Army warrant officer and combat helicopter pilot served six terms in Oregon's House of Representatives before becoming elected secretary of state in 2016. He is survived by his wife, Cathy, his eight daughters and one son.
After Wednesday afternoon funeral in the Oregon House chambers, Richardson will be buried in Medford in a private family ceremony.
Richardson was known in the House as a tireless worker, often being the last light on in the building. He often sent lengthy newsletters to constituents, keeping them informed of his work.
As secretary of state, Richardson was a fierce advocate for voting access and bolstered the state's audit system, earning the praise of many despite being the only Republican to hold statewide office. He also was second in line to the governor's seat.
Richardson announced his battle with cancer in June 2018, saying he was diagnosed in late May. Through the summer, he scaled back duties, delegating more authority to subordinates.
Even as he battled cancer, Richardson was mounting a re-election campaign for 2020. He had set up a political action committee and started fundraising.