Richard "Dick" Zwaller

September 27, 1924 ~ September 13, 2018 (age 93)

Richard Kolman Zwaller

Dick Zwaller, age 93 and a long-time resident of West Seattle, went to be with his Lord on September 13, 2018. He passed away peacefully at home after a battle with mesothelioma.

Dick was born in New York City on September 27, 1924 to Kolman and Barbara Zwaller. He moved to West Seattle with his parents when he was 16 years old. He graduated from West Seattle High School, served in the U.S. Navy during WWII, then worked for Otis Elevator upon his return to Seattle.

On April 12, 1947 he married Helen and shared 71 years of love, happiness, and many adventures with 4 children and 7 wonderful grandchildren. 62 of those years were in a West Seattle home built by Dick.

Dick began his 32-year career with the Seattle Fire Dept. at Station 27, working his way up through the ranks and eventually retiring in 1981 as a Deputy Chief. His calm demeanor, willingness to listen and other leadership skills gained the respect of those around him. He loved his job and the friends he gained there, some of whom he continued to meet each Tuesday for coffee until shortly before his passing.

Dick was very active in the Lions Club of West Seattle, and the Seattle Poggie Club. His passions included salmon fishing, gardening and relaxing at their cabin on Whidbey Island. An all-around handyman, he enjoyed working on cars, boats, his home and the cabin. Dick's greatest passion though was spending time with his family. He was very supportive and active in the lives of his children and grandchildren, rarely ever missing an event, from school projects, Boy Scouts, soccer games to Grandparent's day at their schools. He was unselfish with his time and loved to help when he could, whether it was serving pancakes at the Lions Club breakfast or helping his kids with home repairs. Dick will be missed greatly by all who knew and loved him.

Dick is survived by Helen, his beloved wife of 71 years; his children and spouses: Barbara (John), Rich (Chuda), Steve (Amy), and Tom (Mary); his grandchildren Erik (Lauren), Zach (Emily), Lisa (Matt), Cameron (Emily), Jake, Emma and Annie; and several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents and four sisters.

A private family gathering celebrated Dick's life.

In lieu of flowers or cards, you can send donations to:

Medic One Foundation, 11747 NE 1st SE, Suite 310, Bellevue, WA 98005; or Lions Club of West Seattle, Sisson Bldg., 4217 SW Oregon St., Seattle, WA 98116.

Share memories of Dick on the guestbook at

Arrangements Entrusted to Emmick Family Funeral Home & Cremation Services - West Seattle


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