Richard Finnigan
Richard Finnigan
Richard Finnigan
Richard Finnigan
Richard Finnigan
Richard Finnigan

Obituary of Richard Allan Finnigan

Rick, beloved husband, brother, uncle and friend, passed away January 5, 2024, at the age of 72, in ICU at St. Peter Hospital in Olympia, Washington.


Rick was born in Tacoma, Washington, on March 6, 1951, to Joan and Richard Finnigan. He is survived by his wife, Cheryle; his sister, Elene, and her husband, Bill Burnet; niece, Tristen, (of Spokane); nephew, F. Tyler, and his wife, Kaitlyn, and their infant son, Harvey (of Portland).  


At a very young age, it became apparent that Rick had an exceptionally gifted mind. He graduated with honors from Federal Way High School, Western Washington University (Fairhaven), University of Washington School of Law, with honors, where he was elected Recent Developments Editor of Washington Law Review and member of the Washington Chapter of The Order of the Coif.  He held a Master of Public Administration from The Evergreen State College. His college friend and roommate said, “His moral compass was well set early in life and didn't waiver.” 


As a young man, Rick loved boating and all water sports, including water skiing and scuba diving. He participated in many team sports. He enjoyed helping coach T-Ball through Little League, played volleyball, and later was active in Washington State Senior Games. For several years, he participated in the Senior Games in St. George, Utah. He also enjoyed golf.  


Rick began his legal career in the office of the Attorney General, where he worked for eight years. After leaving the Attorney General’s Office, he became the Executive Officer of the Washington State Utilities and Transportation Commission, where he worked for three years, and then left public service to practice in a law firm in Tacoma. Rick published several articles on legal issues. Later he opened his own business in Olympia, practicing utility law and specializing in telecommunications law. At the time of his death, he planned on returning to work.  


Rick took great joy in the beautiful yard at the home he had built in 1977. He had a passion for gardening. He was fond of annual fishing trips on the Rogue River and into Alaska and Canada with colleagues and friends.  He delighted in taking annual trips with Cheryle and their friends to Cabo, Mexico. However, when not at work, he enjoyed being at home, sitting at his desk, thinking and looking out onto his cherished garden.  


Rick will be deeply missed by all who knew and loved him, including his many colleagues and longstanding clients in the industry whom he considered friends. To honor his wishes, there will not be a memorial service.


The family is thankful to the Olympia Firefighters, Medic One, St. Peter Hospital ER physicians, nurses and staff, and the ICU team who cared for Rick. In remembrance of Rick's life, the family asks that any charitable donations be made to your favorite charity.  


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