Richard 'Rick' Urion

Posted: Thursday, June 26, 2008

Douglas resident Richard "Rick" Urion died June 24, 2008. He was 69.

Born June 8, 1939, in New Jersey, to Alice and Howard Urion, the lure of adventure enticed him to Alaska in 1960 and shortly after, he moved to Anchorage to work in construction.

Elected to the Alaska House of Representatives from West Anchorage in 1972, 1974 and 1976, he served as minority leader in his final term. During his legislative tenure he spoke out against the capital move - a bold move at the time for an Anchorage legislator.

After making Juneau his permanent home, he worked as a lobbyist and spent several summers driving a Princess bus, entertaining visitors while educating them about Alaska. In 2003, he became director of the Division of Corporations, Business and Professional Licensing in the Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development, retiring in 2007.

As a history buff and accomplished videographer and photographer, he produced three highly acclaimed videos about mining in Juneau. His photographs hang in the Fairbanks Court Building.

Always a passionate advocate for Juneau, he served on the Alaska Committee during the 1994 legislative move battle. On Feb. 29, 2008, the Alaska Legislature acknowledged his service to the state and its citizens, honoring him with a citation for his many accomplishments and contributions.

A devoted husband and father and generous friend, Urion was known for baking and delivering his famous chocolate chip cookies to his many friends inside and outside the Capitol.

He was preceded in death by his parents and older brother, Howard Urion Jr.

He is survived by his wife, Ginger Johnson, of Douglas; sons, Andrew and Michael Urion, of Seattle, Wash.; brother, Earl Urion, of Woodstown, N.J.; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.

Because he walked the Treadwell Trail daily with his Irish setters, to celebrate his life, a memorial walk along the trail and reception at the Sandy Beach log shelter will be held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, June 28.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be sent to the Treadwell Historic Preservation and Restoration Society Inc., c/o One Sealaska Plaza, Suite 300 Juneau, AK 99801.

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