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Richard Tagman
In Memory of
Richard John Tagman
1941 - 2017
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Obituary for Richard Tagman

Richard Tagman
Richard John Tagman

Richard John Tagman of Montesano unexpectedly passed away at his home Wednesday, December 27, 2017. Dick was born to John Henry and Anna Joyce (Aubuchon) Tagman on March 14, 1941 in Aberdeen, WA.

Dick grew up in the Wynooche Valley on the family dairy farm, where a strong work ethic was instilled in him at a very young age. He attended Montesano schools and graduated in 1959. He also attended Grays Harbor Community College and graduated from Seattle University with a degree in Accounting. Dick married Sandi (Leetham) Baker, and they had four children; they later divorced. He married Betty (West) Zillyett in 1983, and with her three children, they sweetly referred to their blended family as “The Brady Bunch.”

In high school, Dick excelled as an athlete in football, basketball and baseball. In 2015, he was inducted into the Montesano High School Hall of Fame as a member of the 1957 championship football team. While attending Grays Harbor Community College, Dick played both football and baseball.

After graduating from college, Dick worked in the accounting department at Weyerhaeuser in Tacoma and later transferred to the Weyerhaeuser Cosmopolis office. He then worked fulltime on the family dairy farm; while at the same time, he took on a few accounting side jobs for a number of small trucking and logging companies.

In 1972, Dick began his long career in the timber industry, retiring in 1996 and then splitting his company, helping Roger Smith and Craig Carter to each establish his own successful company – R.L. Smith Logging and H. Craig Carter Logging. It wasn’t long that Dick came to the realization that retirement was not really for him. He and his lifelong friend and classmate, Bob Whanell, started up a new business, WT Timber, buying timber sales and having them logged.

Growing up on the family dairy left farming in his blood – he loved haying season and was always smiling when on his tractor. If he wasn’t in the woods, checking on a job or home on his tractor, he could be found at any one of his kids’ or grandkids’ sporting events or activities. He was definitely their number one fan always! He and Betty even spent their honeymoon in Binghamton, NY, watching Sheila’s softball team in the National Tournament. Dick was an avid sports fan and enjoyed watching and following athletics on all levels, but he especially loved his Montesano High School Bulldogs!


Dick served in the Army Reserves for a number of years. He was also a member of St. John’s Catholic Church in Montesano, where he had served on the Finance Council. Dick will forever be remembered for his kindness and generosity toward all. He was thought of as a father figure by many and always set an example as a true gentleman.

Dick is survived by his wife, Betty; his children Patrick (Lisa) Tagman, Julie (Thomas) Yoney, Sheila (Ted) Baker, Matthew Tagman, Teri Zillyett, Steve (Michelle) Alderman, Tonya (Roger) Ashlock, and Jay (Michelle) Zillyett; a sister Marilyn (Jack) Glasgo and a brother Ron (Linda) Tagman; grandchildren Lexi and Michael Tagman, Megan (Allen) Heinrich, Zack and Riley Harper, Devyn and Austin Baker, Ashley (Cody) Sample, Maguire and Carlee Cavanaugh, Cora Ashlock, Taylor and Teegan Zillyett, and Natasha Armstrong; and great-grandchildren Treycen and Chase Sample.

A private family burial will take place on Friday, January 5, and there will be a Memorial Service on Sunday, January 7, at 1:00 PM at the Bo Griffith Memorial Gymnasium, 302 North Church Street, Montesano, WA. A reception will follow at the Montesano High School Commons.

Memorial donations may be made to the Brady Volunteer Fire Department, 8 Firestation Road, Montesano, WA 98563 or the charity of one’s choice.

Arrangements are by Harrison Family Mortuary of Montesano, WA.
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