Golden Township Trustee and Oceana County Council on Aging Director Richard “Dick” Walsworth died last Friday Dec. 27. He was 77.
In addition to serving on the township board, Walsworth was active in the local and national asparagus industry. He was also a member of the Oceana Electric Board, chairman of the Great Lakes Energy Board, chairman of the Wolverine Power Board and a member of the Spartan Renewable Energy Board. He was trustee at the Mears United Methodist Church. He also served on the Boards of Determination with the Oceana County Drain Commission and was chairman of the MACMA board. He served two terms on the Michigan Asparagus Advisory Board, and was an active Farm Bureau member.
“Dick was a leader like no other,” said Michigan Asparagus Advisory Board Executive Director John Bakker. “He was involved with almost all the aspects of the industry.”
Bakker said Walsworth saw the value of organizations and communities working together. Not only did Walsworth look after his own farm, Bakker said he also looked out for neighbors and was always willing to help. Bakker said Walsworth was not only involved with the Michigan asparagus industry but was involved across the nation and was highly respected in California, Washington and New Jersey.
“Always fighting for the industry,” Bakker said.
“He was a force to be reckoned with,” said Golden Township Supervisor Carl Fuehring. “Dick was a very interesting person.”
In addition to serving on the township board, Walsworth served on the township planning commission and the township road committee. Fuehring said Walsworth also was instrumental in getting a township road millage passed when first implemented 30 to 40 years ago, adding that the program has been very successful since.
“On the roads, it was the envy of the county,” Fuehring said. “I think our roads reflect that.”
Fuehring also pointed out the entire Walsworth family has been community-oriented and that they step up to the plate.
“His presence is going to be sadly, sadly missed,” Fuehring said. “He was a very community-oriented fellow and was an exceptional farmer.”
Walsworth is immediately survived by his wife, Marcia; daughter-in-law, Janice Walsworth; and son-in-law, Roger Ward along with several grandchildren. A complete obituary is on Page 4b this week.