Richard L. Gaulke, beloved husband, father and papa, passed away suddenly on Sunday, January 15, 2012, at the age of 79.

Richard was born in Havre, Mont., to Jack and Sylvia Gaulke. He was raised in Days Creek, Ore., and, after marrying his high school sweetheart, Patricia, left the area to serve a four year enlistment in the Navy. Upon his discharge, he and Pat settled in Ashland, Ore., and Richard earned his teaching degree at Southern Oregon College. He went on to teach school for 30 years at Wilson Elementary in Medford, Ore. Upon his retirement in 1989, Richard and Pat enjoyed traveling around the world and visiting their children and six grandchildren. He was an elder in the First Presbyterian Church in Ashland, and was very involved in church activities. He was a Mason, and was involved in DeMolay and Job's Daughters. He loved fishing, traveling, camping, and reading. He thoroughly enjoyed the company of others.

He is survived by his wife of 54 years, Patricia; son and daughter-in-law, Mike and Laura Gaulke; daughter and son-in-law, Sandra and Bill Ciaston; and grandchildren, Zach, and his wife, Sarah, Nick, Alexis, Kate, and William. He was preceded in death by his grandson, Zane.

A memorial service will be held at the First Presbyterian Church at the corner of Walker and Siskiyou Avenue in Ashland at 1:00 p.m., on Friday, January 20, 2012. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the American Heart Association.