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Albert Richard McCown
24 Oct 1924 – 7 Apr 2019
Albert Richard McCown passed away the morning of April 7, 2019 at the age of 94. Born in Seattle, 24 Oct 1924 to mother, Nanny Martina Peterson, a Swedish immigrant, and father, James Grover McCown from Texas, he was the youngest of four children, raised by his mother and siblings.
At the age of 17, Richard quit school and joined the US Navy a mere month prior to the attack on Pearl Harbor. After basic training, Richard started his seaman career on a sub chaser patrolling the Bahamas. He later went through submarine training and spent the rest of WWII in the Pacific. He was part of the commissioning crew for the USS Blackfin, which earned three battle stars during the war. At the close of WWII, Richard left active duty and was classified as a reservist. When the US entered the Korean police action, Richard was recalled to active submarine duty aboard the USS Carp. His combined service began on 6 Nov 1941 and ended on 3 Nov 1952 for a total of 10 years, 11 months and 8 days. In 1951 Richard married Maria Teresa Montes who was a Salvadoran boarding student in Texas. He earned his GED before getting his BS in Mining Engineering and Metallurgy at what is now UT-El Paso, during which time Richard and Maria had their first child, Gloria. Upon graduation, he took a position with ASARCO in San Luis Potosi, Mexico. During those three years in Mexico, Richard and Maria had their second child, Albert, Jr. Returning to the US, Richard joined the aerospace industry which lead to him working on projects like NASA’s Saturn rockets under Boeing Louisiana and the B-2 Stealth Bomber under Northrop-Grumman in Palmdale, CA. Richard retired at 75 and lived out the rest of his years in his home in Huntington Beach, CA.
Richard loved classical and world music, Buick station wagons, classic westerns, vanilla ice cream, fresh oranges, and anything related to submarines. He was a world traveler and regularly attended WWII sub vet conventions until there were no longer enough survivors to hold a meeting. He remained in touch, whether through phone calls, faxes, or letters, with the friends he made during the war and his travels through the years.
He was a kind, fun loving, patient, generous man who financially and emotionally supported his children and grandchildren, ensuring everyone got the education they desired. Richard loved and cared for his wife and partner of 68 years, even as she has suffered from advanced dementia. His generosity and humor never waned. Just a few weeks before his death, with a grin and mischievous giggle, he declared himself a rascal which became his code name among his family.
Richard is survived by his wife Maria McCown; daughter Gloria Weigle and her husband Bill; son Albert McCown, Jr. and his wife Jayne; grandchildren Will, Tim, and Kat Weigle, Eric, Mark, and Angeline McCown; great-grandchildren Ethan, Lizzie, Robby, and Charlie Weigle. He was predeceased by his brother Walter McCown, who passed during WWII, brother Russell McCown, and sister Edith Shirley.
Service was held at El Toro Memorial Park at 2:00 pm on Monday, April 15, 2019 officiated by Father Michael Tassos of St. Luke Orthodox Church with full Military Honor Guard.