Cover photo for Richard William Belmont Jr.'s Obituary
Richard William Belmont Jr. Profile Photo
1939 Richard 2021

Richard William Belmont Jr.

July 24, 1939 — May 19, 2021

In Loving Memory of
Richard William. Belmont Jr.

Richard was born in the Northwest corner of Washington state at Neah Bay on July 24, 1939. He is the son of Richard and Lily Belmont. He was the second youngest of 5 children which included his four sisters: Ivy Cheyney, Maureen Sather, Dicky Johnson, and Sharon Ogilvie. Around the age of 5, his father moved the family to Bremerton, WA. He would spend the rest of his life in Bremerton working for 26 years at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard as a radiographer after which he retired. Richard was a staunch advocate of Native American rights and made several trips to the Supreme Court of the United States guaranteeing Native Americans the right to fish the ancestral areas which were being impeded by Washington state.

He took the famous Olphant case all the way to the United States Supreme court. This case was a major test of the balance of power on jurisdiction of Tribe’s on Indian Reservations.

While serving his 3 terms as the Suquamish Tribe's, Council Chairman and starting with virtually nothing, Richard laid the groundwork, which has led to the Suquamish tribe's current prosperity. He established the very first Tribal Museum, The Tribal Center, and the first fish hatchery at Suquamish. Richard was a hardworking, kind, and generous person who would stop to help neighbors and strangers alike. He had an infectious laugh and a wicked sense of humor. He loved to play pickleball and softball which he regularly won awards for, well into his 60s. His true passion though was fishing for trout in Kitsap county’s many lakes and hand throwing and pulling his Salmon nets in the Sinclair inlet which he did well into his 70’s. He is survived by his wife of 26 years Kathryn Belmont, his son David Zurflueh, his daughters, Michelle Lanning, Maureen Belmont-Covington, and Marta Heath, his stepchildren Samantha Bluhm and William Mumma, his 12 grandchildren, 6 great-grandchildren, and numerous nieces and nephews. Richard had a big personality and was liked by many. His presence will be greatly missed. His suffering now ended he is with the Creator, his Ancestors, and his beloved dog Lord Ish of Belmont may he rest in peace.

Arrangements are entrusted to Cook Family Funeral Home of Bainbridge Island, WA

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