Richard "Barney" Spielman

Saturday, December 22nd, 1945 - Wednesday, July 31st, 2019
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Richard Karl “Barney” Spielman, AKA Santa, passed away with family by his side July 31, 2019 at Providence Down Manor of Hood River, Oregon. Barney was born on December 22, 1945 and was 73 years of age at the time of his passing.

Barney went by many names. To his immediate family and friends in Roseburg, OR, he was “Dick”; to his many beloved nieces and nephews, he was “Uncle Dickie”; and to the Goodyear Blimp crew where he was their senior airship mechanic, he was “Barney.”

Years after marrying his wife Denise in 1983, at the request of a niece, he became “Santa” for her children’s Christmas party. He had found his calling. Naturally a kind and generous man with a hearty laugh and happy demeanor, his soul was the soul of Santa.

His December schedule was filled with appearances for charities, non-profits, private parties and the annual company party at his workplace, Horizon Air. Recently having moved to Hood River, he was the 2018 Santa for the Western Antique Aeroplane and Automobile Museum (WAAAM), where he was a volunteer. Wherever he went, all year round, his greatest joy was to hand out candy canes to brighten the day for everyone he came in contact with, as he was instantly recognizable. He thoroughly enjoyed being frequently asked to pose for pictures (“elfies”). He was, indeed, one of a kind.

A celebration of life will be held at 2:00 p.m. on September 28, 2019 at Westminster Presbyterian Church (1624 NE Hancock Street Portland, OR).

In lieu of flowers (due to certain allergies), the family would very much appreciate your consideration of a donation to WAAAM, to Heart of Hospice Foundation, or to the Domestic Violence Resource Center Oregon with “Mary Mac House” designated in the memo line. Donations can be mailed C/O Anderson’s Tribute Center (1401 Belmont Ave. Hood River, OR 97031).

Arrangements under the direction of Anderson's Tribute Center (Funerals • Receptions • Cremations) 1401 Belmont Avenue, Hood River, Oregon 97031.

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Service Details

  • Service

    Saturday, September 28th, 2019 | 2:00pm
    Saturday, September 28th, 2019 2:00pm
    Westminster Presbyterian
    1624 NE Handdcock Street
    PORTLAND, OR 97212
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    A celebration of life will be held at 2:00 p.m. on September 28, 2019 at Westminster Presbyterian Church (1624 NE Hancock Street Portland, OR).


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Lynn Wiles

Posted at 01:25pm
We met Barney through Denise and our work with her. He quickly became a friend as she had. Then Barney became Santa to our young daughter Zia. We still have a photo of Santa with Zia's name on the "nice" side of his "naughty and nice" list. We will cherish it always. Our love and condolences to Denise and the family.
Lynn & Kent Wiles
Albany, Oregon

Doug DuFresne

Posted at 02:16pm
Dear Denny and all the Spielman family,
I send my heartfelt condolences to you for your loss. Dick was a good friend when we were growing up. His giving ways and generosity are an inspiration for us all, as was his strength and control in the final episode of his life.
I am very sorry that Dick and you had to endure the pain of the past 7 months. But as with the rest of his and your lives you have retained your dignity, class, and even your sense of humor. Now that he has found peace he will live on in our memories.
Doug DuFresne, childhood friend and classmate

David Martinez

Posted at 03:31pm
Thanks for being my Santa. Rest in Pease Barney.

Gail Parnell

Posted at 01:54pm
Dear Spielman family, I send heartfelt condolences for Richard's passing. He was a gem in our world of today. His spirit and memory will live on through all of our memories and love. I wish you peace that passes understanding. Blessings, Richard's classmate, Gail White Parnell

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