Doris Richards: She was at the hub of business in West Seattle
In the 1960s, long before the internet and before the transformation of our community that ramped up the business activity that characterizes us now, there was a small group of activists who kept the fires burning.
One of those people was Doris Richards Cole, whose family has strong roots here. Along with others, Richards helped give the community its flavor and sense of being a special place to live and work.
Doris worked for the West Seattle Herald in the 1960s. The paper was then owned by Clyde Dunn, Jr. with offices on Alaska Street. Doris worked under the direction of its advertising manager Warren Lawless. In 1966, she and Lawless purchased West Seattle Associates, Inc., a West Seattle printing, publishing and association management business. The company published the West Seattle Directory and helped many West Seattleites with wedding invitations and services.
She and Lawless also ran the West Seattle Hi-Yu, West Seattle Chamber of Commerce, and many other community and trade associations. When Lawless retired in 1992, Doris became President/CEO of the company.
There are vestiges of the work of Doris Richards throughout the community.
Doris also was very active in the West Seattle Junction development and West Seattle Trusteed Properties (free parking). She helped fund “the murals of West Seattle.”
At her death August 10 at age 89, she left a record of life in public service. Doris was a founding member of the West Seattle Soroptimists Club, a leading businesswomen’s organization. She has won many awards and recognitions for her service in many organizations.
Clay Eals, former editor of the West Seattle Herald and White Center News from 1983 to 1988 and more recently former executive director of the Southwest Seattle Historical Society, came into contact with Doris in business settings and regarding the Kiwanis Club.
“Doris was a devoted business partner to Warren Lawless, certainly a fierce advocate and protector of everything he did. Her determination and buoyant spirit played a big role in their many successes,” Eals said.
May Doris rest in peace.