Richard “Dick” Wirth
Richard “Dick” Wirth,73, passed away on Thursday, March 22, 2018 due to complications from pulmonary fibrosis in Rancho Mirage, CA. He was a longtime resident of Los Angeles and Palm Desert, CA. He was an avid golfer who enjoyed his membership at Avondale Golf Club, Palm Desert, CA.
Richard was a longtime friend of the of the Los Angeles County Fifth District and the Los Angeles County family, where he built partnerships between the county departments, business organizations, and organized labor. Dick is remembered for his commitment to the County and for working exclusively on projects that supported the long-term vision of the Greater Los Angeles Region.
Before moving to Los Angeles, Richard began his career as an Assistant City Manager in Joliet, Illinois. In 1972, he became Director of Government Affairs for the Building Industry Association (BIA) of Southern California with responsibility for the development of legislative programs in nine Southern California counties. In 1980, an alliance of major California builders formed the Governmental Affairs Council (GAC) as part of the BIA, in which he served as Executive Director until 1994. He established Wirth & Associates in 1985, a governmental relations firm specializing in working with local governments throughout California. Wirth & Associates also worked to develop legislation on Local Government, State of California, and Federal level.
Throughout his career Richard served on numerous boards and commissions including serving as the first Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Los Angeles County Housing Development Corporation. Through his efforts, 200,000 underprivileged families received housing. And he helped found the Public Inebriate (Skidrow) Program of Los Angeles. He also served on the Board of Directors of the Mexican-American Opportunity Foundation where he was honored as the Man of the Year for his efforts in establishing day care centers. He also served on the Board of Directors of Moss Beach Homes (now Aspiranet), a major provider of private foster care throughout California.
Dick grew up in Joliet, Illinois, the son of the late Conrad Sr. and Velma (Johnston) Wirth. Dick excelled in baseball, playing little league, colt, pony and at Joliet Township High School. He attended Joliet Grade Schools, and graduated from Joliet Township High School in three and a half years, Class of 1962. He received his undergraduate degree from Northern Illinois University. He did graduate work at Southern Illinois University and Interamericana University in Saltillo, Mexico. He studied law at Santa Clara University.
Richard was charismatic, witty, compassionate, and generous. His mid-western roots shaped his personal philosophy which resulted in his reputation as an intelligent and highly ethical negotiator.
His beloved sister Nancy Wirth, passed away shortly after Richard on March 28, 2018. He is survived by his wife Sera and nephews, Wayne, Warren, and Wade Wirth.
Funeral Services will be held, at St. Edward’s Episcopal Church, on Monday April 16, 2018 at 10:30 a.m. along with his sister Nancy Wirth, who passed 6 days later. Visitation Monday morning at church from 10:00 a.m. until time of services. Private entombment at Woodlawn Memorial Park. In lieu of flowers memorials to Aspiranet a program to help families at Aspiranet.org.