John Patrick Richlin died June 17 in Coupeville, Wash., of an aggressive form of cancer that took him so quickly, family and friends barely had time to say goodbye. His great love and dearest friend, wife Judy Sibley Richlin, was by his side to the end. Recently, they were getting ready to leave on an extended trip to Portland, Ore., to visit his brother, Dennis Foster and wife, Carolyn, then to northern California to spend time with friends. They planned a stop in Prescott, Ariz., to visit daughter, Lisa Richlin Davis, her husband Tim, and grandchildren Chelsea and Christopher, before driving to Virginia Beach, Va., visiting with the Sibley family and friends. We know John is driving his big motor home where none can follow for now. It is certain that whoever he meets or reconnects with along the way will enjoy the company of this wonderful man.

The date, place and time for a gathering to celebrate John’s life will be posted on To access John’s page, a member name (whidbeyjohn) and password (whidbey) is needed. You can also register as a guest and receive updates.

John was born Jan. 13, 1940, in Grass Valley. He has been described as a big man with a big heart. He had many talents that he enthusiastically embraced, mastered and left behind to pursue his next big challenge. Throughout his life, his passion for photography was always a constant. A sampling of his work can be viewed at

John graduated from Nevada Union High School in 1957 and maintained some lifetime friendships with his former classmates. In 1981 he earned a bachelors degree in Criminal Justice from the University of San Francisco. He worked various positions in law enforcement his entire adult life. He was a police officer in Union City and Sunnyvale, retiring as a Lieutenant. He worked at the California Department of Justice in Sacramento, the Nevada State Gaming Control Board in Las Vegas and Reno, and the National Indian Gaming Commission in Washington, D.C., retiring as Deputy Director of Field Investigations.

John is survived by son, Kevin Richlin and wife Melinda, and daughters Amanda and Alicia.

He will be missed tremendously by his sister, Suzanne and husband Joaquin Arango, and many cousins, nephews, nieces, their spouses and children, and many dear friends, who he considered to be family.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Grass Valley and Nevada County make The Union’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.


Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User