Richard (Dick) Alburn Ainsworth 1941 - 2021

MISSOULA - Richard (Dick) Alburn Ainsworth, lifelong Missoula resident, died Sept. 26 at St. Patrick’s Hospital of complications following a heart attack. He was 80 years old. Although a Missoula resident, over the course of his life he had a long affiliation with the Placid-Seeley Lake area.

Dick was born in 1941 at St. Pat’s to parents A.L. (Bud) and Kay Ainsworth. He attended kindergarten on the Montana State University campus (now U of M), Paxson grade school and Missoula County High School, now Hellgate High.

Following graduation, he enrolled in then Montana State College in Bozeman to study architecture and design, which were lifelong interests. After two years he returned to Missoula and began eight years of experiential learning with local engineering companies, acquiring the skills of a draftsman and surveyor.

The next step was to open his own business. He spent 39 years as owner of/partner in a consulting engineering, surveying and land use planning firm in Missoula. He retired from active practice in 2006.

Dick also developed several real estate projects including small infill homes in Missoula and with a partner, second-home subdivisions on Placid and Salmon Lakes.

With the assistance of Missoula builder Wade Hoyt, he established a small townhouse project named Water’s Edge on the Clark Fork River in East Missoula. His last project, a cabin on Daisy Lane in Seeley Lake, was completed earlier this year.

He gave back generously to his profession and community. A partial list of his community service includes 10 years on the County Airport Board; two stints on the Missoula Consolidated Planning Board; multiple terms on the Missoula County Planning and Zoning Commission; a founding member of, and 12 years of service on the East Missoula County Planning and Zoning Commission. He also served on boards for local professional land surveyors and engineers.

Dick had three wives: Sheri Rehm, Margo Lane and Linda Smith. “They were all nice ladies,” he said. “I was just having had a little trouble finding the ‘right one’.”

He and Linda were married in 1991 at the Ainsworth family cabin on Placid Lake, a union that lasted 30 years.

The Placid cabin was built on a lot purchased by Dick’s parents in the early 1950s for $1,500. Construction was completed in 1953 and it remained a retreat for the entire Ainsworth clan until its sale in 2019 to a young family from Great Falls with three boys.

Dick is survived by: his wife Linda Ainsworth and her children Stephanie Cain and Keven Cain; his wife Stephanie; daughter Tahnee Waters and her husband Brad Waters; sister Ann Behan and her husband Dick Behan; four grandchildren; two cousins; nieces and nephews.

In saying “Goodbye” to Dick we remember his standard greeting to family and friends alike -- a robust, cheerful “Howdy!”

Due to the pandemic, there are no current plans for a memorial service.


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