The final chapter of Roland Wesley Richards long and varied life ended on December 12, 2005 after a long struggle with cancer. He was 75. The well-known and loved businessman epitomized the spirit of entrepreneurialship with his locally renowned restaurants “Cap’n Yoby’s”.
Roland was born in Bear Creek, Montana on July 9, 1930. He moved to Longview, Washington with his parents Jack & Naomi (Youst) Richards in 1943. He was a 1948 graduate of R.A. Long High School and went on to study business at Lower Columbia Junior College, graduating in 1950. The “Cap’n Yoby’s” name was coined in 1962 for a restaurant on 15th in Longview and grew from there. Longview and Kelso owe this innovative character credit for fish and chips “Worth Rowing Ashore For”, frog jumps, battle of the bands, a pirate ship parade float and cruising.
Roland’s loved ones include former wives Shaffia of Newburg, Oregon, Rebecca Brooke of Toutle and Kay Vosika of Seattle. Children include Mark of Eugene, Oregon, Gayle Mace of Gardner, Colorado, David of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, John of Coconut Creek, Florida, AnnMarie Hathaway of Portland, Oregon, Stephanie Meadows of Longview and Priscilla of the Philippines. He has 2 stepdaughters and 18 grandchildren. His son Grant died in 1976 in a car accident.
He was a long time member of Sandbaggers and greatly valued the group’s camaraderie and hijinx.
He was an avid traveler and especially enjoyed the time that he spent in Florida and the Bahamas with his trimaran sailboat. He enjoyed watercolor painting and metal sculpture, of which a censored display at the Longview Public Library has never been repeated.
Other interests included motorcycling, skiing, tai chi and spending time with grandchildren.