A few short weeks ago, Fenton lost one of it’s most well-known neighbors, Mr. Richard Waser, affectionately known to many locals as "Mr. Springdale", the owner of the Springdale Park and Pool. I had the honor of celebrating with Rich on the night of my first election. Over the past few years, I met with Rich and his wife a few times to discuss business, the county and just to catch up. I was saddened to learn he passed away.
At his wake, representatives from a variety of local police departments were on hand to pay respects. You see, Rich invited K-9 trainers and handlers from around the St. Louis area, to train and practice at Springdale Park. He was the founder of the local PawStoppers organization, which raises money to pay for medical and other expenses of retired K-9 officers. He truly loved those dogs and the men that worked alongside them. And they loved him right back. One of the K-9 officers pinned a gold sheriff's deputy badge on Rich's lapel as a sign of respect and gratitude.
Rich was also a veteran, and a strong supporter of many veteran support organizations. Last summer, he hosted a picnic for local service members, veterans and their families with the Jefferson County Military Family Network.
I was also honored to speak with Rich’s two daughters. One, an accountant, and the other a small business owner. These young women were clearly the pride and joy of their father. In speaking with Rich’s family and friends, one could sense Rich’s steadfast dedication to his family, and to providing a place of enjoyment for local families at Springdale Park and Pool. Springdale Park and Pool has served Jefferson County for more than 60 years. I am told that the park and pool will continue to be open in 2013.
Although we won’t see Rich tooling around in his golf cart this summer, rest assured, the spirit of Mr. Springdale will be among us. Thanks for the memories.