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‘Truly a good man’

Staff Writer | May 5, 2020 1:13 AM

Rich Houser dies at 58

Rich Houser, Kootenai County assessor and a man known for his desire to volunteer and his passion help others, died Sunday.

He was 58.

In February, Houser was found to have level 4 glioblastoma brain tumor and underwent brain surgery on Feb. 17. He was undergoing radiation and chemotherapy treatments to shrink the tumor and came down with an infection.

“Anytime his name was mentioned, it was done so with appreciation and respect,” said Post Falls Mayor Ron Jacobson. “I can honestly say I never heard anyone speak ill of him. It appeared to me that Rich was a quiet man. Someone who preferred doing, much more than being recognized for doing. The community was a better place because of him.”

He said on a business level, Houser was always helpful.

“Anytime I reached out to him for information, he responded quickly and graciously,” Jacobson said. “He was always willing to provide assistance when asked. With Rich, what you saw is what you got. A man of kindness, generosity and strong character.”

Post Falls Lions Club recently presented Houser with the Melvin Jones Fellowship Award. He also received numerous other awards for his community service.

Houser started work at the assessor’s office in July 1986. He was appointed chief deputy assessor in January 2003, and elected assessor in 2019.

Houser and his wife Pam, married about 40 years, have three children and several grandchildren.

Kootenai County’s commissioners had high praise for Houser:

“Truly a good man; he’ll be sorely missed. Positions such as his are very difficult to fill. When you get into this type of appraisals, mass appraisals, different level of complexity, something a lot of residents don’t understand, and understandably so. He understood all of those intricacies. He hired good people. Did a good job of training them.” — Chris Fillios

“One time I had some very irate taxpayers come in and I called Rich and asked if he could help explain their taxes. He said sure, send them on down. In about 30 minutes they understood completely. He handled them with respect and dignity and explained how their property values were assessed. They went away very happy.” — Bill Brooks

“He was a joy to work with. He always had a smile on his face. He was a wealth of knowledge.” — Leslie Duncan

A celebration of Rich Houser’s life is scheduled 11 a.m. Saturday, May 16 at Real Life Ministries in Post Falls.