|David MacDiarmid Memorial Service
April 4, 2011
A memorial service for former Richmond city Councilman and Contra Costa College Trustee David MacDiarmid will be held Wednesday April 20, 2011 @ 2:00 PM at the Contra Costa College Knox Theater.
David dedicated twenty years of his adult life to public service attempting to make things better for others and he did it without seeking personal gain or accolades; he did it because he thought he could help make things better and he did. He served for eight years on the Richmond City Council and for twelve years on the Contra Costa College Board of Trustees.
The MacDiarmid family felt that there was no better way to celebrate David’s life than to create a Scholarship Fund at Contra Costa Community College in his name. We all know that the cost for going to college today is approaching impossible due to the ever increasing costs of student fees and living expenses. The family has therefore asked that in place of sending flowers that a contribution be made to:
David MacDiarmid Scholarship Fund
From the Coontra Costa College Student Newspaper, The Advocate
Former district board member dies
MacDiarmid, 68, passes away due to lung disease
By Adam Oliver, news editor
Published: Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Updated: Wednesday, March 30, 2011 17:03
David MacDiarmid, an eminent figure in West Contra Costa County politics for more than 20 years, died Feb. 15 in Elk Grove. He was 68.
A carpenter by trade, MacDiarmid was a driving force in the development of Richmond's shoreline and surrounding infrastructure as a Richmond City Council member known for his relentless mettle and progressive vision.
Governing Board President John T. Nejedly said MacDiarmid's reputation as a brazen and intelligent leader continued when he was elected to the Contra Costa Community College Governing Board in 1994, where he served until 2006.
"He was a man of strong conviction, that's why I liked him. Stand for something or fall for anything, they say. And though we had our disagreements, and agreed to disagree at times, we worked together for the district," he said.
John Marquez, a longtime friend who served alongside MacDiarmid on the Richmond City Council, recounted a telling moment encapsulating MacDiarmid's political style.
When a young boy came to him stricken with fear from a loose dog at Point Isabel, he said, MacDiarmid put forth a proposal to require all dogs at the popular coastal park be leashed. And when nearly 300 dog owners stormed the city chambers in condemnation, MacDiarmid, firm in his resolution, only smiled.
"In spite of all that, he pushed his resolution forward. People were booing him, but he didn't care," Marquez said. "He didn't buckle under pressure."
Though the proposal lost by a landslide, MacDiarmid pursued the concerns of his constituents no matter how unpopular, he said.
"I admired him for that. I always trusted his judgment. If I hadn't, I probably would have said, ‘that guy's nuts'," Marquez said with a laugh.
Deeply rooted in West County, MacDiarmid served three terms as an ear-to-ground trustee for Ward 1 and advocated the needs of Contra Costa College's constituents and proved instrumental in the success of the district's 2002 and 2006 bond measures.
"He participated in debates on why we should support our bond measures," President McKinley Williams said. "He supported all of our colleges in a very strong way."
A CCC alumnus himself, MacDiarmid knew the need for improved facilities on campus.
"He knew how critical it was to get facilities modernized; he went around West County with me soliciting support for the bonds," district Chancellor Helen Benjamin said.
MacDiarmid also retained an inextricable bond with the campus and the community it serves.
MacDiarmid, who had long battled heart disease, died of complications of a lung disease at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Elk Grove.
MacDiarmid was born in Balta, North Dakota in 1942, eventually attending the University of Montana in Missoula, where he met his wife of 48 years, Carol.
After moving to California with his family and Carol, MacDiarmid worked as a builder before returning to school, earning a bachelor's degree in economics at UC Berkeley.
He later found a position at the East Bay Municipal Utilities District where he worked as a computer programmer for 10 years before leaving to build homes in Richmond. MacDiarmid returned to EBMUD in 1998 for another 10 years before retiring in 2008. He then moved to Elk Grove to be nearer to his daughter.
MacDiarmid is survived by his wife, Carol of Elk Grove; his daughter, Karolyn of Sacramento; his son, David Jr. of Platina; his sister, Marilyn Loskot of Platina;