BARSTOW He was a quiet man most of the time, but people listened when Richard Miers spoke. And he seldom said no when they asked him for help.

According to his friends, it is partly because of Miers that the Veterans Home of California, Barstow was established. He was also instrumental in starting Hi Desert Charities, Barstow Rodeo Stampede and the Western American Railroad Museum. Miers' relationship with Barstow spanned nearly five decades, ending with his death on Saturday. He was 84-years-old.

"He was always there to help," said former mayor Lawrence Dale, who served on the railroad museum board with Miers. "Whenever Dick talked to you or gave you information, you could always take it to the bank. He was a very honest upstanding member of our community."

Miers moved his family to Barstow as a young accountant beginning a job as city finance director in 1962, according to his son, Jeff Miers. He started an accounting business as a public accountant in 1964 and began Miers and Miers Certified Public Accountants in 1992.

During the late 1980s, Miers was a member of the committee to bring the veterans home to Barstow. He established a foundation to pay for items like television sets, ping-pong tables and defribrillators at the home, said Mal Wessel, Barstow's former mayor, a member of the veterans support foundation and founder of Hi Desert Charities. Miers helped Hi Desert Charities and many other organizations obtain their non-profit status.

Wessel met Miers about 40 years ago as a client who needed help with his taxes, and had been working with him ever since then. According to Wessel, it is because of Miers that Wessel had been able to beat his bout with colon cancer in 2008 and again in 2009.

"He saved my life," Wessel said, adding Miers convinced him to get a colonoscopy. "(My cancer) was in the very early stages and I had it removed. You know I think I'm alive today because of that and I told him that personally numerous times."

Services for Miers will be held at Mead Mortuary at 36930 Irwin Road at 1 p.m. April 15. In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent on behalf of Richard Miers to the pediatric intensive care unit fund at Shriner's Hospital for Children at 3160 Geneva Street, Los Angeles, CA 90020.

Contact the writer:
(760) 256-4123 or jcejnar@desertdispatch.com