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Jacquie and Dr Richard Litchfield

The descendants of pioneer familes who arrived in Oregon in the 1850s and 1890s, respectively, Richard Litchfield of Newport met his wife Jacquie while both were students at Willamette University in her home town of Salem. Richard went on to dental school in Portland, then served an orthodontic residency in New Jersey, while Jacquie came to Eugene for a master's in counseling. He rejoined her here in 1971 and had a private practice in orthodontics until his retirement two years ago. She worked as a school counselor in the 4J District. "About 12 years ago, I felt I needed to contribute something," says Richard, who signed up with Health Volunteers Overseas to teach orthodontics at a dental school in Hanoi, Viet Nam, in 2000. "Jacquie came along to teach English." The couple fell in love with the country and the people they met. This year they will return to familiar lodgings at the "Lucky Hotel" in Hanoi for the 10th consecutive year. "My style of teaching is to observe and diagnose cases together and share western techniques," says Richard. "The idea for me is to get to the peasants. The people we teach will teach others who work in the hamlets and villages."

happening people

photograph and story by Paul Neevel

Eugene Weekly / 19 March 2009

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