Today we say goodbye to the most epic father that any family could ever have wished for. Richard had a zest for life that few people have ever had. He was born in California and was living in Pearl Harbor with his family when it was bombed. His family moved around quite a bit during his childhood including stops in Utah, Colorado, and Illinois. We loved hearing stories about all his youthful adventures that led him to be the man he was.
After graduating high school in California, Richard joined the army and served in the 101st Airborne. He was a decorated sharp shooter who, because of his skills, was posted as one of four snipers protecting the Little Rock Nine.
After his time in the army, he completed his degree in Chemistry at the University of California Berkeley. At that time the most monumental moment of his life occurred when he met the love his life, Diane Petersen who was also obtaining her degree in Chemistry. The two of them walked through life in a love affair that both inspired and embarrassed their children.
Richard had many important and interesting jobs, but he made a career as a scientist at Los Alamos National Laboratory. However, his true happiness was spending his free time taking his family on wild and crazy adventures that included anything where if you didn’t die, you considered it a win. We rafted, hiked, hunted, fished, backpacked and spent a lot of time very, very lost. In his later years he expanded his journeys to travel the world to far and unknown places that most people couldn’t find on a map.
Richard was preceded in death by his beautiful wife Diane in 2016, a loss from which he truly never recovered. He is survived by four loving daughters: Kari of Kansas City, MO, Chrestine of Morrison, CO, Melanie of White Rock, NM, and Cindi of Salt Lake City, UT. He also leaves behind twelve devoted grandchildren (Sarah, Lauren, Alex, Grace, Sophie, Calvin, Emma, Kimberly, Nathan, Claire, AJ, and Adam), an amazing brother-in-law (Andrew) and sister-in-law (Julia), many nieces, nephews, and friends, and Pika his faithful furry companion to the end.
Richard left this world in the same way he lived it…on his own terms. We are left gutted and sad but immersed in the gratitude of every day we had the blessing to have him in our lives. If you are so inclined, please make a donation in his memory to his favorite charity St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.