Rich was born January 6, 1927, in St. Anthony, Idaho, to parents Louis and Rella Richards, Rich being the eldest of their six children; Rich, Twila, Grant, Raphael, Arlo and Deon. As a child, his family moved several times. One of his fondest memories was when they moved to Egin, where his Dad operated a 160-acre farm where they raised potatoes and hay. Rich spent time herding the cows out of the Juniper and playing in haystacks with his siblings.
Rich attended several different grade schools, O. E. Bell Junior High School and then attended Idaho Falls High School. He also enjoyed playing sports like football, baseball and was on the boxing team. He also owned three motorcycles, two Harleys and an Indian, all while in high school.
As a freshman in high school, on December 7, 1941, the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, and on the radio it was announced by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt that war had been declared. Rich spent wartime in high school, and after graduating, all available men enlisted into the service. Rich served in the U.S. Army and was awarded a Good Conduct Award (a World War II victory medal).
Rich then met and married Donna Olsen and together they had five children; Brent, Jana, Evan, Terry and Allison. During that time, Rich worked for Meadow Gold Dairies, followed by a career as a food broker for several companies. Rich and Donna divorced in 1974.
Rich enjoyed several hobbies. He was a member of the Pocatello Country Club, where he enjoyed golfing. He was also a member of the Rotary Club and also enjoyed hunting ducks, pheasant and sage hen.
After being on the singles scene, Rich met the love of his life, Carole, and gave her an engagement ring on her 50th birthday. They were married and sealed for time and all eternity in the Boise Idaho Temple on May 7, 1988.
Carole has four children; Larry, Michelle, Terri and Ron. That’s how the two families merged and became the Brady Bunch, with nine children between the two of them!
Rich and Carole loved to spend their time golfing and fishing. Some of their favorite fishing spots were Hagerman, Sage Hen, Boise River and Park Center Ponds. They also enjoyed traveling with frequent trips to Seattle, Portland, Salt Lake City, Yellowstone National Park and also drove on the famous “Road to the Sun” that takes you into Canada. They also had fun family vacations to Mexico and McCall.
During their marriage, Rich drove a school bus for 18 years for Laidlaw with the Boise School District. All the school kids loved Rich, and he loved them. Rich brought the school bus home so that the grandkids could sit in the big yellow bus!
Rich and Carole served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for the Boise Idaho Mission, where they served directly under the mission president. They loved working with all the missionaries. They were called as Ordinance Workers at the Boise Idaho Temple, where they served for ten years. Rich served in numerous callings within the church.
Together Rich and Carole have many grandchildren and great grandchildren. They always made time to attend school activities as well as multiple sporting events, cheerleading competitions, wrestling, dance recitals, pageants, body building competitions, 4-H and FFA events.
Both Rich and Carole have been wonderful examples to their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren of Christ-like love. Rich will be missed by all who knew and loved him. We will miss his endless smiles and his many jokes! His last words to Carole just before passing were “You are such a sweetheart.” God speed, Rich, till we meet again, and what a wonderful reunion it will be.
Rich is survived by his wife Carole; children Jana, Evan (Kathleen), Terry (Karen), Allison (Barry), Larry (Cheryl), Michelle (Kim), Terri, and Ron (Angela); Rich’s baby brother Deon; as well as their numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Rich was preceded in death by his parents Louis and Rella; siblings Twila (Lynn), Grant (Barbara), Raphael (Norma) and Arlo; son Brent; son-in-law Gene; and grandson Taylor.
Funeral services will be held Monday, October 7, 2019, 11:00am, at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 701 S. Curtis Rd., Boise, with a visitation from 10:00-10:45am before the service. Interment will follow at Terrace Lawn Memorial Gardens, 4225 E. Fairview Ave., Meridian. To offer condolences and read obituary, go to www.relyeafuneralchapel.com.