Richard Glenn Harward, 80, quietly and peacefully slipped away from his family to rendezvous with his awaiting wife in the early morning hours of Wednesday 28 July 2021 in Provo, Utah.
Born January 10, 1941 in Salt Lake City, Utah to Wendell R Harward and and Edna May (Collier). Richard was the middle brother to 4 sisters, Wendy (Amendola), Betty (DuRoss), Joy (Henrichsen), and Glenda (Parker). He roller-skated in his basement near Liberty Park with his sisters to the family juke box long before rollerblading and AirPods were invented. His charismatic style (“Get Rich Quick!”) elected him to student body president of his graduating class in 1959 at South High School. A spiritual gold rush in the Northern California Mission solidified his religion, and when he left Buena Vista Terrace, he thought he had left his heart in San Francisco next to the Golden Gate.
After attending the University of Utah for a couple of semesters, he found his heart beating again when he spotted the woman of his dreams, Ruth Ann Harker. After seeing his sincerity, optimism, and love for the gospel of Jesus Christ, she agreed to marry him in the Salt Lake Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on September 2, 1964 and start a family. Together, their first love was family. Doubling up on their first, they welcomed a surprise: twins, Lisa Ann (Stewart) and Carrie Lynn (Luebke). Soon after, Becky Jane (Lee) and Neil Richard joined the family. Programming with stacks of computer punch cards at the Church Office Building paid the diaper and bottle bills; but greener pastures were luring him away back into the “mission field”.
With unbelted, sleeping kids in the back seat of an old station wagon, Richard and Ruth left Salt Lake to look for adventure. After a short stay in Denver, they found themselves in Garden Grove, California. Richard knew this was the place for his growing family when he discovered that if he kissed his sweetheart every single night at 9:30pm, nearby Disneyland would oblige and send up fireworks. Consequently, they lovingly welcomed two more into their family circle, Laura Naoma (Rhoades) and Matthew Collier.
By this time, Richard was able to upgrade transportation to a big shiny yellow van to cart his family to the beach thanks to Martin Marietta and Hunt-Wesson Foods keeping him involved in the quickly changing world of computer programming. More change came in unexpected ways too. A calling to preside over their local congregation intertwined Richard and Ruth’s family into the lives of a close knit ward. The kids grew quickly. BYU charmed the twins away from the family, and Richard put on his BYU socks which never came off.
After laying down those social roots and with the family downsized, a dramatic business decision broke up the constant California sunshine with a decision to move the family to Seattle. His friends protested as he drove his family up the coast, stopping only for his favorite view of San Francisco from the Oakland Temple.
Work at Boeing, and more amazing friendships greeting him and his family. Richard’s love of family and gospel-based optimism carried him through every facet of his life. After sending the remaining 4 kids to BYU, he and Ruth retired to Idaho Falls, Idaho and then to Vineyard, Utah.
Richard’s love for his 6 children, 23 grandchildren, and 13 great grandchildren that he left behind continues to run strong, pure, and deep. He will be missed.
Funeral services will be held at 11:00am Wednesday, August 4, 2021 at the Vineyard Stake Center on 422 E 400 S Vineyard Utah 84058 with a viewing preceding at 9:30 a.m. Interment next to Ruth will be held Thursday, August 5, 2021 at the Sugar City Cemetery in Sugar City, Idaho.
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