Gary Riches

Gary Dick Riches

Monday, December 5th, 1949 - Thursday, May 14th, 2020
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Gary Dick Riches, 70, of Spanish Fork, Utah, passed away Thursday, May 14, 2020 in Payson at Mountain View Hospital. Gary was born December 5, 1949 in Payson, Utah to Benjamin and Ruth Fraser Riches. He graduated from Payson High School. He later received an Associates Degree in Auto Mechanics from Utah Technical College (currently Utah Valley University).

Gary met his sweetheart, Katherine Rachel Barker, at the Utah Technical College. They were sealed for time and all eternity in the Provo Temple on October 12, 1972. They were blessed with a son, Casey (Mandi) Riches and a daughter, Heidi (David) Rowbury. He worked hard to make sure their every need was met. He loved his family and enjoyed all the time that they spent together.

After high school, he served as a Seaman in the US Navy. He then worked for 20 years at Geneva Steel in various positions, and then finished his career working as a letter carrier for the US Postal Service in the Sugarhouse area.

He had a deep testimony of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. The gospel of Jesus Christ, his family, and the love of our country were a priority in is life. He served in many capacities in the church including as a veil worker at the Provo Temple, Sunday School President, High Priest Group Leadership, Nursery leader, Primary teacher, Cub master, and Boy Scout master.

He enjoyed serving in the Scouting program in all levels. He earned his Wood Badge beads as a cub scout leader and a boy scout leader, various awards from the district, and the Silver Beaver award. He was a Vigil Member of the Order of the Arrow. He mostly enjoyed spending time with the boys and letting out his inner child.

People knew him as the grouch, but he was the most tenderhearted man around. He loved doing service for others especially in the winter when he was able to plow the snow around the neighborhood. His hobbies included watching old western movies, shooting, fishing, camping, feeding the birds, and working to beautify his yard. He loved Christmas when he could decorate his house with lights and wrap presents for others.

Gary is survived by his wife, Katherine; children, Casey (Mandi) Riches and Heidi (David) Rowbury; and 8 grandchildren – Shayra, Taylyn, Skylar, and Keirra Riches and Duncan, Adaline, Gage, and Harley Rowbury. He was preceded in death by his mother and father.

A viewing will be held Tuesday, May 19, 2020 from 4:30 – 6:00 at Legacy Funerals and Cremations (3595 N Main St. Spanish Fork, UT 84660).

A Graveside Service which will be streamed live over the internet, to celebrate his life will take place Wednesday, May 20, 2020 at 11:00 am, at the Spanish Fork Cemetery (420 South 400 East). Streaming will begin at 10:45 a.m. on Facebook at Legacy Funerals & Cremations.

If you plan to attend the graveside service, we ask that you please remember strict social distancing.
The family expresses sincere thanks for all the care that was provided by the Nurses, Doctors, and support staff at Mountain View Hospital.

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Service Details

  • Visitation

    Tuesday, May 19th, 2020 | 4:30pm - 6:00pm
    Tuesday, May 19th, 2020 4:30pm - 6:00pm
    Legacy Funerals and Cremations
    3595 N. Main Street
    Spanish Fork, Utah 84660
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Graveside Service

    Wednesday, May 20th, 2020 | 11:00am
    Wednesday, May 20th, 2020 11:00am
    Spanish Fork Cemetery
    420 South 400 East
    Spanish Fork, Utah 84660
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Interment

    Spanish Fork City Cemetery
    420 S 400 E
    Spanish Fork, Utah 84660
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email


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Private Condolence
Reed E. Barker and David, Boas and the Anderson Family sent flowers to the family of Gary Dick Riches.
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The " Yooper Zone" "Once a Yooper always a Yooper"

Posted at 09:06pm
In loving memory of Gary Riches. who w/ his wife taught love for Jesus Christ's gospel to his children and grandchildren that has blessed our lives
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Dennis Riches

Posted at 02:27pm
I wanted to share a few fond memories of Gary. I’m sorry that my memory is not all that sharp sometimes on the details. Since Gary's passing, I have been thinking about the experiences that we had together. I've been trying to go back to my earliest memories. They go back to our home in Payson that was located directly across the street from Peteetneet Elementary School. I remember how we spent most of our days playing over at the school grounds. We played all the sports games; soccer, kickball, baseball, basketball, tetherball, etc. We also spent many days sledding, tubing or sliding down the steep hill on our shoes. We also played a lot in and rode bikes down the side street from our house. I think Gary taught me how to ride a bike on that side street, but I remember there were many rides he gave me sitting on the front handlebars of his bikes. We had a little irrigation ditch by the street and we raced many paper and wooden boats down that ditch. We also spent a lot of time riding bikes and hiking in the mountains up Payson Canyon. I remember Gary had an interest in guns and so we spent a lot of time going out of the city limits on the long back road between Payson and Spanish Fork, shooting miscellaneous birds with bee bee, pellet and 22 rifles. Then he got an over/under shotgun and we would go hunting the game birds, mostly pheasants with our Uncles; Rex, Dale, and Sam Peery and our Cousin Bart Peery. We also spent a lot of time, doing all the things boys do, with our best friend, Phillip Lewellen. I remember ice skating at the man made ice rink at the Cocoa Cola plant at the foot of the hill, across from Peteetneet. Gary probably taught me a love for fishing, for we spent a lot of time over at the Salem Pond, fishing and swimming. Our lives would have been sadly lacking if we had not also spent a lot of time at our Grandma Peery's and Rex and Lou Dene Peery's homes, just down the long hill from our home. We were really loved and went where the love was plentiful. I'm sure that all of the delicious food and treats drew us down there too. I remember he included me on most of his outings, so he must not have resented his little brother tagging along. When Gary got his drivers license, I remember going for a lot of rides with him. He had an old Chevy truck and if I remember correctly at some time he had a sporty Cuda (or a similar type of sports car) and was so excited about how fast it would go down the back road between Payson and Spanish Fork. After mom married Ron Spencer, we moved into his home and Gary went into the Navy, with a push from Ron. I was so proud that Gary was serving and so proud of how he worked so hard in the Naval Reserves to achieve his Chief Petty Officer rank. I moved to Salem, OR on a job from Utah Technical College and moved Mom, Linda and Carolyn up also. Then I went on my mission and the others continued their lives in Salem and later Milwaukie. As we got older, we spent less time together, getting involved in our own new families. You might say, in some ways, I was a distant admirer of Gary. I admired how he stayed faithful to his wife and family and God. I admired how he dedicated his life to them. I admired how he continued to show mom how important she was to him, always making his vacations to go the route of her home. I admired how he was the type of leader that the Boy Scouts of America would honor him with one of their most respected awards, the Silver Beaver. I admired how he joined with Katherine in their dedication to Family History and Temple Work. I admired how loving of a Grandfather he was. I know I was mostly distant, but I was and am a very grateful admirer and brother. Gary, thanks for all of your help, thanks for all of your goodness. I love you Gary and look forward to our reunion. Dennis

Reed E. Barker

Posted at 01:30am
Gary was a really great brother-in-law. He promised to take care of my little sister, Katherine, and he did. I never heard of any complaints; only compliments. I know without doubt that he loved his family. He was kind and trustworthy; a real Boy Scout. I admired how he carved neckerchief slides for his scouts, friends and family. More people should and could be like him. Some called him “grouch”, but he really was not. Just like some call me “grumpy”, they do it out of love for us. No kinder words are available than names of love. Gary was a sweet guy and we are going to miss him. Blaze on, my brother. We will see you at the top of the next hill.

Reed and Judy Barker

Reed E. Barker

Posted at 09:38pm
We love you and miss you Gary. May your family be well and taken care of as you did for them yourself. Judy and Reed
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Carolyn Hunter

Posted at 07:11pm
Growing up with Gary as the oldest brother in the family was always interesting. He always wanted to try new things. I remember nightly he along with Dennis, Linda and I would go out looking for nightcrawlers, to help sell to the people going up the Payson Canyon to go fishing. It was fun in the dark trying not to pull them too hard or step on them. He would put them in an old coffee can he found and we would try to be careful in only giving out a dozen at a time..Sometimes Linda and I gave out more and he would be so furious with us. He tried to find ways to get us back and we never knew if he would pop out to scare us throughout the day or not. It was never a dull moment growing up with him. I can still see his little smirk acting like he was innocent...We miss you terribly.

Shelley Petersen Posted at 09:17pm

I didn't get chance to grow up with my brother me or my Sister he was are stepbrother we got see him at are Grandfathers home in Spanish Fork as we grew up he always wanted 2 make sure we knew he was are BIG BROTHER always checking on us 2 see what we were doing . Typical Brother . lolllll. Later on as we grew up we got take Trip with are brother an his wife Kathleen to see are cousins what a memorable trip to are Uncle Roland, Passing to the other side .My Brother (Gary ) teased us whole trip we got play cards an sit an talk nights . And he always made sure he knew where we were ... And that we were safe before he retired for the night . Want till years later we seen him at are fathers bedsite at the Hospital An Through the following days prior 2 the funeral so Happy 😃 to see him and spend time with him an my Step Sister an Brother even though was sad time for are family .Through the years we stay connected through Christmas Cards and such . Weeks before passing of my Stepbrother Gary, are Cousin James passed also what sad time for are family but ... God called Gary home an My Dad was waiting to welcome him at Gods Door with open arms . Two Fathers welcomed their sons home all related same last name . Ill Miss My Brother me and my Sis but .Hes at Peace now and can't wait till the day I get 2 see my Brother at the Pearly Gates ... Love You 💖My Dear Brother .Your Sis Shelley, Lisa .

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