Leo Vernon passed away at home on October 30, 2012 following
a brief battle with pancreatic cancer. His surgery on August
13, 2012, gave him a few more precious months with his family.
Richard was born on November 12, 1947 in Provo, Utah, to
Leo and Fern Vernon when his father was studying at Brigham
Young University. Richard lived in Provo, Utah, Wisconsin,
St. Louis, Missouri, and at age 13, Sweden for a year, when
his father was involved in research. He returned to Ohio
where he suffered a near fatal accidental fall at age 15.
Playing piano left-handed became simply a trade-mark rather
than a disability. He graduated from Yellow Springs High
School in 1965. He loved Ohio and cheered on their sports
teams for the rest of his life.
Richard attended BYU from 1965-1967 studying economics.
He served an LDS mission to Sweden from 1967—1969.
People often told him he spoke the complex Swedish language
with a near-perfect accent. He received his BA from BYU
in 1972 and got his MBA from BYU in 1975.
Richard was married to Helen Janice Carey in the Salt Lake
Temple January 18, 1979. His dear friend President Spencer
W. Kimball performed the ordinance. Helen brought two beautiful
daughters to the union from a previous marriage, Amanda
6 and Sarah 4.
He worked at Zion’s Bank in Salt Lake City. From
there he went to Billings Corp. in Provo in 1979 where little
Rachel was born 9 months after their marriage. When Billings
transferred, Richard moved his small family to Independence,
Missouri in 1979-1987. Here was where four more children
were born; Catherine (Carrie) in 1981, Hallie Martha in
1982, and Elizabeth in 1983.
The first boy came to them in Independence in 1985, Parley
Mormon. After leaving Billings and doing several small jobs
they moved to Brighton, Colorado, where they lived from
1987-1998. A few months after moving to Brighton, little
Julia, their seventh daughter was born in 1987. After a
long 4 year wait and many prayers for a new baby, 1991 brought
their ninth child and second son, William Preston. Richard
had found his niche in teaching at the college level and
taught at Mansfield Jr. College and Parks Jr. College. He
had a love for his students and a gift for knowledge and
teaching. In 1998 he moved his large family to their final
city, beloved Alpine. They purchased a large Tudor style
3 story home across from Moyle Park and Richard began teaching
at the BYU-Salt Lake Center. These challenging years with
five teenagers in the home at a time were where Richard
really showed his ability to direct and guide. He loved
his children’s involvement in sports and was their
most avid support in cross country, track, football and
soccer. Soon the children were leaving to college and missions
and just as quickly as they came, they left. In 2006 Richard,
Helen and 15 yr. old William moved into John Rowe Moyle
Park across the street. Richard was still teaching part-time
as he began caring for the park. He did the mowing and upkeep
as well as hosting the numerous gatherings, reunions, pack
meetings and field trips. The grounds were never more beautiful.
His joy was energetically greeting all who chanced to come
into the park and helping with the numerous eagle projects.
You could catch his firm side if you brought a dog up the
lane, stayed past dark, or climbed on the rock wall. Everyone
loved him and felt the true spirit he shared of the historically
Richard’s daughters began to marry and from 1998-2010
he welcomed son-in-laws Rod Cramer (Sarah), Prenten Frazier(Rachel),
David Sakry (Amanda), Scott Hillman (Hallie), Patrick Webb
(Carrie) , Seth Taylor (Elizabeth) and Jason Garrard (Julia).
June 2012 Richard welcomed Mackenzie (Parley) into the family.
Grandchildren followed with Andrew, Mariah, Rachel, Eleanor,
Irene Thankful, Summer, Gloria and Lawrence Cramer; Enoch,
Joel and Alan Frazier; Kierra, Alaya, Julia and Titus Hillman;
Logan Webb; Joseph, Kenneth and Nellie Taylor, and new Timothy
Garrard. Baby "Richard" Taylor is expected to
arrive in Connecticut soon.
Richard was successful in all areas of his life. He was
humble, compassionate and filled with faith. Richard had
a self-esteem and confidence that came from being true and
obedient to a higher source. He could not be persuaded to
vary any degree from a righteous decision and he exhibited
an inner strength and character that magnified his faith.
He knew the Lord’s will for him and he did it. His
was a life of miracles leaving in its wake a multitude of
family and friends blessed his love. He was truly Christ-like.
Funeral services will be held Saturday, November 3, 2012
at 2:00 pm, in the Alpine North LDS Stake Center Chapel,
1125 East Alpine Boulevard, Alpine, Utah. Family and friends
may call Friday evening from 6:00-8:00 pm at the Alpine
North Stake Center and also Saturday afternoon from 12:45-1:45
pm prior to services at the church. Interment will be in
the Alpine City Cemetery.