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Richard Jed Warner, 86, passed away peacefully on Friday, November 3, 2017 in Provo, Utah after a long  battle with Alzheimer’s, a progressive and devastating degenerative brain disease. While he lived life to its fullest, his death was a gentle and prayed-for event.

Richard was born in Fillmore, Utah to Newell Knight and Mar Ellen Warner on September 23rd, 1930. He was the second to the youngest of 10 children and the only one that his mother ever was compelled to chase through the house with the stove poker. Him deciding to jump out of an upstairs bedroom window to avoid her wrath was completely his idea! Richard is survived by his youngest sibling and sister Margene Pease.  He was recently joyously reunited with his deceased brothers Meldon, Duane, and Ray, and sisters Edith, Myrl, Beth, Mary and Helen.  And since his mother suffered a stroke that robbed her of her power of speech when Richard was only two years old, we are guessing that he and his Mom are currently having lots of nice, long conversations.

As a boy Richard was what might be described as a strapping young man. At a young age he was already helping his father load gravel into dump trucks in the freezing hours before he went to school, tromping down the hay bales at harvest time. As a teenager he loaded and unloaded freight on his father’s trucks and even worked in a meat-packing plant carrying sides of beef! In school, he excelled in pursuits of the extra-curricular variety. His main interest were sports, sports, and sports and he played just about every sport available to him, excelling in football and boxing. Being the youngest of 4 brothers he had a lot to live up to and did he ever! He was selected to be on the Utah High School All State football team in 1948, and competed and won many local state boxing championships which led to him winning the Intermountain Golden Glove Championship in 1949.

After graduating from Millard High in Fillmore, Utah in 1948, Richard received an offer he couldn’t refuse from the football recruiters at Utah State and took off for Logan, Utah where he took to the grid iron with LaVell Edwards, who would remain a life-long friend. Later he transferred to Branch Agricultural College (BAC) in Cedar City where he also played football and joined the Air Force along with five fellow students.

During the next few years Richard used all his charm to woo his “best friend” Carole Beverly Kimball who was attending college at the opposite end of the state. Who could resist a man who picked you up for dates in a dump truck without any windows? Despite the less than ideal dating conditions, Carole had no defense when it came to Richard and eventually succumbed to his Warner charm and agreed to marry him.

A wedding was planned for June, but In January of 1952, shortly after receiving his orders that would take him overseas to South Korea in a matter of weeks, Richard convinced Carole to become his bride. To use his words, “I determined that it was very important for my salvation to get married to Carole before I left.” He knew he would be gone for at least a year and didn’t want to risk losing her while he was gone, so smart man that he was, he wasted no time “putting a ring on it.” Within a week of proposing, Richard and Carole (but mostly Carole) planned a wedding and honeymoon. On January 30th, 1952 Richard and Carole were married at her home in Kanosh, Utah and five short days later, the newlyweds were separated when Richard set out on a ship bound for South Korea.

When Richard returned from South Korea a year later, he and Carole were sealed together for time and all eternity on February 24th, 1953 in the Salt Lake Temple. He attended The University of Utah for a time but soon the opportunities in California began calling his name and he and Carole packed up their meager possessions in a U-Haul trailer along with baby Cole (and another baby on the way) and arrived in Long Beach, California in September of 1955 to 113 degree temperatures and $355.00 to their names.

The kids started appearing one-by-one in 1954. Beginning with two sons, Cole and Kevin, and followed by the true apples of his eye, four daughters, Rebecca, Jill, JoAnn, and Dori.

As the babies came and grew, Richard worked tirelessly to support his family. He joined the Long Beach Fire Department where he worked for 5 years while he learned the electrical trade and studied for his electrical contractor’s license.  In 1958 with a $5,000 loan he started Warner Electric, Inc. out of his home.

Through sheer will, determination, and a whole lot of tenacity, Richard went from having never touched an electrical wire, to creating a company that ultimately ranked 26th in the nation among electrical contractors and was chosen to do the electrical installation on the Tom Bradley International Terminal and Terminal 1 at Los Angeles International Airport before the 1984 World Olympics. In business, as in love and fatherhood, he was generous and fair, and inspired deep and abiding respect from colleagues and employees alike. He had an indomitable entrepreneurial spirit that would go on to inspire his children and grandchildren to want to follow in those big footprints.

Richard subscribed to the work hard, play hard philosophy of life. He lived life to the fullest! From bear hunting in Alaska, to salmon fishing in Canada, to skiing in the Swiss Alps and golfing on beautiful courses around the world, Richard lived life to the fullest. Each one of his kids can talk endlessly about the adventures we had with our Dad, including many, many, many sporting events! We’re convinced he helped keep the Dodgers, Rams, Lakers, Angels, and Kings in business during the 80’s. Not to mention Brigham Young University! Suffice it to say he has always had a deep and abiding love for that establishment and generously supported it to the end.

In 1985 my parents built their dream home in Huntington Beach, California where they lived for 10 years before returning to Utah, and one-by-one, most of their married children and their families followed. They lived in Heber City for two years before moving to Provo where they ended up in the loving arms of their beloved Oak Hills Sixth Ward family. There they made many wonderful, lasting friendships and found a great deal of peace and happiness serving the Lord.

Richard has served faithfully in many, many church callings throughout the years. Much to the dismay of his teenage kids at the time, he served as the Bishop of the Long Beach 3rd ward for 5 years in the 70’s and countless people who lived in that ward still call his named blessed for the love and care he took with the shepherding of that flock. Later he served as a High Counselor in the Long Beach East Stake under an imposing Dutchman named Peter Dalebout, and then as First Counselor in the Stake Presidency under President William R. Gould. After that he gave many years of faithful service with his wife Carole by his side in the Los Angeles and Provo Temples. He has a burning testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ and his good works have touched the lives of countless people throughout his long and abundant life.

Richard is survived by his beloved sweetheart Carole, his sons Cole Warner (Nancy) and Kevin Warner (Denise), his daughters Rebecca Schiffauer (Mike), Jill Nystul (David), JoAnn Warner, Dori O’Dell (Ken), 24 grandchildren and 34 great grandchildren. He will be missed acutely by all, but his legacy will continue through each of our lives as we attempt to live and love as he did.

Viewing at Nelson Family Mortuary

4780 N University Ave

Provo, Utah

(801) 405-7444‎

Thursday, November 9, 2017

6:00 – 8:00 pm

Viewing at Oak Hills Sixth Ward

Friday, November 10, 2017

1960 N 1500 E

Provo, Utah 84604

9:30 – 10:30 am

Funeral

11:00 am

Internment at Kanosh Cemetery

Kanosh, Utah

Saturday, November 11, 2017

12 noon