Richard Jed Warner
Richard Jed Warner, 86, passed away peacefully on Friday, November 3, 2017 in Provo, Utah after a long battle with Alzheimer’s. 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.
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. In school his main interest was sports, sports, and sports, excelling in football and boxing. 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 from Kanosh, Utah who was attending college at the opposite end of the state. Carole eventually succumbed to his 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. Within a week of proposing, Richard and Carole were married on January 30th, 1952 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 a toddler 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 in 1954. Beginning with two sons, Cole and Kevin, and followed by 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!
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 ’70s. Later he served as a High Counselor in the Long Beach East Stake, and then as First Counselor in the Stake Presidency. 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 and Funeral at Oak Hills Sixth Ward, 1960 N 1500 E, Provo, Utah. Friday, November 10, 2017. Viewing — 9:30 – 10:30 am. Funeral — 11:00 am
Internment at Kanosh Cemetery, Kanosh, Utah. Saturday, November 11, 2017 11:30 am
To express condolences visit www.NelsonMortuary.com.