Remembering Richard ``Dick’’ Richardsby Senator Orrin G. Hatch
Posted on 2015-02-05
HATCH. Mr. President, I am grateful for this opportunity to pay
tribute to a respected political leader, a cherished friend, and an
exceptional human being--Richard ``Dick'' Richards. A native of Ogden,
UT, Dick touched the lives of many and was deeply respected for his
wisdom, his no-nonsense approach, and his remarkable integrity.
When I first considered running for the Senate in 1976, Dick was serving as the Utah Republican Party chairman. At the time, I was a political novice, but Dick's early encouragement and counsel were instrumental in my candidacy and subsequent victory. I will always be grateful for his invaluable support during my first term as a Senator.
Dick and I shared a great admiration and respect for President Ronald Reagan. We were both early supporters who campaigned tirelessly to help get President Reagan elected in 1980. In President Reagan, we saw a leader who shared our conservative values and our willingness to take a stand on hard issues. Impressed with Reagan's integrity, Dick and I put our whole heart and energy into campaigning for this great man.
For many years, Dick and President Reagan shared a close friendship based on mutual love and respect. During the campaign, President Reagan noted Dick's political savvy and leadership skills and later tapped him to head the National Republican Committee from 1981-82. As chairman, Dick raised the Republican Party's profile and fought passionately for conservative principles across all levels of government. His leadership on the national stage set a course for many more years of campaign activity and advisory roles in Utah and across the Nation.
Capping Dick's successful career in politics was his tireless help in establishing the Richard Richards Institute for Ethics at his alma mater, Weber State University. The institute is carrying on Dick's legacy to inspire future leaders to enter politics and government and lead with integrity and strength. In his book, ``Climbing the Political Ladder, One Rung at a Time,'' Dick discusses the virtues of civic engagement and encourages youth to become actively involved in the political process.
Dick's public accomplishments were numerous, but his most significant achievements were personal. His greatest source of pride was his loving partnership with his wife Annette, their 5 children, 11 grandchildren, and 15 great-grandchildren. He deeply cared for each of them and always made family his top priority.
Dick also donated countless hours of service to his community and his faith. He served in many important leadership positions in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and was always generous with his time.
Dick Richards was a truly remarkable man who led by example, hard work, and a desire to do what is right. His impact on Utah will be felt for generations to come. Elaine and I send our deepest condolences to his beautiful wife Annette, whose loyal companionship and counsel sustained Dick throughout his career. May God's love embrace Annette and her family with peace and comfort during this difficult time.