Ronald Paul Richard passed away on Saturday, Oct. 13, 2018 at his home in Moscow, ID. Ron had recently undergone open heart (five bypasses) surgery on Oct. 5 in Spokane, WA, following a massive heart attack on Sept. 29, while attending a University of Idaho Vandal football game. Surgery had been deemed very successful and he was recovering at home.
Ron was born Aug. 16, 1955, to Willard and Ruth (Van Dorien) Richard in American Falls, ID. Ron grew up on an Idaho potato and dairy farm, and as a result, he developed a strong work ethic and values while growing up. He graduated from Aberdeen High School in 1973, where he had played football and was active in FFA.
Ron enrolled at the University of Idaho following graduation and attended for one year before he joined the U.S. Air Force and served five years in order to earn money to continue his college education. Ron then earned a bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Education and Animal Sciences at the University of Idaho in 1983 (graduating at the top of his class), and a master’s degree in Animal Sciences from Washington State University in 1985, working various jobs to help fund his education.
Upon earning his master’s, he worked as an extension educator in Idaho County before returning to the University of Idaho, where he spent the rest of his career as an instructor in meat science and manager of Vandal Brand Meats in the Department of Animal and Veterinary Science. Ron reinvigorated the Block and Bridle Club and the Livestock and Meats Judging Team and also judged livestock at county fairs. Ron was passionate about sharing his knowledge, encouragement and positive attitude with many students of all ages. He and his students developed many award-winning processed and smoked meats. In 2017 he was awarded the University of Idaho College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Distinguished Alumni Award.
Of all Ron’s many accomplishments, his sons were his biggest source of pride. Ron and Nelda Hume were married 1986-2009. They were blessed with three wonderful sons, Ethan, Tyrel and Angus. Though they later divorced, they continued to share the joy of their sons’ throughout all their activities and accomplishments.
Ron was active in Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts, serving as Scoutmaster for Moscow BSA Pack 344, and was active in BSA leadership. He was a very committed and devoted member of Moscow Central Lions Club and was a member of First Presbyterian Church in Moscow. Ron was a loyal Green Bay Packers fan since a little boy. He enjoyed and cherished his family and friends, backpacking and watching football with his sons, country and classic rock music and, more recently, riding his Harley. Ron enjoyed a good joke and a laugh with friends and family.
Ron is survived by his sons, sisters Bonnie (John) McDermid, Loveland, CO, Connie Friesen, Lawrence, KS, and Debbie (Roger) Tobias, Lyons, KS, and brother, John (Marylyn) of Marsing, ID, and very special friend Gail Stearns.
A memorial service was held on Sunday, Oct. 21, in Moscow at the University of Idaho Administration Auditorium, followed by a reception at the livestock judging pavilion adjacent to Vandal Brand Meats. At the reception, the Dean of the College of Agriculture announced that a part of the new U of I Meats Lab/Pavilion will be name after Ron. At the conclusion of the memorial service, the University of Idaho Marching Band played the U of I Fight Song in his honor as Ron was indeed, a dedicated Idaho Vandal.
The University of Idaho has set up a memorial fund in Ron’s name. A link to the fund is at: https://www.givecampus.com/campaigns/3269/donations/new and the designation is the Ron Richard Memorial Fund.
The use of the funds will be determined in consultation with the family, and the hope is to perpetuate Ron’s amazing legacy for decades to come.
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