In Loving Memory of Richard L. Carlile
Richard Lee Carlile, beloved husband, father, son and papa, passed away Thursday, July 6, 2023, at the age of 92, surrounded by family, at home in Idaho, of causes incident of age.
Richard “Dick” was the youngest of three children, born in Heber City, UT, on Feb. 4, 1931, to William Walter “Walt” and Estella “Stella” (Wootton) Carlile. Raised in Utah, Richard had an adventurous spirit and loved the outdoors. He attended both Granite High School and Ogden High School where he was a star basketball player for both schools. He went on to play basketball and attend Colorado College in Colorado Springs, where he also trained to be a pairs figure skater. He spent summers in the Ketchum/Sun Valley, ID, area working as a bellman in the Lodge and skating in the Sun Valley Summer Ice Shows as a pairs figure skater.
When Richard was drafted into the Army, he transferred to Weber State College, in Ogden, UT, where he studied for two years to become a teacher before going on active duty. Richard served in the United States military as an Infantry Communications Specialist, performing duties for both the Army and Navy. He was honorably discharged in 1954 with a National Defense Service Medal.
After his discharge, Richard moved back to Salt Lake City to attend the University of Utah where he earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, with a nuclear emphasis. While attending the U of U he worked as an ice-skating instructor at Hygeia Ice Rink in Sugarhouse. It was there he met the love of his life, Nancy Johnson. Richard and Nancy were married in the Salt Lake City LDS Temple in 1958 and were soon joined by the first of their five children.
After graduation they moved with their son to Idaho Falls, ID, where Richard started a career with the Department of Energy (DOE). They moved frequently around Idaho, living in Twin Falls, Arco, and Blackfoot, adding four daughters to their family in the process, before finally settling back in Idaho Falls. During these years Richard’s parents and his sister Conna and her family were living in Ketchum, ID. Richard, Nancy, and their children spent many years in Ketchum and Sun Valley, a place his children grew to love and call “home,” and where they and their children still frequent. Sun Valley will always hold a special place in the Carlile families’ hearts.
Professionally, Richard had a successful 22-year career with the Department of Energy as a Senior Engineer, Facility Manager working at the DOE-ID facility in Arco, ID. In the latter part of his career, he became the Program Manager of the Special Manufacturing Capabilities (SMC) program, a classified project within DOE, which had him travel frequently to undisclosed locations. He retired in 1996 and shortly thereafter the SMC project was declassified. It was then his family learned he was the Senior Engineer who oversaw the manufacturing and development of the armor for the US Army’s A1-M1 Abrams battle tanks. Richard was immensely proud of his work and even up until his death kept the details and secrets of the project close to his vest. It became common with his children and grandchildren to use the phrase “it’s classified” in reference to many things.
Richard was a man of many talents and passions, from basketball and ice skating, to playing the guitar, fly fishing, tennis, skiing, photography, and golf. His thirst for adventure never ceased. He even got his pilot’s license and would fly his children around on little adventures in a Piper Cub. He was an avid reader, especially of Louis L’Amour western novels, always eager to learn new things, explore unfamiliar places and engage in intellectual discussions. Richard had a sharp mind, a witty, dry sense of humor and a way with words and one-liners that always kept his children and grandchildren laughing and amused.
He is survived by three daughters: Kathy (Daniel) Gneiting, Firth, ID; Deborah Carlile, St. George, UT; Laura Lynn (David) Wilson, Juneau, AK; 13 grandchildren, Krystal (Mike) Dixon, Boise, ID; Malory (Dallen) Lambson, Pocatello, ID; Hailey Gneiting, Shelley, ID; Gabe Gneiting, Firth, ID; Brett Carlile, Denver, CO; Garrett Holm, New York, NY; Alissa Carlile, Nicholas (Grace Lee ) Allred, Juneau, AK; Kimberly Allred, Big Lake, AK; Ashley (Zachary) Wagstaff, Ian Sloan, American Falls, ID; Cassie (Jarrod) Graves, Tiffani Andersen, Boise, ID; son-in-law, Michael Sloan, American Falls, ID; 11 great-grandchildren, and several beloved nieces and nephews. Richard was preceded in death by: his wife, Nancy (Johnson) Carlile; son, Richard Walter Carlile; daughter, Patricia Kay (Carlile) Sloan; grand-daughter Shamae (Gneiting) Lyon; as well as his parents and two siblings, Gerald “Jerry” Carlile and Conna (Carlile) Richey.
Family and friends gathered to honor Richard’s life at a memorial service on Saturday, July 15, 11 a.m., at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 650 Pocatello Ave. in American Falls, under the direction of Davis-Rose Mortuary. A viewing and time to meet with the family was prior to the service from 10 to 10:45 a.m. at the same location. Interment was at the Taylor Cemetery, Idaho Falls, immediately following the service.
The family thanks the staff and his friends at The Retreat at Sun River Assisted Living Center in St. George, UT, for their kindness and care this past year, and the nurses with Solace Hospice Care in Southeast Idaho for their loving comfort, care and compassion during his final weeks and hours.
Richard leaves behind a legacy of love, strength, and resilience. While his physical presence may be gone, his spirit will forever live on in the hearts of his loved ones. He will be deeply missed and fondly remembered. May his memory continue to inspire us to live each day to the fullest with love, passion, adventure, and kindness.
To order flowers, or to share condolences, memories, and photos, please visit DavisRoseMortuary.com.
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