Barry Morgan Richards, beloved husband, devoted father, grandfather, uncle, brother-in-law, coach and friend to all passed away April 23, 2020 at home with his wife of 56 years and son by his side. Born January 22, 1941, the only child of Charles Matheson “Matt” Richards and Margaret Carlson in Salt Lake City, UT. Married Margo-Lynn Thurman on August 14, 1964 in the Salt Lake Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

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Survived by his wife Margo and sons Preston M. Richards (Stephanie), Cedar Hills, UT and Brandon D. Richards (Denice), Waxhaw, NC, grandchildren Parker, Landon, Gracie, Emily and Cassidy and his wife’s family Heather Fowles (Don, deceased), Judge William T. Thurman (Sue) and many nieces and nephews. Preceded in death by his parents.

Born and raised in Salt Lake City, he was a member of the first graduating class at Highland High School. He served a mission to the Central British Mission, graduated from the U of U with a B.A. degree and later earned his School Administrative degree. He worked for 34 years in the Granite School District where he worked as a teacher, coach, counselor, and later as principal of Kennedy Jr. High and Kearns High School. He retired as Director of High Schools. He later taught at UVU in Orem, UT.

Barry was a competitor who loved all sports. He was co-captain of his high school football team, a member of the 1959 All Church Volleyball Team, coached the Granite High School baseball team to a State Championship in 1970. He achieved a hole in one after retiring. He loved football and being a member of a team. In his spare time, he coached football and baseball for 25 years. He received many awards and recognitions in his profession.

He served extensively in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. He was a Bishop, High Councilman and Teacher. After retirement, he and Margo served a mission in the Lima Peru Temple and the MTC as Branch President of the North American missionaries. He learned a little Spanish. His favorite words were “Si” and “No”. Later they served as Conference Center Tour Guides. He was a covenant keeper, a true disciple of Jesus Christ.

Barry loved people and accepted all. He was known as a man without guile. He had a vacation home in Ivins, UT where he enjoyed time with family and friends ATVing, golfing and exploring the hillsides for rocks.

Barry enjoyed many hobbies and interests and had a great sense of humor. He was a listener and used his gifts of wisdom and understanding throughout life. He dearly loved his wife, family and friends. He was proud of their performances and achievements. To some, he was “Uncle Barry”. He will be greatly missed.

A private family graveside service will be held at 11:00 am on Tuesday, April 28, 2020 at Larkin Sunset Gardens, 1950 East Dimple Dell Road (10600 South) in Sandy, UT. A celebration of his life will be held at a later date. He would like to thank his caregivers for their help and service. In lieu of flowers, please do something kind for someone else.

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Services Handled By

Larkin Sunset Gardens
1950 E 10600 S
Sandy, UT

Life Story Info

Post Date

Apr 25, 2020

Personal Info


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NEXT James W. McGavin James W. McGavin


Margo, Preston and sorry this has taken me a while...I have had Barry's obit here on my desk for a month and love looking at the face of a righteous son of our Heavenly Father each day....bringing back so many good memories with great neighbors....I have read all the posts tonight and couldn't agree 4 have touched many lives in great ministered long before it became "the norm"....we truly love the Richards...I can feel your love and laughs even today...please know our prayers, hearts and tender feelings are with you....ALL OUR LOVE....Gardners

kirk d gardner Jun 08, 2020

Dear Margo, Preston, Brandon and all: I am so sorry to hear of Barry’s passing. He was always so kind and just a super good guy. Thank you so much for your goodness to me and my two girls when we lived by you on Parkview. You all truly ministered to us in such a Christ like manner! I have a lot of love in my heart for you. I pray that the Lord will comfort you as you grieve your loss!

Charlotte Copinga , SLC, UT, US May 10, 2020

Coach Richards was my baseball coach in high school. It was a tremendous time in my life. He was an awesome coach who also taught life lessons. We had such a great time at Granite. Sorry to hear of his passing. I will always remember him. My heart goes out to the family.

Kevin Kershaw May 02, 2020



Margo and family,

We remember Barry and you as we served together in the Church when Barry was the Bishop. As we look back on those times of serving together we do so with great fondness and admiration. Barry was a wonderful Bishop and was a good leader for his ward at that time. We counted him as a great friend. We send our love and best wishes to you.

Dick and Gail Johnson

Richard Johnson , St George, UT, US Apr 28, 2020

Dear Margo and family,

We were so sad to hear of the passing of Barry. We became good friends with Barry when he was Principal at Kennedy Jr High. I was fortunate to serve as his PTSA President for a couple of years. We had his full support in all our endeavors. The students, teachers and parents loved him!

We enjoyed getting to know your sweet family better when our sons played basketball together- coached by my husband.

Barry was truly a kind, wonderful man and will be missed. Your family will be in our prayers.

Much love, Wade and Karen Beames

Karen Beames , Lake Point, UT, US Apr 27, 2020

(I'm sorry, my comment sent before I finished, so I will send the end of my message)

Many years later, I became a teacher myself, and one day he popped into the second grade classroom that I was teaching in. He told me that when he found out that I was teaching he just had to drop by and say hello - how thoughtful, how kind of him to care so much and to take the time to do that. What a remarkable man! My sincerest sympathy goes out to your entire family, I can only imagine how all of you must miss him. He will forever be remembered as someone who made a difference in many lives. My brothers thought the world of him too!

Always, Julie Gunnell Becker

Julie Gunnell Becker , South Jordan, UT, US Apr 27, 2020

What a wonderful man! Coach Richards was my English teacher during my senior year at Granite High School and he was also the football coach for my older brother, Preston and my younger brother, David. He was a popular name in our household during our high school years, also among my three other sisters and parents. There are a handful of teachers that stand out in your lifetime and he was one. He cared - that was the message that came across. He did a great job making English interesting and fun, but his most sterling quality is that he cared about you, the class and the team!

Julie Gunnell Becker , South Jordan, UT, US Apr 27, 2020

Dear Margo and Family,

We are saddened that Barry has passed away and are so sorry about your loss. What a kind gentle soul! Barry was my third missionary companion and helped me learn how to be a missionary. I feel very blessed to have worked with him. He was a great missionary! We had some memorable experiences together as companions and other associations. My life is better because of him.

We pray that the Comforter will be very attentive to you and your family.

Dwight Day

Dwight Day , SALT LAKE CITY, UT, US Apr 27, 2020

Dear Margo and family,

We were so sorry to hear of Barry's passing. Our hearts and prayers are with your family at this very difficult time. We will fondly remember the many years we spent together as Administrators in the Granite School District. Barry was one in a million.

All Our Love, Bill & Jeviene

Bill & Jeviene Christoplos , Salt Lake City, UT, US Apr 27, 2020

My sincerest condolences are with you all at this time. I hope you can find comfort in one another as you are mourning. I have worked with Preston for many years and have known him as someone who is a good listener with the ability to hear others out and respect them. I think that reflects well on his father and mother. Wish you all can find peace and healing at this time.

Janille Parry , Orem, UT, US Apr 27, 2020

Although it's been many years, I always though Barry and Margo were rock stars in the Stratford East Ward when I was growing up. Since my folks, Sowb and Laurene, have passed away, I'm sure they are all are catching up now. Please know that the Sowby kids are praying for your comfort, Margo. Take care, Ken Sowby

Ken Sowby , SLC, UT, US Apr 26, 2020

I attended Granite High while Barry was there. Authoritative, humbling, but always fair. His voice, so unique however not once did I hear it raised. If he wanted your attention he got it.

Later in life I worked with Barry. As a police officer for GSD, I was always happy to see Barry. Whether we were handling an issue together, attending meetings or passing one another in the hallways, he always was sincere and genuine.

He had a knack of sensing if things were amiss. I certainly enjoyed that unique ability more so as his coworker than when a high school student. I am not sure I ever shared our prior relationship.

Although happy to see him retire and start a new chapter in his life, I knew things would be different. His caring for all, unequivocal knowledge of public education and leadership could never be matched. RIP friend!

Todd Rasmusssen , Riverton, UT, US Apr 26, 2020

Margo, Bud and I send you our love and deepest sympathy.

Fondly, Claudia Scalley

Claudia Scalley , Salt Lake City, UT, US Apr 26, 2020

I grew up in Barry's neighborhood and as a young man, Barry was one of my Aaronic Priesthood Leaders. He had returned from his mission and along with several other great leaders (Tom Walster, Spencer George), gave his time and influence to a group of young men. He will never know the influence he had on me as well as the rest of the boys. Barry helped to shape me and build a testimony of the Savior. I will forever be grateful for leaders like Barry, whose influence lives on.

James Saley Apr 26, 2020

I was so sorry to learn of Barry’s passing. I had the privilege of working with him at Kearns High School as his assistant principal. He was a friend and amazing leader. He taught me many “best practices” that helped me throughout my career in education. He was one of the kindest and compassionate individuals I had the honor to work with. He will be greatly missed but with many fond memories.

Ben Lems , West Jordan, UT, US Apr 26, 2020

"Coach Barry" was a great influence in my life. He was there when I needed somebody after loosing my Father. He alway brought a spark and smile to your confidence and soul. My deepest sympathy goes to his family. I am sure he is putting his arm around those he can help, counselings. them and bringing a spark and smile to theirs confidence and souls.

Thank you "CoachBarry" Rest in Peace.

Woody Blevins , Cottonwood Heights, UT, US Apr 26, 2020

Barry hired me as a teacher when he was principal at Kennedy Jr. High. In all my years of teaching, he was the best principal ever! He was a quiet observer, standing outside classroom doors to witness the interactions of teachers and students, thus able to know how well his staff was doing. He observed me as a first year teacher when I was doing a biology lab with my students. Instead of asking me what was going on, he asked one of my students what they were supposed to be doing and why. How clever! He figured if they knew what they were doing, then the teacher (me) had explained it well. He was very complimentary. There was no one like him.

Pat Rosvall , Midvale, UT, US Apr 26, 2020

Much loved family. My late wife had the opportunity of working with Margo in the Jordan District and she loved her dearly. Barry was the ultimate educator and will be missed

George Welch , South JordanUtah, UT, US Apr 25, 2020

Dear Richards family: This kind and brilliant professional educator touched SO many lives in a great way during his distinguished career. He was beloved by many and will be remembered long after his passing from this earth. When one of us would do something boneheaded he would exclaim "GEEEZ you guys, what's going on over there?!?!" and then kindly and gently re-direct us to the right path in a positive and non-shaming learning experience. You are truly blessed to have had him your lives and we appreciate you all very much for sharing this wonderful human being with many of us from Granite High.

Bill Russell Apr 25, 2020