My Life History by Lynn Thomas Richman
Click here to download a formatted, printable copy Lynn first started to write his life history on February 26, 1961, at the age of 32. He wrote another history in February 2016. In 2017, his son, Larry merged these two accounts together and added paragraphs that Lynn wrote during family home evenings at the end of each year. For more information and photos about Lynn and his family, see RichmanFamily.org.
I was born on Thursday, December 13, 1928 in Paradise, Cache County, Utah at 2:30am, to Leon Sinfield Richman (born 10 May 1897 in Paradise, Utah; died 14 July 1933) and Boston Thomas Richman (born 19 July 1899 in Paradise, Utah; died 26 Feb 1978). They were married October 15, 1919 in the Logan Temple, Logan, Utah. The attending physician was A. W. Eliason from the Budge Clinic in Logan, Utah. I was one of three children: a sister, Reta Thomas Richman (born 14 October 1920; died 24 March 2010) and a brother, Leon Thomas Richman (born 1 July 1926; died 1 July 1926) who died about an hour after birth. He was blessed by Edward O. Norman, an uncle.
I was blessed by William T. James on January 6, 1929 in Paradise, Utah.
We moved from Paradise, Utah, to St. Anthony, Idaho, in 1933. My father was in an auto accident and died July 14, 1933 at age 36. I was four and a half years old at the time. I vividly remember a couple of incidents with him. I have been told that after the accident, he pulled two men out of the wreckage and then collapsed. The doctor said that with his injuries, he did the impossible. His funeral was held on July 16 at St. Anthony, Idaho and again on July 17th at Paradise, Utah. Over 600 people attended his funeral. He was buried in Paradise with military honors. I still have the American flag that covered his casket. The only recollection that I have of my father is of him always carrying me in his arms. I also remember his casket in the parlor of my grandfather Thomas’s home in Paradise and the large iron vault outside the home. I really missed my dad. My mother said I was always asking about him. She said he loved children. He sang in the ward choir and in a quartet.
After dad’s death, we spent the winter in Paradise with grandpa Thomas and then in the spring moved to Brigham City, Utah. Mother purchased a small frame home at 404 (or 408) South 400 West on an acre of ground for $1,000. She said that we would at least have a roof over our heads. The house had running water to the sinks, but an outhouse out back. My mother was 33 years old when my father died and she never remarried. She said she didn’t want anyone else to raise her children. As I was growing up, I wished I had a dad to take me places and show me how to do things, like my friends did. But I had a mother who was both a mother and dad for me. She sacrificed her whole life for her family.
I attended grade school at Central School, located where the Brigham City LDS Temple now stands. I started first grade in September 1935 with Norma Jensen as my teacher. My second grade teacher was Miss Ferre. Other teachers were Delores Hopkins, Iris Scow, and Glen Marble (6th grade?).
We attended church at the Brigham City 5th Ward. I was baptized there on February 6, 1937, by Paul Facer, a priest, and confirmed a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on February 7, 1937 by Elder J. Francis Merrell. Our bishop was Francis L. Christensen.
My sister was married July 23, 1940 to Paul Cazier Nelson by Delbert E. Canney in the Logan Temple.
In May 1941, I graduated from Central School and in June of that same year from Primary. About the time I entered junior high, mother traded our home on 400 West for a home at 123 South 200 East in Brigham. I received the Aaronic Priesthood and was ordained a deacon on August 17, 1941 by John Y. Merrell, a seventy in the Brigham 5th Ward. The bishop was Howard C. Jensen. About this time, I started working at Wes Shirts grocery store at 350 S. Main Street in Brigham stocking shelves for 25 cents an hour. I worked there a year and a half.
Mother and I went to Los Angeles in August 1943 and stayed with Reta for two weeks when Mike was born. This was our first long bus ride.
I was ordained a teacher on April 8, 1945 by Orson L. Hollist, a high priest in the Brigham 5th Ward. The bishop was Howard C. Jensen. I went to work at Maddox Steak House, a cafe in Brigham as a bus boy in 1945. At this time, at age 16, I bought my first car, a beautiful red 1929 Chev Roadster convertible (no top). This was the first car we had had in the family since my father died 12 years previously. Working at the cafe at night and having wheels gave me an opportunity to take the waitress home. This is how I meet my future wife, Joyce. We went together my last two years of high school. We attended all the games together in our little red convertible and darn near froze to death. No top. No windows. No heater. But we had lots of fun. I took her to the junior prom. Joyce graduated in the class of 1946. I graduated in the class of 1947. My hobby was raising rabbits. At one time, we had over 250, mostly pure breed stock. Joyce and I used to pull grass to feed them before each date. One time, after I had been in a fight and skinned the side of my face, I told her the rabbit pen door fell on me and she believed me. I also raised a calf to a cow. I also raised chickens. In 1945-46, I worked at O. P. Skaggs Market at 48 S. Main Street in Brigham City. The manager was Ray Thomas (or Leo Jensen?). I worked both before school in the morning and after school until 10:00pm. During this time, I bought my second car, a purple 1936 Ford Coupe. It got 10 miles to the gallon (of oil). I bought my third car, a 1940 Chev 2-door sedan. My close friends at school were Duane Parsons, Joe Ward, and Lamone Frost. I worked summers picking cantaloupe, watermelon, and corn. I also picked up potatoes.
On January 20, 1946, I received my patriarchal blessing from S. Norman Lee. On June 2, 1946, I graduated from seminary. My teachers were John P. Lillywhite and Able S. Rich. I was ordained a priest on December 1, 1946, just before my 18th birthday by Bishop Rudger N. Price, a high priest in the Brigham 5th Ward. Lee Rue Allen was the ward clerk.
In August, 1947, we moved to 115 South 2nd East in Brigham City and attended the Brigham 1st Ward. I graduated from Box Elder High School on May 25, 1947. After I graduated (toward the end of 1947 or the beginning of 1948), I purchased my first business. I heard of a service station for sale in Brigham City at about 95 South Main Street in Brigham City, Utah. My future father-in-law, F. Leland Seely was the Associated Oil distributor who owned it. I told him that I didn’t have any money, but how hard I would work and pay him and how I would operate it. And he handed me the keys. My mother loaned me $50 for change in the register to open and I was in business. I called it Lynn’s Associated Service. I had the station for about two years.
In November 1948, Joyce was attending Brigham Young University and I was operating the service station. On one of our dates, I said to Joyce, “Let’s go to Las Vegas and get married.” Thinking I was kidding, she said “Ok, but I will have to go home and get some clothes.” She just grabbed a handful of clothes and put them in a suitcase and we headed toward Las Vegas. She expected me to turn around any time, but I just kept driving. Every so often, she would ask, “Are you kidding?” And I just kept going. We were married in Las Vegas on November 22, 1948 by the LDS Bishop Thomas L. Adams of the Las Vegas First Ward. It was witnessed by Clifford H. Huntington and Virginia Ellis. We honeymooned from Las Vegas to Los Angeles and spent Thanksgiving in San Francisco. (The motor went out on our car.) We returned through Reno to Salt Lake City and to Brigham City. We lived in one of Joyce’s dad’s motel cottages.
I sold the service station in 1949 and we moved to Salt Lake City and lived in a one-room basement apartment with a pull-down bed in the wall. It was the Larsen Apartments at 317 South 900 East. I worked for Grand Central Markets in Salt Lake City for about three months. The owner was Maurice Warshaw. I then worked for Ray W. Lewis (and Doyle Olsen) at O. P. Skaggs at 744 East on 400 South in Salt Lake. After a year and a half, I was promoted to grocery manager. We had 47-49 employees. I was 21 years old when I was given this assignment. At that time, it was considered a supermarket. I worked there three and a half years.
My first son, Jeffrey Lynn Richman, was born on February 3, 1951, in the LDS Hospital. Dr. George W. Soffee delivered him. He weighed 7 lbs. 15 oz. and was 22 inches long. He was given a name and a blessing by his grandfather F. Leland Seely on March 4, 1951 in the Brigham 5th Ward. The bishop was J. Oleen Palmer. I bought my fifth car, a 1950 Chrysler New Yorker. At the end of 1951, we moved to the Demmon Apartments (Fred Demmon) at 918 South (or East?) 3rd Avenue. We paid $57/month. It was here that Jeff burned his face falling on a heater. At the end of 1951, we moved to Burke’s Apartments at 49 South 900 East. We paid $50/month.
In 1952, we vacationed in our new Chrysler to New Mexico; Carlsbad Caverns; the Grand Canyon; Mesa, Arizona; and then home through Denver, Colorado. In 1952, Wendel Adams, the personnel manager at ZCMI called me. I thought he would want me to manage the ZCMI market. Instead, he wanted me to be the grocery manager for the Farmer’s Co-op (or Farmer’s Union) in Layton, Utah. We moved to Layton and rented from Alfred Stevens for $55/month from July 5 to December 1952. On August 3, 1952, I was honorably discharged from the U.S. Naval Reserve after four years. On December 8, 1952, we moved to Brigham City and I purchased a market from M. A. “Tex” Hamberlin at 710 South Main. I traded my Chrysler as part of the down payment on the store. I changed the name to Lynn’s Drive-In Market. We moved into an apartment above the store. The first year in the store was a rough one. The market had been run down so much that it was a real struggle building it back up. I cut the meat for the first year until I could get the volume up to warrant a full-time butcher. I issued S&H Green Stamps. I owned that store for eight and a half years. I purchased a new 1952 Ford pickup.
On January 10, 1953, we rented the William’s home at 53 South 5th East. I purchased a 1938 Dodge Coupe from Bill Pierce.
In 1954, I purchased a new 1954 Chev 2-door.
My second son, Larry Leon Richman, was born on July 10, 1955 at the Cooley Hospital. Dr. J. Gordon Felt was the doctor. He was born at 11:15am on a Sunday and weighed 6 lbs. 10 oz. Larry was blessed on September 4, 1955, by his grandfather F. Leland Seely at the Brigham 5th Ward. The bishop was Walter J. Daggi. It was great to have two sons. Although the grocery store demanded most of my time, I spent as much of my time as I could with my sons.
On January 8, 1957, we moved to Parson’s Apartments at 355 West First South. On December 26, 1957, we bought our first home at 134 West Third South in Brigham City for $15,900 from Lafe Jensen. Joyce was surprised when I showed her a savings account for the down payment of $4,900. The monthly payments were $84, which grew to $95 over the 20 years.
April 5, 1958 was a spiritual rebirth for me. I quit smoking and started attending church meetings and paying a full tithing. I prayed for forgiveness of my sins, studied the scriptures, and read the Book of Mormon. I received a strong testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ. In July 1958, they divided the ward and we became the Brigham 9th Ward. The bishop was C. B. Olsen. I was called as the general secretary of the Senior Aaronic Priesthood. I was later the age group first counselor in the ward YMMIA. I was asked to speak in the priesthood session of the stake quarterly conference at the Brigham Tabernacle. Harold B. Lee of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles was the General Authority. I sat next to him on the stand. After I had finished speaking, he put his hand on my knee and said that he could feel the spirit while I was speaking. This sent a tingling through my whole body and I never forgot it. (Harold B. Lee has always been special to our family because he was a missionary companion to my uncle Nate Thomas.) On October 5, 1958, I received the Melchizedek Priesthood and was ordained an elder by Owen D. Knudsen in the Brigham 9th Ward. The bishop was Claudius B. Olsen. On November 20, 1958, Joyce and I were sealed in the Logan Temple for time and eternity and our children were sealed to us. We were sealed by Evan O. Darley. It was witnessed by F. Leland Seely and Albert B. Watson. On November 24, 1958, we went to the temple for the second time and had the privilege of being called as a witness, a very inspiring and cherished experience to be remembered all our lives.
In February 1959, I had my first opportunity to perform ordinance work for my children. I baptized Jeff on February 28th and confirmed him on March 1st in the Brigham 5th Ward. I bought a 1959 Plymouth Station wagon and then sold it to Paul Nelson and purchased a 1959 Plymouth Fury. On April 8, 1959, our first daughter Joy Lynn was born at the Cooley Hospital at 7:55pm. She weighed 5 lbs. 3.5 oz and was 18.5 inches long. She was delivered by Dr. Reed Merrill. Joyce was delighted. Back then, we didn’t know what the gender of a baby was until it was born. She was named and blessed on June 7, 1959 in the Brigham 9th Ward, Box Elder Stake. Bishop Olsen, F. Leland Seely, and Paul Nelson stood in. In October 1959, I was sustained as the ward financial clerk in the Brigham 9th Ward. I was set apart by Aldert Thorson of the high council.
In April 2, 1960, we purchased a new 1960 Chrysler Saratoga, so Joyce, Jeff, and I flew east to Denver, and then to Chicago to pick it up. We visited the Detroit auto factories and then toured Chicago, Omaha, Cheyenne, and all the major cities driving our new car home. As a family, we have had a lot of good memories. We purchased a pink Leisure Home travel trailer in June 1960. That year, we vacationed in Yellowstone National Park (missed Joyce’s parents), Glacier National Park (August 1), Canada, Cardston Temple, and Sun valley. We took my mother with us. During the night in Yellowstone, our trailer started rocking. Our first thought was that maybe a bear had crawled under our trailer and got stuck and was trying to get out. People from other trailers were outside to see what was happening. Joyce stuck her head out and asked them if there was a bear under our trailer. A man said, “No. It’s an earthquake. And it’s not funny!” I remember how the large pine trees were swaying. Mother said it happened because she was there and caused the quake. On December 4, 1960, I was called by the stake president to be the second counselor in the bishopric of the Third Ward to Bishop Claudius B. Olsen. James Dixon was the first counselor. I was ordained a High Priest on December 18, 1960, by James N. Dixon. The stake president was O. D. Lund. Brother Burt and President Keller stood in.
On January 3, 1961, I went to Salt Lake City to be set apart in the bishopric by Theodore M. Burton, an assistant to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. The blessing I received greatly strengthened my testimony. I really enjoyed this calling. During the first month, one of the older ladies died. The bishop and first counselor were out of town and I had to conduct and also speak. It was a learning experience. My first opportunity to confer the priesthood to a member of the Church was to confer the Aaronic Priesthood to Stephen Cazier and ordain him as a deacon. I served in the bishopric for two and half years until I was released in June, 1963, because I was moving to Salt Lake City. On March 12, 1961, our fourth child, Ricky Lynn, was born at 3:30pm at the Cooley Hospital. He weighed 6 lbs 6 oz and was 19 inches long. He was delivery by Dr. Felt. On October 21, 1961, I purchased Homer Dunn’s equity in a home at 625 South Fourth West in Brigham City for my 1960 Chrysler Saratoga. During the nine years I had the grocery store, I strongly promoted S&H Green Stamps as a promotional tool. During that time, the Sperry and Hutchinson Company zone manager, Earl Keate, offered me a job two or three different times. When I learned that Dee Smith was going to build a supermarket a block from my store, I accepted the job from S&H and closed my store. I had learned a long time ago that you can’t fight money. About October, I started a close-out sale. On December 1, 1961, I started my employment with the Sperry & Hutchinson Company as a sales representative for the Ogden Utah Area. It included Bountiful to Logan and to Rock Springs, Wyoming. I really enjoyed my work. It was a real challenge. I learned the operation of all kinds of businesses. With my grocery and service station experience, I got off to a good start and signed 19 new accounts the first month.
My employment was going great. On April 4 or 15, 1963, I was promoted to zone manager for Utah, Idaho, half of Nevada, half of Wyoming, and half of Oregon. I had five salesmen. During the next six months, I worked and trained with John C. Finnell of Boise. This promotion meant selling my home in Brigham, being released from the bishopric, and moving to Salt Lake. On July 1, 1963, we moved to Salt Lake City. I bought a home at 2780 W. Marcus Road (3960 S.). Norman Bangerter was our bishop. The deed to the property was recorded on August 5, 1963. In November 1963, we vacationed to Carlsbad Caverns.
In 1964, we sent Jeff back to the Boy Scout National Jamboree at Valley Forge with a dozen rolls of film to take a lot of pictures. He came home having taken one roll. In October, we traveled to New York with Reta and Paul to meet Mike Nelson as he was released from his mission
On June 7, Lynn and Joyce sailed from San Francisco to Honolulu on Matson Lines on a trip Lynn won from S&H. The following is a letter Lynn wrote June 17, 1966, to his mother, Boston Richman: “Having a wonderful time. Joyce feeling good. Today we took an 8-island tour, flew over 800 miles, limousine tours of about 60 miles, and an 8-mile river boat cruise—all in one day. We started at 5:30 this morning. We’re just getting ready to go to supper. “We’re staying at a beautiful hotel here on Waikiki Beach [Princess Kaiulani Sheraton at Waikiki Beach]. We’ve been here 5 days and the day after tomorrow we go to the island of Maui to the Sheraton Maui Hotel. We will be there the 18th and 19th, then to San Francisco to the Jack Tarr Hotel for the night of the 20th and then home on the 21st. “Yesterday, we rented a car and visited the LDS Polynesian Cultural Center. We toured the village and had a supper and show. “Enclosed are pictures of our ocean voyage. Had a wonderful time. Food was outstanding. “See you soon. Love, Joyce & Lynn”
I spent the year living in Granger, Utah. I traveled the Utah, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, and Wyoming area with my work with S&H. During the last year in connection with my work, I made several trips to San Francisco. It was a tough year, losing the Mayfair account. We have some large Idaho store prospects for the coming year. Church wise, I spent the year teaching a Sunday School class. In February, I ordained Jeff a priest. I baptized and confirmed Joy Lynn in April. In July, I ordained Larry a deacon. In May, Jeff received his Eagle Scout award, along with three friends: Bill Cunningham, Randy Prince, and Craig Hedin. When Jeff pinned the mother’s pin on Joyce, he said in her ear, “I hope you will get off my back.” During the rest of the year, he received two palms. Larry advanced to be a Star scout. We vacationed in Yellowstone in August and enjoyed our trailer house, camping, and fishing. On December 7, 1967, and in the true spirit of Christmas, I gave myself a boat, which I am sure all the family will really enjoy during the coming year. It was a 1968, 18’1″ Centurian boat, custom made by Century Marine Corp. of Salt Lake City. The company only made three boats of that design. The cost was $4,600. We as a family have been very blessed during the past year. We pray that we will continue to grow in the gospel during the coming year.
Due to my work with S&H, it was necessary to move to Boise on July 1, 1968. We bought a home at 5111 Mountain View Drive. My main concern in buying the home was having a large room in the basement for my pool table. When I saw it, I bought the home. Jeff started his senior year in high school.
We traveled to New York with Reta and Paul to visit grandchildren.
For my work with the Sperry & Hutchinson Company, I attended meetings in Salt Lake, Pocatello, San Francisco, and Burley. During June and July, Joyce spent five weeks in the hospital. Jeff received his mission call to Germany. Just before he gave his farewell talk, Joyce had a kidney attack and I rushed her to the hospital. When I returned to the church, Jeff’s talk was over. In August, after Jeff’s stay at the language school, Joyce was feeling great and the whole family went to Salt Lake City to see Jeff off at the Salt Lake airport. In August, we went to North Dakota on vacation for eight days. Had a very enjoyable time, but we missed Jeff. This was the first family vacation he has missed as well as his first Christmas away from home. All the family is active in church work. During the year, I switched from Ensign Leader to Explorer Advisor. We are really enjoying the Boise area as well as all our friends in the Boise 19th Ward. We had a very enjoyable Christmas with Joyce’s mother and dad and Jimmy visiting us. Looking forward to the coming year with great expectations.
On January 17, 1971, I was sustained as the second assistant in the stake YMMIA. I was set apart that same day by Ronald Loveland. In June 1971, J. Richard Clarke called me and asked, “How would you like a free trip to Washington, D.C.?” He was scheduled to go and wanted me to take his place. So, Grant Farmer and I escorted 19 presidents of Explorer Scout troops to the National Explorer President’s Congress. My son, Larry, was one of the presidents who went. One evening late at night as we were patrolling the hall at the hotel to make sure all the scouts were not out of their rooms, we passed by a lounge with a wild party. Brother Farmer said to me, “How long do you think the Lord will let his children act like this?” And things are worse now. On June 13, 1971, I was released as the second assistant in the stake YMMIA and sustained as the first counselor. I purchased two fourplexes in Meridian, Idaho. Joyce’s health started going downhill in mid 1961. After a lot of tests, we found it was caused by kidney failure. She suffered and was in and out of hospitals. Joyce’s doctor in Boise was S. Hugh Atchley, Jr. He was recommended by her doctor in Salt Lake as one of the top kidney specialists at the University of Utah Medical Center. All of Joyce’s brothers and sisters volunteered to donate for a kidney transplant, but none was a match. We admitted Joyce to the hospital in Boise on November 11. A decision was made to take her to Salt Lake. J. Richard Clarke contacted Boise Cascade and arranged to use their private jet to take Joyce to Salt Lake on December 11. Because of the liability, we had to hire a private registered nurse to fly with her. We had a hospital room with two beds so I could be with her. On Sunday morning, Joyce was feeling a little better, so I went down the road for priesthood meeting. That night, my mother, Reta, and Paul came to visit Joyce. The next day was my birthday. As sick as Joyce was, she was very troubled because she couldn’t get out to get me a birthday present. Bless her heart. I told her all I wanted was for her to get better. Joyce was an angel here on earth all her life. During the night, I tried to get out of bed to check on Joyce, but I couldn’t get up. Something was holding me down. I tried and tried to get up. Then a nurse came in the room. I said, “Will you check on Joyce?” Then she rushed out of the room and nurses, doctors, and equipment came in. It was at that time I was finally able to get up. They rushed me out of the room. I was desperate to get to Joyce. They were holding me out in the hall. Then they told me Joyce was dead. That was December 13, 1971. I thought my whole world had ended. The Seelys came over to the hospital because of my condition. Glen and Jean decided that Jean was to fly to Boise with me. Jeff was in Germany and I had to tell my children that their mother was in heaven. They cried for quite a while and then went to their rooms and cried some more. Then Jean Seely went down to Joy’s room. She comforted her for a while. Then she said, “Buck up now. It’s your dad’s birthday.” So Joy got up and went up to the kitchen and baked me a birthday cake. Jeff’s mission president said Jeff could come home for the funeral in Boise. What a great strength we received from our bishop, stake presidency, and all the ward members. Both Vaughn Featherstone and J. Richard Clarke spoke at Joyce’s funeral. The funeral was held up for over half an hour waiting for Jeff’s plane to land. Wayne Frost, owner of National Car Rental, waited at the airport to take Jeff to the church. We then had another funeral in Brigham City. Joyce was buried in the Brigham City Cemetery next to a stream of water. They let Jeff stay home for Christmas. It wasn’t a very happy Christmas. There is an empty feeling in our home this Christmas. But how thankful we are for the gospel and our knowledge of the purpose of our life and the plan of salvation. Right after Christmas, Jeff returned to Germany to complete his mission. Our Bishop Dale Olpin came up to me with a check to cover Jeff’s plane ticket. The members of the ward had donated for it. I told the bishop that I wouldn’t take it and I didn’t need it. He said, “Lynn, would you deprive the members the blessing of giving?” This has been a very faith-promoting year and a real test of my faith.
In regards to my employment, it was a very good year. I finished the year in the top 50 salesmen and received a gold pen and pencil set along with a plaque. Early in January, President Vaughn Featherstone called me into his office and told me that I should start dating to find a mother for my children. He knew I traveled a lot with my work. I told him that was the furthest thing from my mind. He said that the greatest compliment that I could ever pay Joyce would be to get married again. That would testify to her that she was such a wonderful wife that I couldn’t stand to be alone. I decided to go to a stake Valentine’s Day dance in February. There, I met Betty (Mary Elizabeth Smith) and we started dating. She had two daughters, Tonya (age 9, born 10/4/1963) and Margie (age 5, born 7/29/1967). After we had dated for a while, along with prayer, I decided I wanted to spend the eternity with Mary and her two daughters. I gave her an engagement ring. She put it on before she answered me. She wanted to go and show it to her mother and dad. When her mother saw it, she said, “At least you’re not marrying a spendthrift.” Her dad said, “You don’t often see a diamond like that. The light has to be just right.” Jeff returned from his mission on May 19, 1972. I waited until he got home to tell him about Mary. Jeff felt the needs of the family and felt good about everything. On June 11, 1972, I was sustained as the superintendent of the stake YMMIA. I was set apart that same day by Seth Redford. I was released as the first counselor on July 29, 1972. Our stake was divided and the Meridian Idaho Stake was formed. On July 19, 1972, Mary and I were married and sealed in the Idaho Falls Temple. Jeff, mother, Reta, Paul, Diane, Jimmy, and Kent were there, along with Tracy and Janet Wright and George and Nancy Logan. After the wedding, we had a birthday party for my mother. We got married on her birthday. When we were driving to Salt Lake for our honeymoon, Mary said to me, “Can you believe we’re married?” Each day of our honeymoon, we attended a temple session at a different temple, for a total of five temples—Idaho Falls, Logan, Ogden, Bountiful, and Salt Lake. That was a great way to have a honeymoon. It added a special spirit to our relationship. When we returned to our home in Boise, it was quite a change to fit both families in, as well as the furniture. Jeff and Larry shared a bedroom in the basement. From August 17-28, we went to Hawaii for a vacation. Had a great time. We stayed at the Pacific Beach Hotel in Honolulu and at the Sheraton Maui Hotel in Maui. We spent the summer boating. In September, we took Jeff to Logan to attend Utah State. We made two trips to Salt Lake and visited with mother and Reta. We spent Thanksgiving and Christmas at home. During the Christmas holiday, we took 75 Eagle Scouts to Salt Lake on a special activity. Larry earned two palms and attended with me. We ended the year completing the temple assignments we were given and also submitting approximately 467 names. Paid a full tithing. Our testimony of the gospel and our desire to improve our lives and keep the commandments have increased during the past year. It is with the greatest desire that we continue on, putting forth every effort to improve over last year and express our sincere appreciate to our Father in Heaven for all the many blessings we enjoy.
I worked for S&H. The fuel crisis took most of the service station accounts I had. I ordained Ricky a deacon on March 18, 1973. On June 10, 1973, I was released as the president of the stake AP/MIA and was sustained as an alternate stake high counselor. I was set apart that same day by Ted C. Peck. I have really enjoyed these callings and my testimony has grown. For the 4th of July, I was involved in a regional dance festival at the Bronco Stadium. During the year, we enjoyed visits to Brigham to visit mother, Reta and Paul, and the Seely family. Kent was married in September in the Logan Temple. In April, we vacationed at Lava Hot Springs, Idaho. In July, we went to Disneyland. In August, we went to Red Fish Lake. In August, Mary and I vacationed to the Manti, Provo, Salt Lake, and Ogden temples. We had a very enjoyable Christmas. 1973 was a special year because we were all active in the Church. During 1973, we submitted 1,483 names for temple work. Jeff is in school at Utah State and Larry is at BYU.
On April 2, 1974, I was released as an alternate stake high counselor and sustained as a stake high counselor. I was set apart that same day by Ted C. Peck. I served in that calling for four and a half years. I really enjoyed that calling. On May 12, 1974, Mary celebrated Mother’s Day by presenting me with twin girls. Julie Ann was born first, and 11 minutes later, Jennifer Lynn was born. It was touch-and-go. When the nurses came out, they said, “We have witnessed a miracle.” After that, we had another heart-rending experience. It was a two-bed room and the lady in the other bed just had her baby, and it died. When the nurse brought in our twins, we felt terrible for her and our prayers were with her. It was a lot of fun having twins. Everyone commented on them. People would say, “How can you tell them apart?” I would say, “That’s easy. It’s when they are together that it’s hard.” In October, 1974, we began digging a hole in the back yard for the addition on the house. We moved in to the new addition on June 1, 1976.
On June 12, 1975, Becky Lynn was born. Then, as she and the twins started growing, they looked like triplets.
In August 1976, we went to Guatemala to pick up our son Larry from his mission. The previous February, Guatemala experienced a severe earthquake. Larry had a life-threatening experience, but he was spared. We traveled over the area of his mission. Larry had helped translate the sacrament prayers into the Cakchiquel language, and the Sunday we went to Church was the first time the sacrament prayers were offered in that language. Mary, Larry, and I flew to the ancient ruins in Tikal and experienced the history there. We drove up to Chichicastenango and to Lake Atitlan, which some say is the Waters of Mormon. On our way home, we spent a day in Mexico City.
On June 1, 1977, I was made zone manager for the S&H Green Stamp Company. On June 10, 1977, our fourth son, David, was born. There was never a full moment in our home.
In 1978, I was the top salesman in the nation for S&H, along with winning 3,268 books of S&H Green Stamps. Due to my work with S&H and with one office in Salt Lake and another in Boise, Idaho, it was necessary to pass through Brigham City often. I vowed I would never pass through Brigham without visiting my mother. Every time I stopped, my mother would be standing at the door. She would say she had a feeling I would be coming. I wonder today how many other times she stood there all day, expecting me to come. How I loved my mother. She was the greatest mother. She died on February 26, 1978. She was buried in the Paradise Cemetery, beside my father. Many times, since she died, whenever something special has happened in my life, the first thing I would think of would be, “I’ve got to go and tell my mother.” This has happened many times. I knew this would make her happy. On August 6, 1978, I was released as a stake high councilor. I later served as executive secretary to Bishop Max Jensen and to Bishop Gordon Stevens. I later served as a stake missionary. In December 1978, Rick received his Eagle Scout award.
During my 27 years with the Sperry & Hutchinson Company, I won many awards and trips. The biggest one was in 1979, when I was awarded a nine-day trip to Tokyo, Japan. There were two other couples who qualified for the escorted tour. On January 20, we flew to Japan first class. It was a trip of a lifetime. It was a great experience. As a bonus for exceeding the quota, we got three extra days in Hawaii on the way home. Other awards included Top Salesman in the Nation and trips to Bermuda, Hong Kong, China, Panama, Alaska, and several trips to the Caribbean, New York, and Hawaii. On February 7, 1979, I was promoted to district manager for S&H. On July 1, 1979, our 11th child Elizabeth Ann was born. Mary was excited to have an Elizabeth. I would tell people we had 11 children and they were all boys but seven. When a friend commented on such a large family, I told him, “Don’t you know we are commanded to multiply and replenish the earth?” He said, “You don’t have to do it all yourself!” On November 10, 1979, I was promoted to zone manager in Phoenix, Arizona. [They made plans to move to Phoenix, but it didn’t take place.] It was a great surprise and at the same time, I had really worked hard the previous year to win the Tokyo trip. Without a college degree, I had to work that much harder.
On June 5, 1980, Joy and Blair Jacobson were married in the Idaho Falls Temple. They located in Rexburg, Idaho. Blair fit right in to our family and was a blessing to our daughter and she was a blessing to him. On April 24, 1980, Joyce’s mother Grace Seely died. She was buried in the Brigham Cemetery. She was a great spiritual giant and could only see the good in anyone. When she met Mary, she said that she knew that Joyce led me to Mary.
On June 21, 1981, Joyce’s father F. Leland Seely died. My father-in-law was a hard worker and was always there if anyone needed anything. He loved his daughter Joyce. On December 26, 1981, Tonya married Tom Fackrell. They were later divorced. Tonya later married Curtis Gossage and then Scott Thurman.
On July 9, 1982, Larry and Teri were married in the Idaho Falls temple. They met at BYU. Teri was from Blackfoot, Idaho.
On December 2, 1983, Lynn and Mary left on their trip to Hong Kong and China.
I had 5 kids in grade school.
On August 16, 1986, Rick and Wendy were married in Boise. Wendy had a girl about four years old. They had both graduated from Capital High School. They were sealed in 1987.
In 1987, I retired from the Sperry & Hutchinson Company at age 57. Below is a list of some of the awards I won over the years:
- 1970 Member Incentive 3000 Club
- 1971 Member Incentive 3000 Club
- 1972 Member Incentive 3000 Club
- 1972 National Top 50 Club
- 1973 Member Incentive 3000 Club
- 1974 National Top 50 Club
- 1978 National Top 50 Club
- 1978 National Top 10 (trip to Hawaii)
- 1978 National Salesman of the Year
- 1979 National # 1 Salesman (trip to Tokyo, Japan)
- 1979 National Top 10 (trip to Hawaii)
- 1980 Trip to Hawaii
- 1982 National Top 50 Club (ranked 29th)
- 1984 President’s Challenge Cup (trip to New York)
- 1985 Commitment to Excellence (trip to Bermuda)
- 1986 President’s Challenge Cup (top 10%) trip to New York
That same year, I started an import business of jewelry and other overseas goods. On June 5, I took the family to Hawaii and rented an apartment for four weeks. It was right on the beach. We enjoyed it so much that we extended it for an additional three weeks. While there, Mary won a newlywed contest.
On March 27, 1988, Mary’s father, Ken Smith, died. He was a special father-in-law. He was a preacher in the Church of the Brethren. He used the Ensign magazine and read every issue.
David received his Eagle Scout award.
On January 3, 1994, I had hip replacement surgery.
On August 10, 1996, Jennifer and Spencer were married in the Boise temple. I remember how nervous Spencer was when he asked for her hand. After he had met Jennifer, Spencer’s father said, “Don’t let this one get away.”
On February 16, 1997, I was sustained as the ward Sunday School president. I was set apart March 2 by Bishop David Dildine. Previous callings included executive secretary to Bishop Max Jensen and to Bishop Gordon Stevens. I was also a stake missionary.
On July 25, 1998, Jeff and Don Peterson celebrated their 25th anniversary of being together in Washington, D.C. Larry, Teri, Spencer, Jennifer, Wendy, Mary, and I attended. I served as the ward Sunday School president.
In 1999, Mary and I, along with Larry and Teri, attended the dedication of the Orlando temple. Rather than stand in line to get in, Larry had arranged for special tickets in the Celestial Room. We sat on the second row right along with the General Authorities.
On February 29, 2000, Paul Nelson, my brother-in-law, died. I felt a great loss. We were very close. He was buried in the Paradise Cemetery alongside my mother and dad.
Johnny Hester and Julie had been dating for a while when Johnny came and asked for her hand. They were married on November 10, 2001 in The Bishop’s House on East Main in Boise. It was so crowded that people were standing outside.
On September 25, 2002, Becky’s baby was born. His father was Robert Wilson. The baby was named Brandon Robert Wilson. He was very special and gained everyone’s heart. Then on November 14, 2002, Brandon was called home to his Father in Heaven. This was a heart-breaker. Becky had a hard time accepting it. We trust in our Father in Heaven’s plan. Brandon has gained his mortal body. On October 9, 2002, Margie and Merrell Sams were married in Payette, Idaho. A reception was held a few days later. They had two children: Colton and Camre. They were later separated and Margie changed her name back to Hawkins.
On November 6, 2003, Mary’s mother Grace Smith died. It was hard on her family. Mary was the only Latter-Day Saint in the family. The family did not want a Mormon funeral. She was buried in the Nampa Cemetery. I went over the next day and dedicated the grave. On December 22, 2003, David and Angela Mortensen were married in the Mt. Timpanogos temple. A reception followed. Grant Farmer sealed the couple. (This is the Grant Farmer with whom I traveled to the Explorer Presidents’ Congress in Washington, D.C.)
Elizabeth and Jeremy were married in McCall, Idaho, on May 20, 2006. Their two children, Brady and Hannah, showed their approval. An excellent reception and dance followed. Elizabeth became Elizabeth Driebergen.
On December 13, 2008, I was in the kitchen when Mary came in and said, “Come, quick. The kids are on the pool table.” With sparks in my eyes, I ran downstairs and, “surprise,” my whole family was there to celebrate my 80th birthday. Margie had snuck them downstairs. It was a complete surprise to me. They will never know how much this meant to me. Mary said she knew when she said “pool table,” that would get my attention. I love all the family so very much.
On March 24, 2010, my only sister, Reta Nelson, died. Reta was eight years older than me, but we were very close. No brother and sister ever loved each other more than we did. She loved every one of my children like her own, and I hers (Mike, Diane, and Donna). I loved her very much.
On March 24, 2013, Jeff and Don Peterson were married. They were close friends from their college years.
Experience in the Boise Temple
A while back, I had a very special thing happen at the Boise Temple. I had just completed an endowment and was getting dressed when a man came up to me with a big smile on his face. He grabbed me and gave me a big, tight hug. All the time, I thought I knew him and was trying to think where. I saw him again a couple of times with his beautiful, penetrating smile. And all the time, I was trying to place him. It wasn’t until I was driving home that I got the strong impression that he was the fellow who received the endowment I had just finished. I don’t remember what he said, but I will never forget that smile and the feeling I had.
My Four Sons
My four sons are all Eagle Scouts: Jeff 1966, Larry 1969, Rick 1978, and David 1991. All four sons served missions: Jeff served in Germany, Larry in Guatemala, Rick in California, and David in the Philippines. After his mission, Jeff graduated from Utah State University in Logan and moved to Washington, D.C.
My First 15 Cars
- 1929 Chevy Roadster Convertible (red, purchased in 1943 at age 16 from Woodgate)
- 1936 Ford Coupe (purple, purchased in 1945 from Butch Moyes)
- 1940 Chevy 2-door Sedan (purchased in 1945 from Fisher)
- 1949 Dodge Coupe (Floyd Anderson) Lynn’s first brand new car
- 1950 Chrysler New Yorker (purchased in 1951 from Freeds)
- 1952 Ford Pickup (purchased in 1952 from Andersons)
- 1938 Dodge Coupe (purchased in 1938 from Bill Pierce)
- 1954 Chevy 2-door (blue, purchased in 1954 from Pierce)
- 1956 Plymouth Fury (Packer)
- 1957 Plymouth Fury (Packer)
- 1956 Ford Wagon tan (Morris)
- 1959 Plymouth Station Wagon (blue)
- 1960 Chrysler Saratoga (purchased in 1960 and picked up from Detroit factory)
- 1961 Plymouth Wagon tan (sold to Paul)
- 1963 Thunderbird
9 were brand new, plus 4 new company cars
I am writing this history at age 87 and am trying to remember dates and keep the happenings in order. I have been blessed with a full life. The Lord has really blessed me and my family. I have really enjoyed my journey here on earth and it is a sobering thought as I realize that it will soon come to an end and I will return home. I have always said that on judgement day I will be judged by the accomplishments of my children more than mine. As of March 2016, we have 11 children, 36 grandkids, and 34 great-grandkids (with 3 more on the way), making 73 total. Return to Lynn Richman’s page on RichmanFamily.org