Richard Leon Alder died at home on Thursday, July 11, 2019 at the age of 74 of Lewy Body Dementia with Parkinsons.
He was born in Logan, Utah to Seth Leon and Elaine Poulsen Alder on September 7, 1944. He was an only child who grew up surrounded by many cousins and friends to play baseball with. He developed his hard work ethic on the farm with his dad and grandfather, Leon Alder. His summers were spent in Pocatello Valley, Idaho harvesting crops for winter feed. While harvesting at night, Richard tuned his radio to KTLA in Los Angeles to listen to baseball games. He loved baseball and could often be found sitting in a stadium enjoying the game when he could break away.
Richard attended Providence Elementary and graduated from South Cache High School in 1962. After 1 year at Utah State University, he served a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Central American Mission where he learned to speak Spanish fluently, a skill he continued to use throughout his life.
After his mission, he finished his degree in Veterinary Science intending to become a veterinarian, but his friends convinced him to apply to medical school as well. When he was accepted to the University of Missouri in Columbia, Missouri he decided to become a doctor. Richard completed both his schooling and general surgery residency there and accepted a position in Ogden, Utah in 1977. During his career he performed surgery at McKay Dee Hospital and St. Benedicts Hospital. He retired in 2010 after 33 years due to his Lewy Body Dementia diagnosis. He earned the respect, love and admiration of all the hospital staff and his patients through his kindness, respect and patience to all he came in contact with.
While in Columbia, he met and married Marilyn Hughes and together they had six children and adopted a seventh. They were later divorced. In 1997, he married Kathleen Willardson in the Ogden Utah Temple adding her two children to the mix.
Richard was a dedicated, lifelong member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He served in many church callings including Bishop, High Councilor, and High Priest Group Leader but Sunday School teacher was his favorite calling. His skill as a story teller and teacher coupled with his sure testimony of Jesus Christ brought Gospel concepts to life for his students.
He was committed to his medical profession and served in many leadership positions in the hospital while treating thousands of patients over the years. In many cases he operated on multiple family members because of his reputation and great surgical outcomes.
Richard was a skilled pianist who played music, not just notes. However, he was reluctant to play in front of an audience because he did not think he was very good. Those few who were privileged to hear him play knew otherwise.
Richard is survived by his wife, Kathleen and 8 children, Elizabeth Ebeling (Kerby), Sarah Larsen (Chris), Juliet Cook (Larry), Adrien Jenkins (Matt), Rachel Murray (Nate), Alex Seth Alder, Michelle Lowham (Craig), Dayne Teigeler (Emerald Green) 22 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren.
Richard was preceded in death by his parents Seth and Elaine Alder and an infant son, Jonathan Reed Alder.
Funeral services will be held Saturday, July 20th at 12:00 noon in the Providence Stake Center, 180 South 485 West, Providence, UT. A viewing will be held on Friday, July 19 in Ogden at the Shadow Valley Chapel, 5191 South Old Post Rd from 6:00 – 9:00pm. Friends may also attend the viewing on Saturday July 20, at the Providence Stake Center from 10:00 – 11:45 am prior to services. Internment will follow the service in the Providence City Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, please contribute to the McKay-Dee Hospital Foundation at 801 387-7175 or mckaydeehospital.org/give
Condolences and memories may be shared with the family at nymanfh.com