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In Memory

Richard Charles (Rick) Ekins

Richard Charles (Rick) Ekins

1950 ~ 2020
Richard Charles Ekins, 69, died April 1, 2020 in Provo, Utah, of causes unrelated to Covid-19. He was born Sept. 11, 1950, SLC, Utah, to V. Ross Ekins, Jr. and Soni Orme Ekins. Although he dealt with behavioral health issues in his later years, Richard enjoyed a loving relationship with connected family members and friends. A "gentle giant," Richard will be remembered for his captivating laugh and wonderful sense of humor as well as his often whimsical metal sculptures. Like his father, he had a passion for fishing. An Eagle Scout, Richard graduated from Skyline H.S. in 1969, attended The U and received degrees from SLCC in business management ('73) and welding ('95). He is survived by former spouses Susan Kay Howell and Janice Stuart; his children, Rikki Su Nash and Amanda Payne; his grandchildren RyLee, MayCee, and BayLee Nash and Tyler, Lexie and Katelyn Payne; his brothers, Roger, David and James and his mother. No memorial services will be possible, but Richard will long remain a fond memory among those who knew and loved him. "'Til we meet again."

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04/03/20 08:31 PM #1    

Jim Ekins

Diane Sorensen was kind enough to give me temporary access so that I could post a couple comments about my older brother, Rick. His behavioral health had been in steep decline for the past several years, so much so that we had to find a safe place for him where he could be cared for. More recently, his physical health started to worsen. In the end it was respiratory failure that got the best of him, despite valiant efforts of medical professionals who were with him to administer CPR.

Growing up with Rick, I recall that his junior high and high school years were his happiest. Elementary school, maybe not so much. While on the playground one day he decided to pull a dangling cord on an idling coal truck, thereby causing a full unloading of all its contents onto the asphalt. He almost got away with it (other than the lecture and, I am told, corporal punishment administered by the principal), until one of his friend's parents casually mentioned to our father in passing something about "that crazy truck incident." Our dad punished Rick, of course, but I believe he reserved his harshest words for the principal (went by the nickname "Tom Cat"?). Dad barged into his office, not caring that some secretary was telling him he needed an appointment, got in the principal's face big-time and told him under no uncertain terms never to touch Rick again, or Dad would being "touching" the principal.

I doubt many of you kept in touch with Rick in recent years, but I am surprised on occasion while visiting Salt Lake when I would run into one of you and you would take the time to inquire about him. I share a photo montage that I put together for our mother a few years ago: Rick through the ages.

Thanks for "listening."

Jim Ekins, Scottsdale, AZ

04/03/20 10:52 PM #2    

Steven Gerrard

Glad to listen. Thanks for speaking. Though we weren't in the same social circle, I do remember him. Thanks. 

04/04/20 10:53 AM #3    

Gary S. Pollock

So sorry to read about Rick. I remember him well...from way back when. RIP

04/04/20 12:11 PM #4    

Sue Pouillon (Simonich)

Hi Jim:  I am saddened to hear about Rick's death. I remember standing at the bus stop at the bottom of Fairfield (on your street) talking to Rick every morning.  He was also in many of my classes growing up.  I remember his shy and affable personality. Definitely a gentle giant! The circumstances of his decline made me sad.  Thank you for sharing with us.

I had to laugh about the coal truck incident. It sounds like our brothers tended to get into trouble. devil

Your father was definitely a powerhouse when it came to standing up for, and to people. After my family moved to Portland, Oregon, I remember he checked up on us to see how we were faring.  Always the leader.  I was at home looking after my brother when your Mom and Dad swooped in for a visit.  They took us out to dinner at Benihana's in Portland.  Always so generous and caring.  Please give your mother my best.  She may be interested to know both my parents are gone now.  Mom outlived Dad. She lived until August 30th. 2019.  She was 93.  May God bless all of you.

04/11/20 10:59 AM #5    

Kent F. Goldthorpe

Rick was one of our best friends in High School (speaking in terms of both myself and my brother, Brent).  There never was a more loyal friend.  We spent many days and nights in the outdoors enjoying, for the most part, fishing and camping.  Rick had our backs in the several good old fashioned fights after the football games and saved my butt more than once.  He came to live with us for a short while after Brent "took care of" a problem once between Rick and Roger, something I've looked back on with pride for over 50 years now.  Rick always took the blame for any trouble, perceived or real, when it came to his older brothers, an unnatural result of his being so much bigger and tougher, even though he was much younger.  Brent and I spent quite a bit of time comforting Rick after these domestic altercations and his resulting punishment, with him often being in tears.  

I'll never forget what was likely the most meaningful act of compassionate service ever given to me during my youth and it was given by Rick.  The day after returning home from Wyoming with the body of my brother Brent', Rick showed up at my house completely outfitted and equipped for a 3-day fishing trip, which he insisted I accompany him as well as his dad, on.  By going with him I was spared the incredible sorrow and some trauma from what transpired in my own home those 3 days I was gone.  I shall never forget that and it has guided my decision-making process when I provide compassion to others, to  "be there" for others, not merely ask, "let me know if you need anything". 

Rick took amazing care of my mother after Brent's death and my leaving on a mission.  When I told mom of Risk's passing she broke down and wept.  "Rick always made me feel worth something", was something she mentioned.  "He was such a tease".  I remember once driving up on our lawn chasing my mom around the lawn in my MG, with Rick bailing out and shoving the running hose down mom's shirt.  She loved the attention.  He stopped by and visited with her often.  I suppose Rick and I fed off each other's enjoyment of rather inappropriate humor.

Seldom was there ever a more jovial guy and one who would drop just about anything to go have a good time!  I shall miss you.

04/12/20 07:43 AM #6    

Jim Ekins

When I posted my older brother's obituary on your website, it was with the hope that Kent, most of all, would see this and offer his perspective about Rick. Thank you, Kent, for your thoughtful tribute. Rick didn't have a vast number of friends in high school, but was (as you wrote) fiercely loyal to the friends he had, including you and your brother. I recall well the fishing trip you went on with Rick and our dad, Ross, soon after Brent's passing. Rick continued to love fishing and did so for so long as he was able. He requested that his ashes be scattered along the banks of his favorite fishing venue: Strawberry Reservoir. We will be honoring that request.

He was, indeed, a tease. I wonder if he passed on April Fool's Day just to mess with us, but of course he didn't control the timing and I don't think he was ready to leave just yet.

God bless you, Kent. You always were, and obviously still are, a good man and compassionate soul.


04/12/20 11:33 AM #7    

Randy Ripplinger

Too young; far, far too young.

04/12/20 03:07 PM #8    

Michael S. (Mike) Tingey

It is Easter Sunday, April 12th as I am writing this reflection.  I just read Kent Goldthorpe's comments, and swirled into a rainbow of memories.  I too will miss Rick.  I remember his smile, his laugh, his "awe shucks" attitude.  I remember that he could palm a basketball before anyone else - I never have been able to do that!  I remember Kent's & Brent's stories about the rumbles at Shorres after the football games, and am glad to I didn't receive a Rick Ekins' fist in my chest!  I remember his kindness!  My condolances and appreciation to Soni & Jim Ekins, and Diane Strong Ekins for their longsuffering kindness to Rick.

I also scrolled down the list of our classmates who have passed; and I thought of all of you still living.  Memories flowed!  And the true meaning of Easter - the priceless gift, and reality of resurection, and renewal - the opportunity to meet again our lost friends and family members - the rebirth of a new springtime - and the unwaverinig love of our Heavenly Father and our elder brother Jesus Christ, is all the more real to me today.  To those who do not share my beliefs, I mean no disrespect, but please accept this as my expression of deepest gratitude to those to whom I am so indebted.

I didn't know of the kindnesses Rick showered on Kent Goldthorpe until reading Kent's post.  But I am touched!  When we think back on our lives, I believe it is appropriate and desirable to remember the good in people.  I know Rick had a tough life in the end, but my wish for him is to be wrapped in loveing arms.  One of the most memorable and touching moments of my life involved Kent, Brent, me and a deaf boy in our ward named John Hodson.  John was a good guy - I believe a year younger than us - some of you may have known him, but he went to a deaf school and wasn't with us at Skyline.  But, while I knew and liked John, I'm ashamed to say that I didn't do much with him - I missed the opportunity to really get to know him.  Because of his deafness, he had a hard time speaking.

One Sunday, I was assigned with Kent, Brent, and John Hodson to officiate at the Sacrament Table in our Ward.  I'd been there with each of them before, but I didn't realize what was happening this time. Normally John sat on one of the ends of the 4-some, and others sat in the middle to pray - but this time I was on the far right; I found one of the Goldthorpes next to me, and John sandwiched between Brent and Kent.  As the appropriate time came, one of the Goldthorpes offered the Sacrament prayer on the bread - I don't recall which one.  Then to my surprise, John knealed down, and with both Bent and Kent encouraging him, he began to nervously form the words of the Sacrament Prayer on the water.  These were words that he had memorized, and painstakenly formed through a mouth that was normally halting and mute.  He spoke every single word slowly, with ernest expression, trembling as he spoke, and as sincere as I have every heard that prayer. Tears filled my eyes as he read that prayer; and as I looked up at the end, there were scores of people wiping tears from their eyes.  How had John been able to do such a wonderful thing?  I later learned that Brent and Kent had taken weeks of kind instruction to teach John how to pronounce each word - weeks, maybe months of tender kindness to help someone accomplish something he longed to do, but knew he couldn't have done on his own. I was so proud of John for overcoming his fear, and trying.  I was thrilled for his sucess!  But, oh how I admired Kent and Brent, who showed me a better way!!  Kent may refer back to his and Brent's occasional "inappropriate humor" ( and I agree there was some :) ), but what would life be without humor???  The real golden hearts of the Goldthorpes shown through that day, and many more!  

I don't know how I was so fortunate to grow up with the friends I have/had; in the area we grew up in; in the time of the world we occupied; in a much more personal time.  But I want to again express my love and appreication for each of you!  I will miss Rick; I choose to remember the good things, and as the poet wrote, "... and with the breath of kindness, blow the rest away."  That is my deepest desire of others for me, and on this Easter Day, it seems even more poienient. 

Rest well, my friend!

04/16/20 12:00 AM #9    

Greg Link

Remember Rick fondly. He was one of the good ones. Sorry for your loss your family is in our prayers thanks for letting us know ❤️

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