Helen Kearnes Richards, age 98, passed away peacefully on March 11, 1998 at her home in Salt Lake City.
Born November 25, 1899 in Gunnison, Utah to Edwin Josephus and Ovanda Witbeck Kearnes, she grew up in Salt Lake City, attended the LDS High School and graduated from the University of Utah.A young woman of energy and ambition, during her student days she performed on the stage of the old Salt Lake Theater. She attended Columbia University in New York City, taught Home Economics at Murray High School, and during the Depression created a radio personality--Ida G. Abbott--with a program for homemakers. Her creative talents found many opportunities, including organizing a statewide PTA and helping to build Youngtown, a children's home in Duchesne County.
She married Franklin D. Richards on August 1, 1923 in the Salt Lake Temple. They raised four children and served together in numerous church callings. She was his companion and counselor when he served as president of the Northwestern States Mission, supervised missions in Latin America and presided over the Washington, DC Temple. She was an indefatigable missionary: reaching out, testifying of God's love, touching hearts and blessing lives wherever she went. Her constant desire was to be led by the Spirit.
A woman of many interests and accomplishments, she was a pianist, a painter, an avid gardener, a collector of recipes, a gracious hostess, an ironer of sheets, and an irrepressible storyteller. She loved people, was always cheerful and rose eagerly to a challenge. She possessed wit, warmth, devotion, and great faith. She is beloved by her family and by a wide, diverse circle of friends blessed by her caring spirit.
She is survived by a brother, Henry Kearnes; sons, Franklin D. (Kathryn) Richards, Jr. and David K. (Sharon) Richards and daughters, Louise (Robert) Judd and Nancy (Robert) Clark, 14 grandchildren and 33 great-grandchildren.
Funeral services will be held Monday, March 16, 1998 at 12 noon at the Salt Lake Eagle Gate Stake Center, 135 A Street (corner of 2nd Ave.). Friends may call Sunday evening from 6-8 p.m. at Larkin Mortuary, 260 East South Temple, and Monday at the stake center from 10:30-11:30 a.m. prior to services. Interment, Wasatch Lawn Memorial Park.
T 3/13 T 3/16