Evelyn Marie (Skala) RichardsNovember 10, 1922 ~ August 29, 2017 (age 94)
Our beloved mother and grandmother Evelyn M. Richards passed away peacefully, surrounded by family, on August 29th, 2017. We will miss her strength and wisdom. Evelyn was unselfish, committed to her causes and had generosity of spirit that was marked by her many giving interests.
Evelyn was born on November 10, 1922 in Red Lake Falls, Minnesota to Joseph and Alice Skala. She attended Lafayette High School and graduated in 1940. After high school, she took teachers training in Red Lake Falls and taught for one year in a country school. Then Evelyn moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota to take courses at the Minnesota School of Business. She worked for nine months and returned to Red Lake Falls to work at the only bank in town.
In February 1944, Evelyn joined the United States Navy Waves and went to New York, New York for basic training. Later, she traveled to upstate New York where she learned mail clerking and became a mail clerk for the Navy. She then traveled by train to San Francisco to work at the fleet post office. After that she transferred to the San Diego naval base to work at the naval hospital until she was discharged from the Navy in February 1946.
In July 1947, Evelyn married Robert “Ted” Richards, who was originally from Red Lake Falls, in Long Beach, California. They raised their six children in Downey, California. Evelyn was very active in her church and civic duties in Downey. She pursued her love of politics and served as president of the League of Women Voters. Ted and Evelyn were active participants in their six children’s lives.
In 1977, Ted and Evelyn moved to Park City, Utah to open Alpine Electric, an electrical contracting company, with son’s Scott and Jeff Richards. Evelyn’s beloved husband Ted passed away in June 1986. Evelyn’s remaining years were energetic and productive. She was active in the St. Mary’s Catholic church and was instrumental in greeting and assimilating Ying and Ha Houang from Vietnam to Utah and life in the United States. She served as president and member of the Park City League of Women Voters (LWV), worked on campaigns and wrote studies for the LWV. She organized the tri-county ecumenical Sub-For-Santa program for many years, was a member of the Park City Friends of the Library, and a member of the Utahns for a Just Peace in the Holy Land, Park City chapter. She was also a member of the Sierra Club, an activist against nuclear testing and a member of the Domestic Peace Council. She was voted Citizen of the Year by the Park City Rotary Club in 1993 and was Grand Marshall of the Miners Day parade. Evelyn also enjoyed hiking in the mountains with friends and family, she was a voracious reader, NPR listener/supporter and had many interest that carried her to various places in the world such as Palestine, Russia, Japan and Europe.
Evelyn is survived by her six children and their spouses and seven grandchildren and three great grand children: Ron and Cheryl Stone of Bishop California, Scott “Fatback” and Becky Richards of Park City, Larry and Teresa Perkins of Park City, Jeff and Kristin Richards of Park City, Lonnie and Mary Pennington of San Diego, California and Keith and Annie Kendrick of Albany, Oregon. Grandchildren are: Ian and Corinne Richards, Kyle and Michael Richards, Matthew and Colin Pennington and Dave Stone. Her three great grandchildren: Jake, Nick and Zach Stone.
Funeral services will be held at the Park City St. Mary’s Catholic Church located at 1505 White Pine Canyon Road, Park City, on Monday, September 11th, 2017 at 11:00 am. There will be a visitation and rosary between 10:30 and 11:00 prior to the service. After the funeral mass, everyone is invited to a Rite of Committal with military honors at the Park City Cemetery to honor Evelyn’s status as a Naval Veteran. Everyone is welcome to come back for a reception with food and beverages at the White Pine Catholic Church.
In lieu of flowers, Evelyn asked that friends and family donate to the Utahns for a Just Peace in the Holy Land (UJPHL) organization at greatnonprofits.org/org/utahns-for-a-just-peace-in-the-holy-land. Or by mail at 1949 South 800 East, Salt Lake City, Utah 84105. UJPHL is a C-3 and donations are tax deductible.