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Richard Barnum-Reece

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Richard Barnum-Reece 1945 ~ 2008 Richard Barnum-Reece, age 62, died on January 29, 2008 in Pleasant Grove, Utah. He wrote this obituary long before he died so no one would screw it up. He leaves behind the light of his life, his son, Robert Jesse Barnum-Reece age 21, Seattle, Washington. Preceded in death by his brother, Robert Barnum-Reece, Park City. Also preceded in death by his mother, Oma Katherine Hickman, Salt Lake; his father, Dick Reece, Big Flat, Arkansas; his stepfather, Harry L. Barnum, Jr., Salt Lake; and good friend, Marc Allred, Salt Lake. He is survived by his sister, Kathy Ray (Brent), West Jordan; and Brent Barnum (Bonnie), Lehi; Scott A. Barnum, Salt Lake. He is also survived by sisters and brothers on his father's side of the family, specifically, La Wayne Reece Downs, Springfield, Missouri; and Nina Reece Baysinger, Harriet, Arkansas; Rex and Roger and Dickie Reece, residence unimportant. Married and divorced Arlene Belnap, Margaret Armstrong, and Cynthia Hunsaker in a long, unsuccessful run at the institution of marriage. Born Richard Wayne Reece on Oct. 10, 1945 in Salt Lake. He and his younger brother, Robert, later added their stepfather's name. Editor and publisher of the Utah Runner and Cyclist, he graduated from the University of Utah cum laude in Political Science and with a master's degree in journalism. He was the sports editor of the University of Utah Chronicle and the editor of the University Magazine where he won numerous writing and editing awards. He later worked as a reporter for the Wood River Journal, Hailey, Idaho; the Standard Examiner, Ogden; KUTV, and the Deseret News. His work was published in the Baltimore Evening Sun, Minneapolis Tribune, Las Vegas Sun, Skiing Magazine, Ski Racing Magazine, Utah Holiday Magazine and elsewhere. He leaves behind three books: "Poetry for Mysha and the Windy Day," "Once Before I Die," "The Gonzo File" and a ton of articles and ruminations published in various sources all of which had to do with his life and always impending death. A 1964 graduate of Hillcrest High School where he was an all-region football player on a team that won one game, he was awarded a full athletic scholarship to play football at the University of Utah after having been told he couldn't play football at South High because of a heart condition. He was the sports editor of the Hillcrest High School Sentry where he won numerous writing awards. At the University he affiliated with the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity and hung out with Frank Cutler, Mark Allred, Ron Smith, and Dirty Lar. He was Sammy Cotterell's God-father. He came to believe that writers were like slaves working the cotton fields and that he'd rather "own the plantation if he was going to have to work on it." So he created the Utah Runner and Cyclist Magazine to find a place to write and get paid decently. He was involved in additional business ventures in sports events management. Mr. Barnum-Reece directed Crazy Bob's Bair Gutsman, the 1985 Salt Lake Classic, and numerous other biathlons and triathlons. He created the Wasatch Front 100 Mile Endurance Run and other events. He attended law school at Hamiline University, St. Paul, Minnesota, but left after undergoing surgery for his heart condition at the Mayo Clinic. He returned to Utah where he resumed his career in journalism and business and ran 29 marathons, seven 50 mile runs, and finished the Sundance to Wyoming 100 mile Endurance Run. He quit running when walking became a problem. He was a ski instructor, examiner, and supervisor at the Park City Ski Resort and a graduate of the National Ski Instructor's Academy. He was a ski patrolman at the Mt. Mansfield Ski Area, Stowe, Vermont, and the Sun Valley Ski Area. A career drinker for 25 years, he ran many an event and skied many a run on a hangover but, lo and behold, joined AA and stopped drinking at age 40. He traveled extensively, having gone around the world and hitchhiked through Central America to South America where he pitched a tent outside the Portillo ski resort in the Chilean Andes and skied. He lived and visited Europe, Africa, South America, and Asia in search of that which he never found. A memorial service where you can eat some food and read his stuff and listen to some Bob Dylan will be held at the University of Utah Alumni House, 155 S. Central Campus Drive (about 1400 E.) on Saturday, Feb. 9 between 4-8 p.m. There will be no booze. At his request, he was cremated and his ashes mixed with those of his favorite dog, Tamerlane, and his brother, Robert, to be scattered atop Reynolds Peak. His family wishes to thank numerous caretakers, who over the past 18 months rendered loving care and concern. In particular, kudos to Dr. Gagandeep Singh; Howard, Sharon, Justin, and Brittany at Lake View Care Center; Heidi at A-Plus Hospice; also good friends Ron Smith, Steve Cotterell, Marc Allred and JoAnn Liddiard. In lieu of flowers, please make a contribution to the charity of your choice.
Published in Deseret News from Feb. 2 to Feb. 3, 2008
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