Richard Van Wagoner

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Richard Van Wagoner Obituary
Richard Van Wagoner 1946 ~ 2010 Richard, age 64, passed away unexpectedly in his sleep Oct. 10, 2010.He was born in Lehi, UT to Alvah Ephraim Van Wagoner and Ethel Gayle Smith Julian Van Wagoner. He was a highly motivated student and Eagle Scout (having earned all 107 merit badges). He served an LDS mission to the Central States and received his MS Degree from BYU in 1970. He married Mary Carter in 1967 in the Salt Lake LDS Temple (now divorced). They were the parents of five daughters: Lisa Jane V. (Jay) Mortensen (deceased); Amanda V. Gray (Pete Snell); Michelle V. Robinson (Marlow); Shoshanna V. Wright; Jennifer Leigh V. Woods (Tucker). The recent lights of his life were his grandchildren: Brandon S. and Travis B. Gray, Jordan C. Van Wagoner, Austin L. Maurtiz, Shayni L. and Hayden R. Robinson, Dylan P., Kelly A., and Ashlee J. Snell, Carter L. Wright, Sophie L. Woods; and great-granddaughter Hailie Gray. He is survived by brothers and sister: Paul S. Julian (Hazel) and Gill S. Van Wagoner (Julie), Jay Van Wagoner (Dolores), Mark Van Wagoner (Natalie), Larue Sharp, Al Van Wagoner, Tim Van Wagoner, John Van Wagoner and Ace Van Wagoner. A Clinical Audiologist, he was the owner of Mountain West Hearing Center in Salt Lake City. The co-author of A Book of Mormons, he also authored Mormon Polygamy: A History, Lehi: Portraits of a Utah Town, Sidney Rigdon: A Portrait of Religious Excess, and Pioneering Lehi City: A 150 year Pictorial History. His Sidney Rigdon biography was recognized by the Mormon History Association as "the best biography in the field of Mormon History in 1995," and also awarded the Best Book Award by the John Whitmer Historical Society. Recently, he was the editor of The Complete Discourses of Brigham Young (2010), with Joseph Smith: The Life of The Mormon Prophet, Vol. 1, The Early Years, 1805-1831, soon to be released. The Utah Historical Society awarded him the Media Award for his five-year Lehi Free Press feature, Lehi Yesteryears. He was a member of the board of editors of both Signature Books and The Utah Historical Quarterly, he also published extensively on Western American and Mormon history. Active in local and historical circles, he was a founding member of the Lehi Historical Preservation Commission and also served as Lehi City's Historical Archivist. He was one of the principals responsible for the Veterans Memorial Building and old Lehi Railroad Station restorations. Richard, despite his hearing loss, loved music. He played piano, guitar, trumpet, harmonica, and drums. He loved classic rock music--especially The Beatles, The Beach Boys, and The Eagles. We all remember him as a great storyteller who loved to share memories and observations. A remembrance of his great life will be on Saturday, Oct. 16, 2010 at 12:00 noon in the Lehi 2nd Ward LDS Chapel, 435 E. 300 N. A viewing will be held Friday evening from 7-9:00 p.m. at the Wing Mortuary, 118 E. Main, Lehi, and one hour prior to services at the church on Saturday. Interment, Lehi City Cemetery. Online guestbook at

Published in Deseret News from Oct. 12 to Oct. 14, 2010
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