Richard Vern Peay(1923 - 2014)

Richard Vern Peay

St. George

Colonel Richard V. Peay died peacefully of natural causes on Thursday February 27, 2014 in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Vern was born at home in Garfield, Utah on March 19, 1923 to Justin and Irene Peay. Vern was the last of five children, of which Vern, Wilson and Erma lived to adulthood.

After graduating from Cypress High with honors, Vern enrolled at the University of Utah in 1940. He joined the Army R.O.T.C. his freshmen year. In the fall of 1944, Vern met Dorothy Carbis and was smitten. Just prior to Vern's deployment to the Philippines, Dorothy and Vern were married in Pacific Grove California on July 19, 1945. They spent 10 days together before Vern deployed. In transit, the war with Japan ended. Vern remained in the Philippines until the summer of 1946. Upon discharge, Vern finished his studies at the U and graduated from law school in 1949.

Vern returned to active duty in 1950, working for the Selective Service System. He ultimately became Director of Selective Service for the State of Utah and received the Legion of Merit decoration for his service. Vern retired from the Army in 1971. In 1973, Vern became the first State Court Administrator for Utah, a position he held until 1985. During his tenure, he helped modernize the court system of Utah, seeing through constitutional changes to court structure, increased compensation for judges and improvements to court facilities across the state.

Vern and Dorothy raised their family in Holladay, before moving to St. George after retirement. They spent their summers in Sun Valley. They loved their children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. After Dorothy joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in 1999, they were sealed to their family and enjoyed their activity in the Church.

Vern loved to fish, especially fly fishing with his sons and grandson. He enjoyed golfing and played into his 80's with his buddies in St. George. With Dorothy at his side, they traveled the world.

Vern is survived by his son Wayne and his wife Robyn (Sandy), John and his wife Jill (Boise) Mary Beth Clark, her husband Robert (Colorado Springs), grandchildren, Amy Mack and her husband TJ, Ashley Bourne and her husband Michael, Christian Clark, Elizabeth Clark and great grandchildren Haven, Driggs and Brooklyn. Vern was preceded in death by his dear Dorothy, his parents, and siblings, his daughter Robyn Elizabeth and granddaughter Robyn Careen.

A memorial service for Vern is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. Wednesday March 12th at Larkin Mortuary 260 E. South Temple, Salt Lake City with internment to occur thereafter at the Fort Douglas Military Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, please make a contribution to the Nature Conservancy in Vern's name.


Funeral Home

Larkin Mortuary
260 East South Temple Salt Lake City, UT 84111
(801) 363-5781

Published in The Spectrum & Daily News on Mar. 9, 2014