Randy Horiuchi
1954 - 2015
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Randy Horiuchi never met a Republican he didn't like, which is a bit odd since he was a shining Utah Democrat.
But that's what made Randy effective as one of Utah's most popular politicians and why he will be so very missed by so many. The beloved father, husband, brother and best friend passed away Thursday, Nov. 19, 2015, at University Hospital in Salt Lake City after a brief illness. He was 61.
Randy was born May 9, 1954, to Tsutomu and May Horiuchi in Salt Lake City. He was among the first students to attend Cottonwood High School when it opened in 1970 where he was that school's first junior class president and then its second student body president.
That would be his entry into politics, a world he would never leave. At 19, he ran for the Granite School District's board which he narrowly lost. But it would be the only election he would ever lose.
After a stint as a debate coach and English teacher at Kearns High School, Randy worked on a variety of political campaigns and started his own lobbying business. He also was co-founder of the successful Mountain West Small Business Finance, which helps kickstart small local businesses.
But he is best known for his career as a Salt Lake County commissioner (now councilman). From his pithy campaign slogans ("Why would you want an old Shimizu when you can have a new Horiuchi?") to his imaginative but effective press conferences wearing hazmat suits or standing with a ceramic toilet, Randy's energy and enthusiasm for the community and its people were unrivaled.
He counted so many among his friends, from Gov. Gary Herbert, Sen. Orrin Hatch and University of Utah basketball coach Rick Majerus to the Salt Lake County firefighters he supported, and the fantasy football buddies he hung out with.
Yet the most important people in his life were his family, which included his wife Frances, his beautiful daughter Madeline, and his stepson Andrew (who went to scores of Utah Jazz games with him).
Yes, Randy Horiuchi never met a Republican he didn't like, but more to the point, Randy Horiuchi never met a person he didn't like. And that's what made him so special.
Randy is survived by his wife, daughter and stepson, his loveable bichon frise Lola, and brothers Wayne, Sherm and Vince. He is preceded in death by his parents and a son, Shane.
The family will hold a private service, and a public celebration of life service will be scheduled later. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the University of Utah, in the name of Randy Horiuchi, sent to Development Office, The University of Utah, 540 Arapeen Drive, Ste. 250, Salt Lake City, Utah, 84108-1238.

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Published in The Salt Lake Tribune from Nov. 22 to Nov. 23, 2015.
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21 entries
January 15, 2016
I had him as my Speech teacher at Kearns High School. He was funny and wise. I was a very timid person. He helped inspire me with confidence with his trust in me to what I was capable of accomplishing with my life.
Connie Larrinaga-Pope
January 8, 2016
I used to work at the daycare that his daughter Used to attend. He was an amazing dad to her and it was amazing to watch them together. He always treated us with the utmost respect and was very kind to us.
Tiffiny Mccleary
December 25, 2015
I had him for a debate coach and teacher at Kearns High School. I remember our debate trip to Arizona. He was a wonderful teacher full of passion for debate. Rest in peace.
Nancy Viall Sienicki
December 7, 2015
Randy was for the people who could always
reach him with their concerns.
BK Sonneman
November 27, 2015
Randy was a tremendous influence early on in my career. He will be sorely missed by all of us. Thank you for everything Randy.
Scott Neilson
November 26, 2015
I first met Randy in a political science class at the U. We ended up being like Hannity and Colmes, debating different positions. From that early time, we ran into each other throughout the years in political and charitable endeavors. He was one of the few of the other party I ever supported in some of his elections, and financially. Always positive, enthusiastic, and charming, what a wonderful person, humanitarian, and influence for good he was. A great void will be felt in Utah with the passing of this most unique public servant and personality. God bless his family with the joy of many choice memories of his life well lived.
John Hewlett
November 25, 2015
I had the honor and privilige to work with Randy in his responsibilities as a Salt Lake County Commissioner and Salt Lake County Council member. He was a great local government supporter and knew the importance of Parks and Recreation facilities in the well being of all of us. From the Salt Lake County Parks and Recreation Planning Division I had the opportunity of working with Randy whose approvals we needed in applying for acquisition and development grants, park standards, project development plans and contracts for development projects. It was ironic that after I retired, whenever we met in public he would say, "Don, when are you coming back to work for us?"
Donald M. Davis
November 25, 2015
Dear Family,

Randy remained the same as when I knew him in high school: always friendly and looking to represent and help those around him. I know you will feel his loss because he consistently cared for those he loved and served.

I remember reading his mother's obituary and sensing that loss to your family. Now I will think of him whenever I read or hear something in regards to Vince.

Here's a belated thanks for what his service and friendship to both me and the many other lives he touched. May you find peace at this time.
Renee W. Fasbender
November 24, 2015
Dear Fran, We are saddened by the loss of your good husband. You and your family are in our hearts and prayers. Sincerely, Laura Dayton Waldron
Laura Waldron
November 24, 2015
Fran and Horiuchi family,
Your dear Randy was one of the greatest, kindest, wittiest, most sincere and honest men I have known. We all mourn your loss...and mourn ours as well. Utah and beyond has lost a dear friend, mentor, and amazing individual. He had a gift to tell it like it was, bring opposing sides together, make you think deep, and also make you think you were his best buddy. Oh how we love him and are better because we knew him! Thanks for sharing him with us. You are in our prayers.

Louenda Downs
Former Davis County Commissioner
Louenda Downs
November 23, 2015
When I was 14 years old I had the opportunity to play Babe Ruth Baseball where Randy was one of coaches. I remember him being so positive and taking an interest in every kid on the team. Thirty five years later I ran into him at the store, he remembered me, the position I played, and took a genuine interest in how I was doing. Since then I have coached many years on the same field where Randy coached me. I am forever grateful for the example and the influence he had on me, and be the kind of coach that he was for me.
Jeff Abeyta
November 23, 2015
Randy was my Debate Teacher/Coach and my Honor's English Teacher at Kearns High School back in the dark ages but even then you could see how politics excited him. An election brought out the spark in his eye like nothing else. Randy was one of the "Cool" Teachers, allowing you to use his first name back when that was considered disrespectful. We all thought it was great. He was a good mentor and example which is why I am engaged in politics to this day. He will be greatly missed.
Antoinette Gard
November 23, 2015
Randy was a strong supporter and defender of county government and its statewide association where I met him and worked with him for many years. My deepest condolences to his family. He will be greatly missed.
Brent Gardner
November 22, 2015
Randy was one of Utah's best! I learned and laughed with him during the old CDC days. I repaid those lessons by teaching him how to hit a 2 iron, and that's how he introduced me ever since - Heiner 2 Iron. He was a great man, and will be missed. Thanks for sharing his life with me.
Mark Heiner
November 22, 2015
Randy was my debate coach, but more importantly, my friend. Thanks for the advice, love and your shoulder to lean on. Heaven must be a little more homey now that you're back.
Tami Bartholomew Fortie
November 22, 2015
My deepest condolences to Fran and the other members of Randy's family. This is such a tragic loss at so many levels. Grieve well and find peace.
Gloria Wurst
November 22, 2015
I have great memories of working with Randy on the University of Utah ASUU Cabinet. His love of the political process was extraordinary. He had an infectious smile and a brilliant mind. He will be missed.
Barbara Anderson' DeBry
November 22, 2015
Randy is 6 years older than I and from time to time, I've been mistaken for him as we both share some similarities; He and I share the same birth month, May; graduated from Cottonwood High School, he in 1972 and I in 1978 and we both come from Japanese ancestry.

Randy sat next to me at a dinner function and while I shook his hand, I shared with him my experiences of being mistaken for him. He took one look at me and said, "I can see why!"

Randy, it's been an honor and pleasure to be your doppelganger. May you rest in peace.
Jeff Nakashima
November 22, 2015
I am one of the Republicans whom he liked. I called him the Happy Warrior, a name reserved for fellow Democrat Franklin D. Roosevelt. When we met, which was not often enough. We would talk US and Utah political History. For me I wrote history and watched it, for Randy he made history and loved it. Randy's smile, laugh and fun loving personality will be missed. He was like Will Rodgers, he never met a man he did not like. But in the mind of this Republican he will always be there. To his wife Fran and to his Children Linda and I send our heart felt condolences.
Ronald & Linda Fox
November 22, 2015
Randy, thanks for the memories, the laughs, the lunch gatherings with so many friends, sports talk and discussions about movies and of course politics. And golf. Love to Fran, Andrew and Madeline. Life will not be the same without that Randy smile and laugh. Thanks for the memories, I love ya man. Brent Overson, former County Commissioner.
Brent Overson
November 22, 2015
Thank you Randy for making the world a better place!
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