Richard Barnum-Reece
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 by Deseret News from Feb. 2 to Feb. 3, 2008.
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46 Entries
A great guy and could make you feel at home after you arrive at one of the events he directed.
Darrell Rector
February 6, 2021

Though they tried, they could not annihilate your indomitable spirit.

Goodbye my magic man. To the end, you were a spinner of silver from the ineffable substance of your soul.

Lorraine Slattery
March 1, 2008
I am very sorry to hear of the loss of RBR. My condolences to the family.
Karen Nelson
February 28, 2008
To me Richard was a larger than life character. When I started doing his Tri's in the 90's there were but a handful of athletes doing his races and it was a really tight community. He never lost that close knit feeling when you went to any of his races. He made you feel good. Look what he started! We now have race venues with 500+ athletes here in Utah. We all owe him a debt of gratitude. I'll miss reading his newspaper and his commentary. I've made friendships with other athletes because of him and when we see each other and laugh and talk about old times it's all due to Richard. I miss him.
Brent Zabriskie
February 24, 2008
Who but Mr. Reece would "urge" me along on the first Park City Marathon, on that pretty fall day, Sept. 1, 1979? I "struggled" to understand him, that "gruff power-house of a human ("mountain-goat"), "charging up mtns./falling down ravines". "How where you going to survive yourself?"(I thot to myself). Could someone please tell me the name of a book RBR wrote about "early long-distance running in Utah"(?) or close? Thank you!
karen nelson (prev. Darden)
February 19, 2008
I feel so fortunate that I had the opportunity to know you as you were "passing through toward the ending..."That was the first line in a poem you wrote in 1970(?). There will always be a candle burning in my heart for you. I am sorry I did not know what had happened.
Wendy Kirk
February 15, 2008
My first race ever was one of the sprint races Richard put on 7 years ago. He was always happy and friendly and I am thankful to Richard for introducing me to such a great group of positive happy people that do triathlon. He has done so much for the our community. Thanks!
Clark Mower
February 13, 2008
We never had to wonder what your opinion was, RBR. Thanks for keeping us on our toes. You were always remembered as the original creator of the Wasatch 100 before you donated it to Steve Baugh. My first big trail run was with you and a group in the Uintahs. 30 miles in 2 days. Also caught a ride in your vehicle at the Bair Gutsman. You were a scream!
Those were great days. Gonna miss
Irv Nielsen
February 12, 2008
Thank you Richard, most of us are triathletes because of you. Thanks for letting us all be superstars in your articles, and humbling us at your races. I never thought are chat befor the Schofeild swim would be our last. My mom wishes you peace and happiness.
Jason Crompton
February 12, 2008
thanks richard for our friendship. i was fortnate enough to have participated in over 100 of his triathlons. because of richard many of us got started in the sport of triathlons. he was the only game in town. richard and i go back a long ways and i will trully miss him. my lasting appreciation to the family for looking over him during these year and a half. richard had a wonderful son in robert and always gave his all to everything he did. goodby richard barnum-reese.
jim demet
February 9, 2008
Richard, Thank you for all the terrific races, and all the splendid lies you have ever told about me. My first triathlon at the age of 13 was by the grace of your runner and cyclist magazine. Endurance sports have been my life passion ever since. I may never eat at the Park Cafe again without expecting you to come in and cook up your own breakfast. Thank you for all you have given me.
aaron olsen
February 8, 2008
Wow, sounds like Richard lived 3 lives! I'm so touched that Richard will return to the earth with Tamerlane and that he is spending time with family now - including his furry family.

I remember Grandma Georgie calling Richard her boyfriend when I was little - I gasped and thought Grandpa was going to hear or find out! May we all learn from Richard with his zest in life.
Ambur Mathews
February 8, 2008
Barnum! It was a real blow to learn that you have moved on. I frankly thought you were somehow invincible. You certainly knew how to make the most of this life, and your intelligence and energy will always be fresh in my mind regardless of the distance of time or space. We had a lot of memorable adventures together, granted both wonderful and not so good, but you will always stand out as very special in my mind. You will definitively be missed. Peace to you Richard.
Steve Kirk
February 8, 2008
February 7, 2008
My deepest sympathy to you all. Richard will always be in my thoughts. May he now finally be at peace.
Love, Janie Bahr
Jane Bahr
February 7, 2008
When I first got to know you I was impressed by how invested your friends and family were in you. I think it said a lot for what a wonderful person you were. You were great to work with to the end. May you rest in peace.
Gagandeep Singh
February 5, 2008
We'll miss you Richard ! Thanks for organizing all those races when no one else would ...
Benny Yih
February 5, 2008
Although I only new Richard briefly, and only in the last years of his life, I was charmed by his energy. The universe is and always will be a better place because of him. This world will miss him, but nirvana was waiting. God's Speed Richard, you are missed.
Mary Ward
February 5, 2008
Wishing your family peace and love
at this difficult time.....
Tracey (Silverado Receptionist)
Tracey McArdle
February 5, 2008
Richard, as I recall, back in 1956 you did one hell-of-an Elvis impersonation, the voice, the hair, the gyrating pelvis, the snarling upper lip, all at the tender age of 11. Your talents, we would later learn, were vast and extraordinary. Though we didn't always see eye-to-eye, you always had my respect for your frankness and unbridled spirit. I regret my stubborness to reconcile with you until it was too late. Peace be with you, cous.
Steve Thomas
February 5, 2008
A few memories of my Uncle Richard:

-his crazy yet believable stories of how Santa had been in a horrible sleigh crash or that the Easter Bunny had been hit by a car and thus would not be paying a visit to his little nieces and nephews.
-When my sister Julia and I were little, Richard had taken us on some sort of little date. Before going into a store, he asked if we'd like a candy bar. We both lit up with excitement at the prospect but were a bit disappointed when he came out with a banana and orange.
-One Christmas a long time ago, he hauled us kids in his VW van to go see The Nutcracker.
-After seeing his pictures of Kenya and hearing his stories about having lions right outside his shacks over there, I spent all my savings and went there myself at the ripe age of 20.

We'll miss you and your one-of-a-kind approach to life.
Cydnee Barnum Farmer
February 4, 2008
Remembering Richard from the early days of Park City, may he rest in peace.
Debbie Hansen
February 4, 2008
My deepest sympathy to Richard Barnum-Reece's family and friends. Richard was a dear friend to my sons Nick and Ron and spent a lot of time at our home, when he was in high school.May he rest in Peace.
Erma K. Yengich
Erma Yengich
February 4, 2008
You once told me that no one should have more possessions than could fit in a backpack. That way, you'd always be free to go when life got too unbearable. I'm glad you finally made your getaway. You made my life richer, you crazy-o.
rex nutting
February 4, 2008
Richard ~ I loved you & was very blessed to of had you in my life and to have crossed paths with you as we walked through this life. I got to have a glimpse of the velvet on the inside of your exterior. Your sister, through the love of your Mom and siblings, Sharon
Sharon Bartlett Calvert
February 4, 2008
Richard cared about the community. He helped coach Holladay Boys Baseball, as well as sharing his tremendous writing talents and love of outdoor sports. He will be missed.
Bill & Sharon Larkin
February 3, 2008
The planet's energy level dropped off just a bit with Richard's passing. You always were and will be rock star, literary madman, and soul of the U of U to your adoring nephew. I love you!

Pat ("P.T.") Barnum
Pat Barnum
February 3, 2008
Thank you Richard for all the fun and the agony of the Bair Gutsman.
Because of you, I reached goals that I never thought I could attain.Thank you for the kind words for Jason, I know you understood the loss.May you be at peace with God and run among the winds.
Melanie Vincz
February 3, 2008
Dear Richard,
Thanks for your friendship. I'll always remember our good times at the Bair Gutsman. I'll always love you for your wonderful column on my son Jason. Hopefully, you are running, biking and swimming with the Gods.
Martial Thirsk
February 3, 2008
Dear Barnum Family,
My name is Colleen Pierce. My Dad was Claire Pierce, your Mother's cousin. Before his death, my cousin Val Crawford kept me updated about Richard's situation. I remember you all from the Mott Xmas parties and Reunions. I really loved your Mother and Grandmother. I hope that you will feel comforted and peace at this time of loss.
Colleen Pierce
February 3, 2008
I can still see Richard doing the side stroke while warming-up for the SWIM start of the '06 Scofield Triathlon. Little did he/I know what would happen a few short minutes later!

I believe we truly lost Richard on that day in August while doing what he loved to do (although rarely got to do because he was usually directing the race!)

Richard will live on in the hearts and minds of endurance athletes throughout the state of Utah and beyond. We will be forever grateful for your service to us and the community!
Scott Kelly
February 3, 2008
Love you Uncle Richard! I'm so glad you finally escaped your mortal challenges over the last year and a half. You'll never be forgotten by me and I'll miss you terribly. Love always,
Julia Barnum-Earle
February 3, 2008
Though I havent seen Richard since our old South High days - he was a good friend of mine and I knew then of his many talents and his determinations. I have fond memories of him.
Lee Godfrey
February 3, 2008
richard was the tazmanian devil...i will always remember him with a smile on my face. BIG life. his energy will be missed.
mame fitzpatrick
February 3, 2008
Richard, my heart is sad and I wish I could have been with you during the past few months.
I love you
Sis - LaWayne Downs
LaWayne Downs
February 3, 2008
Richard was a friend and a brilliant writer. His intellectual curiosity should be a model to all of us. I will always admire him, even in his absence.
Erich Graf
February 3, 2008
I'm glad you're finally at peace, Richard. We'll remember your passion and zest for life.
Leone Medley
February 2, 2008
Richard, you bear of a man, we still here on earth will miss your dauntless spirit, your boundless strength and your damn the torpedos attitude toward life. All the best, my friend, wherever you land for your next set of adventures.
Mark Arner de France
February 2, 2008
I have fond memories of Richard visiting The Runner's Edge, a shoe store that used to be in foothill village where I had my first paying job 20 years ago. We used to call him Richard Barnum-Baily because of his cheerful demeanor and care for the running community. Sad to see a good man go.
Jared Spackman
February 2, 2008
Much love to Brent and Bonnie and Scott and Cathy and all precious Barnum cousins. I knew Richard when I was a little girl and had a couple of good conversations with him several years ago. Please know our prayers have been with Richard and all those close to him during the past very difficult months. I have missed Aunt Oma K. for many years and loved her very, very much. Please know we love you all. DeAnn Hickman Giles (Uncle Rue and Aunt LoRee's daughter) and family. Aunt LoRee sends her love too. Love, DeAnn
DeAnn Giles
February 2, 2008
Farewell, you dear and crazy man. May the sun be always on your face.

hal spencer
February 2, 2008
Thank God!!! Richard is free of his torture, of not being himself anymore!!! Praise goes to all who helped him thru a very difficult end to mortality...especially his most loving brother Brent (My brother-in law)and his sister-in law Bonnie Jean (my sister)!!! and also, 2 very special friends!!! They know who they are. Our family will treasure memories of Richard. Especially the ones with he & our Mother. They had a very special relationship together. She "affectionally" refered to Richard, as her "boyfriend". Rest in peace Richard...but I know you won't be satisfied with resting...God knows you had enough of that here... I hope you like it a lot better where you are now!!!

I'm glad I was privledged to know Richard Barnum-Reece.

Good-bye for now...
KJ Cuff Case
Kathy Cuff Case
February 2, 2008
Uncle Richard,
I'm sure Tamerlane was happy to see you. You were one of a kind and I'll miss you terribly. I love you.

Julia Barnum-Earle
February 2, 2008
Man could those big legs make a turn. Following RBR was always a joy. More importantly were the number of times i started reading a great piece of writing only to guess it was RBR. His thinking was unique and clear. Will always remember that. Well, if i can't hoist a toast, better do the next best thing and go ski a run looking for his shadow.
Bob C. Young
February 2, 2008
I remember Richard from his Park City days. I was a good friend of his brother Bob. They cut a fine path together and were fun to be with. I will always have fond memories.

A friend, Gary
Gary Kimball
February 2, 2008
What a man! I greatly appreciate the dedication he had to athletics. He encouraged me to participate in many triathlons for which I am eternally grateful for. What a way to deal with life... run, bike, SWIM! You'll be deeply missed here and your absence noticed but certainly welcomed in the places beyond.
Lynette (Powell) Miller
February 2, 2008
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