John Dean Richards

May 16, 1936 ~ October 4, 2020

John Dean Richards, born May 16, 1936 to Fred G. and Gwen Mathews Richards, in Filmore, Utah the third of their six children. He passed peacefully October 4, 2020 after a brief battle with cancer.
John’s memories of his family and friends in Scipio, Utah were vivid and loving. He learned to sing and tell stories with his grandmother Mathews, which contributed to his ability to charm those around him throughout his life.
He graduated from American Fork High, served a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Sao Paulo, Brazil, married Ethel Pointer (divorced) and graduated from BYU. He taught High School English in California and Utah, and earned an MA and PhD at the University of Utah. He was employed as a Psychologist for Granite School District while maintaining a private counseling practice for more than 30 years. In 1981, he married the love of his life Gayle Froerer Gregerson.
John was the consummate life of the party reaching out to others and providing support to those around him. Through his warm and witty sense of humor he won the affection of neighbors, family, friends, and clients. He enjoyed literature, poetry, art, travel, and cooking. He loved to move whether it was to run, ski, walk, dance or sing. He often taught, “Move a muscle, change a feeling” to those experiencing depression, grief, or sadness.
John and Gayle opened their home to family, friends and visitors from around the world. He touched many lives with his counsel, encouragement, and genuine caring. One of his great pleasures was visiting with his neighbors as he walked his dogs. This is a man who will be missed by many.
John is survived by his beloved wife, Gayle, daughters Natalie Woodbury and Tracy Manhan, brothers and sisters Fred (Beverly) Richards, Steve (Carol) Richards, Rosemary (Brent) Lind, and Anne (Larry) Bowen. Grandchildren Amelia (Mitchell) Allred and Emma Eversole and Great grandson Owen Allred and his dogs, Mac and Toby.
He was preceded in death by his parents, son-in-law Toti Manhan, sister Carol and brother-in-law, Frank Nichols.
A Celebration of John’s Life will be held at a later date.


Gayle and Girls, Gage and I are so sad to loose our favorite Uncle. He was always so generous to our Lester family and we have such great memories of our family parties in that beautiful yard enjoying John's delicious ribs. We love him and Gayle so very much and will miss him dearly while worrying about our dear Aunt Gayle. Give em hell up there dear John!! Gage & Gloria

- Gloria froerer
We were so sorry to hear of John's passing! We too will miss chatting as he walks his dogs. John always took a great interest in our family, especially our kids. He was a generous supporter of our annual neighborhood sub-for-santa and was enthusiastic to help with a cause. He is a good man.

- Angie Peters
John was an amazing man! I loved him and love you Gayle. He taught me so many wonderful things, how to keep my kids from coming out of bed a million times each night, how to talk to people who might be a little standoffish. He was so loving, I always felt welcome by him and his whole family. I am so grateful to have known John and that he was part of my life and memories.

- Heather Bowen
I met John (and Gayje) through Peg. We spent many great times with them in their home and I am so grateful to have been welcomed into John’s orbit. Yes, he was the life of the party, but not in a self-centered way. Rather, he was the conversation starter the instigator the spark. He will forever loom large for me and no doubt many others.

- Jodi Hullinger