Richard Paul Pugh, 79, passed away peacefully late on April 8 after a brief illness. He was surrounded by his family at Intermountain Medical Center’s Cardiac ICU unit in Murray, Utah.
Rich was a gifted songwriter and performer beginning his music career at Olympus High School then performing professionally with his band Rich Pugh and the Rocky Mountain Express. He recorded two albums during his career and played to thousands through the west and overseas on a USO tour through the western Pacific. His favorite band he performed with was his young children in the Pugh family band in the 1970’s.
Rich’s life motto was borrowed from the Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley song, My Way. He always related to the song and used it as the closing song of every show he performed.
Rich was proud of the accomplishments of his children and grandchildren. During his retirement he regularly golfed with his grandsons and went to their baseball games. This is where he enjoyed his ability to teach them the art of colorful language.
Rich was a marathon runner and had many running buddies over the years in Salt Lake City. He completed over 30 marathons including the New York and Boston marathons. He was an avid golfer playing at Glendale and Rose Park regularly. He was able to watch the first two rounds of the 2023 Masters, his favorite event of the year.
Rich served in the Army National Guard in the early 1960’s then served a 2 ½ year LDS Mission in Germany.
Rich worked in HR for many companies during his career including FMC Mining, First Security Bank, Federal Express, Fidelity Investments, then retiring from Wells Fargo Bank.
Rich graduated with a bachelor and graduate degree from the University of Utah and was a proud Ute fan, having football and basketball season tickets for years. He was especially excited when Utah beat BYU, in ANYTHING!
Rich loved travel and recently completed a “bucket list” trip on a safari excursion with his wife Jeri and Hogle Zoo friends to Kruger National Park in South Africa and Gorongosa Park in Mozambique.
Rich is survived by his wife Jeri Neese Pugh, ex-wife Nancy Johnson, children Lori, Brian (Caroline), Tricia (Jeff), Chad (Miranda), Kaiti (Marc), Shelly (Hollis), and 15 grandchildren. Siblings Dave (Sue), Tom, Rodney (Nikki), and Merrilee (Dee).
The family would like to thank the staff at IMC Cardiac ICU for their compassionate care of Rich and sympathetic discussions with his family.
In lieu of gifts and flowers consider a donation to The Inn Between (https://tibhospice.org/ ), hospice care for those experiencing homelessness. The family has been making Christmas donations to this organization for years.
There will be no formal funeral service, at Rich’s request. Family will gather this summer for a life celebration.
I’m so sorry for your loss.
So sorry to see this. Best regards to all.
We spent some good hours on Mt Olympus, golfing, and singing. So sorry to see/hear about this. Best regards and condolences. Jim
Jeri, I am so saddened to hear of the passing of your dear Rich. Please accept my deepest condolences and know that my thoughts and prayers are with you.
So sorry to read of Rich's passing. My thoughts are with you and your loved ones.
Jeri, sorry to hear about Richards passing. Our prayers are with you and the family. I hope you are well.