Richard Eugene “Dick” Marchant, 76, passed away blessedly, in his sleep on May 30, 2020 at his Las Animas home from type II diabetes which had become severe the last three years of his life.
Dick was born on October 5, 1943, in Coalville, Utah to Albert Harper and Ann Eva Elizabeth (Scheel) Marchant. Dick had over twenty years of education. He graduated from high school in Smithfield, Utah. Then he received his Bachelor and Master degrees from Utah State University (USU) in Logan, Utah. Dick graduated from University of Utah (U of U) in 1973 with a Masters of Social Work, majoring in individual and group counseling. Dick received numerous education scholarships, achievement awards, and paid internships. His fraternity brothers of Pi Kappa Alpha nicknamed him “the professor.” After his freshman year at USU, he served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in the Western States Mission. Before Dick completed his Master Degree at USU, he was drafted and joined the US Army. He was in the Viet Nam War 1969-70. During his military service, he was exposed to Agent Orange, the cause of his Type II diabetes.
Dick met his wife, Linda Joy Dowhaniuk, when she was a freshman and he was a senior at USU. However, it wasn’t until they attended University of Utah together, they dated, fell in love and were married at the Art City Museum in Springville, Utah on November 10, 1972. Dick always worked with or close by Linda when employed at Alaska Bureau of Indian Affairs; Bethel, Alaska, Public Health Services; Alaska State Child and Family Services, and Veteran’s Affairs, Ft. Lyon, Colorado Usually, their offices were side by side or one office apart. Dick and Linda dove tailed their specialties. Always working together as a team of Clinical Social Workers. He was acknowledged and awarded outstanding evaluations in his achievements during his career, as well as a quality step increase. A professional employees’ union was established with Dick’s efforts and leadership abilities putting a halt to any abusive, discrimination or unfair labor practices. Dick was intolerant in both his personal life and professional involvement with Native Americans, Veterans and employees. He was always for the underdog, ready to give the shirt off his back.
Dick was one of a kind and will not be forgotten. He loved adventures. Everyone who knew Dick or shared adventures with him have stories to tell. His intellect, sense of humor, and passion for life were exceptional. He was a “gruff teddy bear with a heart of gold”. Linda shares an experience she had with Dick when they were working in Alaska. Their apartment was broke into late one night. While Dick watched the intruder, he sent Linda down the hall to the nearest available phone at that time to call the police. When she returned, Dick was setting on their couch with his arm around the very intoxicated intruder. He told Linda “There are no problems here. This man just came in the wrong apartment, was hungry, so he was getting some of my delicious potato salad from our fridge.” Dick made sure he fed the thief before the police took him to jail with no charges pressed, just to “sleep it off.”
Once met, Dick was not forgotten. He never met a stranger. He would have their life story within five minutes after their meeting. Everything was a challenge to be conquered or an adventure. Dick had high energy and ready for almost anything. His personal interests included fishing, hunting, HO trains, electronics, and restoring Classic Cars. He owns and helped restore a ’55 T-Bird, ’59 Retractable Ford, ’60 Chevy Impala Convertible, and ’63 Corvette.
He is loved and survived by the love of his life his wife, Linda. He has numerous living loved friends and family members. Sister, Janet (Alan) Luke of Salt Lake City, Utah; sister, Kathryn (Lee) Durrant of Salt Lake City, Utah; brother, George (Charlene) Marchant of Smithfield, Utah; sister-in-law, Sharol (Ray) Marchant of Smithfield, Utah; hundreds of his family and Linda’s family’s nieces, nephews, great-nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, brother Ray Marchant and many loved friends and other family members.
Dick’s grave dedication and the social gathering following to celebrate his life were held at the Evergreen Cemetery in Springville, Utah on Saturday, June 13, 2020.
Condolences and memories may be shared with the family at Peacock-Larsen Funeral Home.