December 12 1952 – November 26, 2012
Our beloved husband, dad, and papa, Richard Gundersen Wilkins, passed away Monday, November 26, 2012, after unexpectedly collapsing of an unknown cause. He was surrounded by his wife and children who gave him a well-deserved standing ovation.
Born December 12, 1952, Richard married his high school sweetheart, Melany, in the Salt Lake LDS Temple.
He was a gifted attorney, who worked as an assistant to the U.S. Solicitor General, law professor, constitutional scholar, and advocate for the traditional family. He established the World Family Policy Center at BYU, and was the founding director of the Doha International Institute for Family Studies and Development in Doha, Qatar.
He was a passionate actor, having portrayed Ebenezer Scrooge in “A Christmas Carol” at the Hale Centre Theatre for nearly 28 years. Other memorable roles included Tevye in “Fiddler on the Roof,” and Don Quixote in “Man of La Mancha.”
He served in many callings in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, including pianist, bishop, and most recently as a youth Sunday School teacher. His testimony of the Gospel directed his professional and theatrical endeavors. Like Don Quixote, he made his life a “glorious quest,” and, like the reformed Scrooge, he honored Christmas in his heart and tried to keep it all the year.
He is survived by his good wife, Melany; his children, Brooke, Brinton (Whitney), Claire (Phil), and Rex; eight grandchildren, Thomas, Daniel, Sarah, Lydia, and James Kenny, and Nicholas, Peter, and Jane Wilkins; one brother; and two sisters.
He is preceded in death by his mother, Marjorie, and his father, George.
A viewing will be held Friday, November 30, 2012, from 5 to 8 p.m. at the LDS meetinghouse located at 2445 North 640 East, Provo, Utah. Another viewing will be held on Saturday, December 1, 2012, from 9 to 10:30 a.m. at the same location. Funeral services will begin at 11 a.m. Online condolences at www.jenkins-soffe.com.
His family would like to thank the doctors and staff at the Utah Valley Regional Medical Center ICU for their dedicated service to and loving care of Richard and his family. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to Primary Children’s Hospital.