Logan Herald Journal, 05/21/13
PRESTON, IDAHO — Richard Lee Umbel of Preston, Idaho, died peacefully May 19, 2013, after only 67 short years with us. Rich leaves an undying legacy of compassion, dedication, strength, courage and endless love. All who were lucky enough to know Rich have been forever enriched through his example and wisdom and in us he will live on in the spirit he left us.
Rich was born at home July 16, 1945, in Uniontown, Pa., along with his twin sister. Rich graduated from Fairchance Georges High School in 1963 and shortly thereafter left his hometown for adventure in the West. Rich married Nadine Keller on March 13, 1965, in Riverdale, Idaho. The highlight of Rich’s life was his wife, children and grandchildren. Rich never missed a ballgame, school play, pageant, graduation, or any activity his children or grandchildren were involved in. Rich’s dedication to his family never wavered, even as his own health deteriorated. For Rich, nothing in the world was more valuable to him than his family.
Rich took joy in the simple things of life. He would spend endless hours planning his garden and harvesting the produce. Rich would beam with excitement for his family to try his new recipe or garden bounty. Rich loved to cook and Dutch oven cooking was his specialty. He taught many people how to cook with an open fire and carefully tended many pots of food for community and family events. It was not unusual for Rich to box up an extra serving of food and take it to an invalid or ill friend. Rich was a kid at heart and had a love for life that was contagious. He would spend hours playing board games and video games with the family. Rich was an avid Pittsburgh Steelers fan and decorated his home and yard with Steeler items for all to share. Christmas was Rich’s favorite time of year and he has been known to leave his Christmas tree up year-round and just change the ornaments to fit the season. Rich would start in October putting out his Christmas yard displays.
Rich shared his talents and enthusiasm with the community and church through his many volunteer activities. Rich was an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, serving in ward and stake leadership through this period. Rich was involved in the Boy Scout program including organizing a troop for Scouts with disabilities, serving on the Eagle review board, and earning the Silver Beaver award. While a merchant, Rich was involved in the Preston Chamber of Commerce, serving on the board for six years and as president for two years. Rich was elected as the Franklin County assessor beginning in 1995 and proudly served in this elected position for 16 years. Rich felt it was an honor to serve Franklin County and would often open the office on a weekend to issue license plates to help someone in need. Rich filled every hour with work, family and community activities and leaves his family with pride at his every accomplishment.
Rich was plagued in his later years with various health ailments. Despite his weakened condition, Rich continued to work tirelessly in his various work and community positions. Even though he was ill and often tired, Rich never complained and continued to smile despite these challenges. Rich’s strength and perseverance will be remembered because, through his effort, we were able to enjoy him for many years as he kept his personal challenges to himself.
Rich is survived by his wife of 48 years Nadine Keller Umbel; children Sandra (Roch) Clapp of Eagle, Idaho, Richard (Sandi) Umbel of Grand Junction, Colo., and Christa (Adam) Smith of Boise, Idaho. Rich’s true joy has been his grandchildren Bryce Umbel, Jordan Umbel, Auriana Clapp-Younggren, MacKenzie Clapp, Dante Rock, Dason Rock, Tatiana Smith, Amiyah Smith, Urijah Smith, Haley Smith and Mikayla Chaney; and his mother-inlaw Betty Henderson. Rich was preceded in death by his parents Andrew and Mary Umbel and sisters Mary Elizabeth (Mame) Hunt and Delores Gasper. Rich is also survived by his brother Andrew Umbel of Cleveland, Ohio, Marge Auger of Preston, Idaho, and his twin sister Barbara Marcus of Hopwood, Pa.
A remembrance of Rich’s life will be at 11 a.m. Thursday, May 23, 2013, in the 8th Ward church, 213 S. 200 East in Preston, with Bishop Jerry Petterborg conducting. A viewing will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, May 22, 2013, at Webb Funeral Home, 1005 S. 800 East in Preston, and 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. Thursday at the church. Burial will immediately follow in the Mink Creek Cemetery.
Memories and condolences can be shared with the family at www. webbmortuary.com .