Richard Swails was born on Aug. 7, 1945, in Sonora, Texas, and passed away peacefully on Dec. 21, 2019, surrounded by his family in his home in Moab.
Richard was drafted into the US Army during the Vietnam War and was stationed in Germany as a radio repairman. He received the National Defense Service Medal and the Army Good Conduct Medal. After his discharge, he returned to the States and went to work in the oilfields, which brought him to Moab. He married Elizabeth Ann Carter and they had a daughter, Helene. They divorced and several years later he remarried. In spite of the marriage ending, he maintained a lifelong relationship with his two stepsons, James and Timothy Ray.
Richard retired from Williams Northwest Pipeline Company and went to work as an independent inspector for pipeline construction projects all over the United States. While visiting his family in Moab, he met Tami Barr, his best friend and the love of his life. They spent many years riding his Harley and exploring the red rocks in their UTV. They were married in Moab on June 3, 2015, and continued their love for adventure up until his death.
Richard was a lifetime member of the VFW Post 10900 and the NRA. He was a proud defender of his country and the Second Amendment. He was a passionate gun collector and loved anything he could make go fast.
He was preceded in death by his father, Damon; mother, Lora Dell; and sister, Cheryl Swails Lowe.
He is survived by his wife, Tami Barr Swails of Moab; daughters Helene Taylor of Moab and Savannah Barr of Blanding; sons James Ray of Rifle, Colorado, and Timothy (Marci) Ray of Evanston, Wyoming; nephew Wesley (Chrissy) Skains of Kerrville, Texas; and aunt Margie Smith of Austin, Texas. He will be missed by his grandchildren Tanisha (KC Christensen) Taylor, Kyler Bernal, Mitch (Raquel) Ray, Cody Ray, Cameron Taylor, Gunner Ray, Lydia Ann Taylor, Wyatt Jaramillo, Harley Jaramillo and Mackenly Ray and great-grandchildren Paislee Kendall, Konnor Bernal and Layla Bernal.
At Richard’s request, cremation has taken place and a Celebration of Life will be held at a later date. Condolences may be sent to the family at www.SpanishValleyMortuary.com.