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Richard Lyman Finlinson

08/30/1928 - 01/15/2019
Service Date: 01/26/2019
Service Time: 11:00AM
Service Location: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints
Visitation Date: 01/25/2018
Visitation Time: 6:00PM-8:00PM
Visitation Location: 1462 E Federal Heights Drive, SLC, Utah
Interment: Salt Lake City Cemetery

Richard Lyman Finlinson, 90, passed away on January 15th, 2019 in South Jordan, Utah from causes incident to age. 

Richard was born August 30th, 1928 in Oak City, Utah to Leo and Lydia Lyman Finlinson and was the youngest of 8 children. He married LaVon Williams of Spanish Fork, Utah on March 17, 1952, in the Salt Lake Temple. They celebrated 63 years of marriage before LaVon’s passing in September 2015. 

Richard served as a missionary in the Netherlands Mission for 2 ½ years, afterward entering the Army and serving in Vienna, Austria for one year as a Medic.

After graduating from Brigham Young University, Richard began his career in Elementary Education, a few years in teaching and ultimately as an elementary principal for many years in the Mesa Public School District. Dick and LaVon lived in Oak City, UT; Paul, ID, where they homesteaded a farm; and Mesa, AZ since 1965, where they raised their family. When he retired in 1991, he took care of LaVon who became wheelchair bound with rheumatoid arthritis, until her death in 2015. 

Richard was a kind and loving father and husband. He was a hard worker and serving others was instinctive from a young age. He served the individual and went to every effort to make sure needs were well taken care of. He had a unique gift of making everyone feel valued and loved. He was consistently in contact with family in person and by telephone and his children considered him as “command central.”

Richard will forever be remembered by his daily journal writing for well over 40 years, 2-dollar bills in birthday and holiday cards to grandkids, growing the best Arizona oranges ever, and he and LaVon’s collection of beautiful paintings. He had a wonderful tenor voice and loved the old time Mormon hymns. Temple work and family history have been a life passion. 

Spending summers in their downtown Salt Lake condo, Richard loved talking to those visiting the downtown area, answering any questions, showing them around or on occasion, inviting them to their home for a bite to eat. He knew no stranger and had friends around the world. Missionary work was engrained into the lives of Richard and LaVon, bringing the gospel message to many, creating lifelong friendships and memories.

Richard was a faithful member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He served as a Bishop in the Paul Idaho 2nd Ward and five years as a Scoutmaster in Arizona. At the age of 50, he was called by Elder Thomas S. Monson to serve as a Stake Patriarch in the Mesa East Stake and later in the Mesa Central Stake. This calling brought many choice experiences and opportunities to touch lives. 

Richard is survived by his children; Bruce (Laurel) Finlinson, Salt Lake City, UT; Diane (Tom) Miller, Mesa, AZ; Mark (Kimi) Finlinson, Salt Lake City, UT; Allen (Breta) Finlinson, Orem, UT; Gary (Aelly) Finlinson, Mesa, AZ; David (Thelma) Finlinson, South Jordan, UT; 33 grandchildren and 58 great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his wife, LaVon; daughter, Karen Savage; his parents and seven siblings, Maidie Arnold, Grant Lyman Finlinson, Virginia Moody, Clara Atkin, Leo Lyman Finlinson, Isobel Williams and Julia Bliss; and great-grandson, Keven John Stratton III. 

Funeral services will be held Saturday, January 26, 2019, at 11 AM in the Federal Heights Ward, located at 1300 E Fairfax, SLC, Utah 84103. Viewings will be held on Friday, January 25, 2019, from 6-8 PM at 1462 E Federal Heights Drive, SLC, Utah, and Saturday at the church, 9:30-10:30 AM, prior to the service. Family prayer at 10:30 AM. Interment will follow in the Salt Lake City Cemetery. 

Arrangements by City View Memoriam, Salt Lake City, Utah


  • Dick was my principal at Eisenhower. To know him was to love him. . My sympathy to all of you. He was so sweet, he was a pleasure to know. Peace and love to all of you


  • Sending my love and prayers to the family. Richard was one of my residents at Parklane Senior Living, were he lived for a while. We all loved him so much here, along with the entire family that would come and visit him. He was one of the kindest person I had ever met. Wanted everyone to be welcomed. I will miss him greatly, and will forever have a special place in my heart for him. Richard may you rest in peace, and don’t ever lose that beautiful smile of yours. Hugs

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