In Memory

Mike Rich

Michael Sterling (Hugie) Rich   8/17/1947 ~ 8/31/2016

Please join us for a Sunset Memorial Service at Camp Tracy located in beautiful Millcreek Canyon 6:00 p.m., Tuesday, September 6, 2016. 
Directions: Turn east on 3800 South off Wasatch Blvd and drive three miles up the canyon until Gate F Layton Lodge (located on the right side). Park and walk to the pavilion located west of the Main Lodge.
For more information and condolences go to

Published in Salt Lake Tribune on Sept. 4, 2016- See more at:

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09/06/16 09:33 PM #1    

Kent Hales

     I just learned of Mike’s passing this evening, Sept. 6, 2016. He and I were not really friends. We did not run in the same circle of classmates. But, we were team mates – not just team mates but football team mates. So, we were close only as football team mates can be; guys, who during a season, share the pain, the hits, the mud, and the endless harangues, insults, and colorful words of “encouragement” delivered at close face-mask-range by “loving” coaches. We shared a State Championship, many wins, one muddy, wet and soggy tie, and a game against West that most of us cannot remember. Mike was as funny in the locker room as he was fierce on the field.

     Although Mike did not possess the size of the classic defensive tackle, his heart, speed, and agility not only won him honors on both the state and region levels, but also won him the respect of everyone with whom he shared a huddle. Wow, could he hit! No one ever forgot the intensity of a Mike Rich hit . . . unless it was an opponent who was on the receiving end of such a hit. I remember a rival who foolishly tried to return a punt. Mike timed his forty yard introduction run perfectly, and hit the foe a split second after the arrival of the ball sending the poor receiver into another zip code. Typically of Mike, there was no “sack dance”, no screaming and hollering to attract attention to himself – just an understated “he shuda’ called a fair catch” – as he left the field.

     I shed a tear at graduation when Mike received his diploma as I realized I would probably never see him again; our separate paths would take us to diverse adventures. What a great joy it was when Mike showed up at our fifty year football reunion. We shared a huge bear hug (with the mandatory two taps) and some of our adventures over the past fifty years – as well as many well embellished old football stories. Mike looked great and in stoic Mike fashion nary a word about any cancer that I assume was well under way.

     I could have read Mike’s obituary without seeing his name and known it was Mike. He was always his own man. Indeed, he was what most of us are all trying to be . . .  a true INDIVIDUAL!!!  I am honored to have been your team mate.    RIP 

09/07/16 09:43 AM #2    

Alan Andrus

I wholey concur with Kent's comments.  Mike and I were friends and sports competitors at Clayton Jr.  He went on to East and I to Highland where we competed in memorable football games. Senior year's game was not memorable in a good way for us Rams!  A lot of that due to Mike's tenacious play especially on defense.  I was a running back and was never hit as hard by anyone else from any school!  Friendships step aside in sports competition.  He was his own man as Kent described and not influenced by by any peer pressure.  My condolences to his family and friends.

Alan Andrus

09/07/16 11:22 AM #3    

Steve Smith

I didn't know Mike, however, as a classmate, I can say with sincerity RIP brother.

09/07/16 11:23 AM #4    

Karren Kelly (Hammer)

I'm so very sad to learn this morning on this website of Mike Rich's passing.  Kent's and Alan's beautiful tributes were wonderful to read (thank you) and reminded me of the "classic" that Mike Rich was for me at East High.  I was the lucky recipient when he "wrapped up the Homecoming assembly" when we were seniors.  I never knew him until then, was completely clueless and giggle about it to this day.  My heart just aches for what he's suffered as well as his precious family, many of whom I have come to know in the East High neighborhood where we've raised our family.

His sister, Ann, lives around the corner.  She and Joe have 4 gorgeous children.  The three boys, now grown, are athletic, charming and independent and remind me of what I know and was stated about Mike.  Each of their missionary homecoming reports (from Russia, Italy and Brazil) were unique and full of adventure (appropriately so) and real highlights in our ward.  It's amazing how family traits are clearly evident. Even Alex, Mike's niece, reminds me of Mike's sense of fun with her cute personality.

I hope Mike knows how much he was loved among his classmates at East!  Bless his heart!     

09/07/16 08:34 PM #5    

Vic McClintic

Mike and I became good friends as Sophs.  He was a killer in pe footBall.  We talked him into trying out for the team.  He quickly became what everyone remembers.  He was also a great social friend.  He loved to party with  the guys and hang out.  He was a special, quiet giant that became a Home Coming King and he still remained humble! Rip #69. God bless you my friend!  

09/08/16 01:44 PM #6    

Greg Johnson

Mike Rich was an awesome friend.  From singlehandedly carrying a 15 gallon keg across a swolen Emigration Creek to Rat's cabin so that we could all enjoy the festivities to saving the lives of Pappy Fletcher, Fred Pepper and me when we swamped our boat fishing on Deer Creek Reservoir, Rich was always there to help and serve his friends.  Always full of cheer and ready for a challenge - that's the Rich I knew and his memory will always be with me.  I know the Lord has a special place for him to spend eternity and I hope someday to see you again brother.

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