Cover photo for Richard "Dick" Kenneth Casper's Obituary
Richard "Dick" Kenneth Casper Profile Photo

Richard "Dick" Kenneth Casper

d. January 30, 2023

Richard "Dick" Kenneth Casper

Today we celebrate the life of Richard Kenneth Casper, also known as Dick, who passed away on January 30, 2023. Born in May of 1945, he was the eldest son of Kenneth Burton Casper and Velma Price Casper and is survived by his beloved wife Barbara Foltz. Dick had four sons, Jay, Brian, Bret, and Patrick, and two grandchildren, Sasha and Sebastian.

Dick spent large amounts of his youth camping, fishing, and hunting in the Uinta mountains with his siblings Larae, Donna, Marilyn, Sharon, and Gary.

He met the love of his life, Barbara, in 1979 and the two have been inseparable ever since. Their granddaughter, Sasha, says they provide her with a role model for what love is supposed to look like.

As a boy, his heart and imagination were consumed by America's Game of Baseball. Dick's father had played semi-professional baseball in Salt Lake in the 1930s and Dick inherited some of that talent. He played shortstop and is reputed to have consistently hit .300 or better from little league through high school. One of his fondest memories was that in 1955, he was hit in the foot by a home run ball hit by Willie Mays, the hero of the 1954 World Champion New York Giants. The Giants were playing a spring exhibition game rematch of their World Series matchup with the Cleveland Indians in Salt Lake City. Dick had cut school and ridden the bus downtown to Derks Field. Unable to afford a ticket, he stood outside the stadium, jockeying for position to peer in through the cracks in the outfield fence when the home run ball hit his foot. He scrambled for the ball, but it was lost in the scrum.

Dick was driven by his passion for fun and adventure. His favorite activities included golfing, reading, skiing, water skiing, tennis, baseball, motorcycling, snorkeling, dancing, card games, crossword puzzles, parties, aviation, hiking, hunting, and camping.

He had a natural ability to show others how to have fun, and was usually the life of the party. In fact, the party was almost always at his house. He was a master of creating and orchestrating fun activities. As just one example among many, party guests arrived at his home one evening to discover one room had been converted into a movie set. Each guest was randomly assigned a partner and given a script from a popular movie to use in creating a video-taped scene. On weekends, Dick's home was full of music, dancing, games, and laughter.

Dick taught many of his friends to play his favorite card game: Bridge. He always said Bridge was to all other card games as chess is to checkers. Many of his friends came to share his passion for the game and the bridge group they formed remained active over 5 decades.

Dick and his brother Gary had learned waterskiing from their father. They invited their friends to join them often. A waterskiing group formed naturally around them. Through the seventies and eighties, you could expect to see Dick, Gary, and Clyde Francis camping on the shores of Pineview Reservoir most summer weekends with their boats, families, and assorted prestigious guests.

As a father, he was engaged and full of life. His boys fondly remember his unique Christmas tradition. On the night of Dec 24 each year, he would invite his bachelor buddies over to quietly open, assemble and set up the kids' Christmas presents while the children slept. On Christmas morning, the boys would awaken to a wonderland as their home was transformed into a colorful toyland. Rumor has it that the grown up boys had more fun playing Santa together than the kids had in the mornings.

Dick was the quintessential 70's guy. His friends can vividly picture him rolling up on his Triumph motorcycle in a brown leather jacket and dismounting like he was stepping onto a red carpet. Dick was scolded by wiser people for taking his toddler boys for rides on his motorcycle, but the experience created indelible wonderous memories.

Dick had a keen sense of justice. He reflexively stood up for the less fortunate. He instinctively sought an understanding of alternative perspectives and it made him a better man. Everyone knew they'd get a fair hearing from Dick, and his thoughts were well respected as a result.

When his boys entered little league baseball, a controversy arose when some parents discovered that the team’s coach had served time in a penitentiary. Many parents demanded that the coach resign. Dick judged the coach to be a good man and stood up for him, arguing that he had paid his debt to society. A compromise was struck when Dick agreed to co-manage the team. The team lost most of its best players and the remaining collection of misfits came together to become a little family. They didn't win many games, but they developed courage, resilience, and community together.

Dick wanted his sons to trust each other. From the time they were toddlers, he instituted a policy that virtually eliminated tattling. When one boy would tell of another’s infractions, both would be punished. It worked. Few brothers have such a strong bond.

Dick lived most of his life in Salt Lake City, except for three years from 1983 to 1985 when he lived in Honolulu, HI.

Dick was a true jack-of-all-trades. He could figure out how to do almost anything competently. He built his dream home in Willow Creek with his own hands. He worked as a rocket fuel engineer, creating fuel for Minutemen and Polaris Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles. He found success as a real estate broker, and as a carpenter. He also wrote and published a science fiction novel in 1986 about a global pandemic called “Goddess of the Plague.”

The man was vibrantly alive. He wanted to savor every drop of life. He often compared life to a roller coaster ride, noting that when your car pulled into the station, it was time to let someone else have your seat. We imagine him stepping onto the next ride now and we wish him a spectacular new adventure.

Dick would rather have his life celebrated than his death mourned.

Celebration of life
Saturday, February 18, 2023 at 1 p.m.
8768 Oak Park Cir, Sandy, UT 84094

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