At 9:07am on Wednesday, May 3rd, this old Timex took its last lickin’ and stopped tickin’. I need you all to pay attention because I’m only going to say this once and we’re not going to draw any maps. We’d better get this show on the road, it’ll only take a minute, and no one needs to stay for the drawing.
Before anything else happened, it was always, “Coffee first.” Rich thoroughly enjoyed the camaraderie and everyday banter at Sill’s. As skinny as he was, some might find it surprising how much he loved food; looking through cookbooks, cutting out recipes, and wandering the aisles of Smith’s looking for new things to try. It is a toss-up between "The Sheds" and Stockman’s being his second home. Endless hours were spent in both places either telling stories and shootin’ the shit, circling the pool table to line up the next shot, or taking control of the jukebox and singing along.
Unless on a hunting or camping trip, random drives, or errands, he was like clockwork and never too far out of a 5-mile radius. Since he would never get a cell phone, depending on the time of day you could find him at one of The Four S’s: Sill’s, Smith’s, "The Sheds", or Stockman’s. If you ever asked him where he’d be, his response was usually, “You know where to find me.”
He thoroughly enjoyed the years of hunting, camping, “sabbaticals,” or any time spent “down on the mountain.” There were many trips spent “road hunting” and cruising around to places he’d been all his life. On more than one occasion he went down roads that “used to be here” or had a key for a locked gate in the middle of nowhere. (It was easier not to ask how he had them.) He deeply cherished the time spent with friends and family. He particularly loved playing guitars around the fire, warbling out a tune until he “got the pipes warmed up,” telling random “fish stories,” (where the fish got bigger every time the same story was retold), and the time he got to spend “just sitting back to appreciate the little things.”
He could bullshit with the best of them. The stories will be missed and some never forgotten (some could be told again as if you were there yourself). He knew how to cause chaos and “give ‘em hell,” but he always made sure your voice was heard, even if he didn’t agree. He was a disrupter in the rhythm of life.
Rich was always on his own time and his own schedule. When going on any sort of errand it was well known that if he said, “It’ll just take a minute” or “I’ll be real quick” you could expect it to take most of damn the day. He loved chatting with everyone and genuinely cared about how people were doing. Since he was related to over half of the valley and knew another quarter just by “making friends” we always ran into someone he knew.
Everyone knew that Rich was a collector of sorts. If you needed something, especially an oddball part or two it was likely that he had one lying around or he’d whip something for you. He was an extremely skilled welder and could fix things that most others were unable to. He had a knack for redneck engineering and “MacGyver’d” back to life too many things to count using random odds and ends. For example, with a bent metal fork and a piece of string found on the side of the road, he’d fix a throttle cable so that we could “get our asses home.” These handy fixes came to be known as “Sandall Specials.”
Rich was a very skilled and artistic man. As he would say his, “brain never shut off” so he was always coming up with some sort of hair-brained idea. Whether that was resurrecting some junkyard find or trying to reinvent the wheel, there were always projects laying around or drawings for the next. He was a bit of a perfectionist with a keen eye for detail. It would be safe to say that he was so creative and meticulous, that it caused him a bit of a delay.
He was very intelligent and open-minded. He was fascinated by science, especially space and astronomy. There were many late nights spent listening to Art Bell and George Noory, on Coast-to-Coast AM, or in front of the TV watching Nova on PBS. He was an “out of the box” thinker and was not afraid to voice his thoughts even if they went against the grain; while also listening and taking into consideration other points of view.
Growing up in a musically inclined family made a great impact on him, which showed through in his singing, and later, guitar-playing abilities. There were many nights dubbed, “Music Appreciation” where anything and everything would be played, including Bluegrass, Country, Classical, Blues, Funk, Celtic, Reggae, Mariachi, Gregorian Chants, Peruvian Pipe music; the list is endless. He loved listening to new artists and discovering new genres but it was known that if you were to play any, “of that damn rap or headbanging music” you’d get cut off.
You didn’t have to be blood to be family. The door was always open, and you could help yourself to anything in the fridge. As long as you didn’t take the last can of coke or beer, there were no issues. He had a heart of gold, and a knack for making strangers feel welcome; “orphans” as he dubbed everyone, much like The Land of Misfit Toys. He had his own flavor of humor and a knack for sarcasm. As long as you threw back as much as he threw at you, you were in. He had an unquestionable kindness that ran deep and could be felt more than heard.
After three years of sobriety, we finally got to meet the real man we’d heard about all these years. Rich is still an asshole. But he was our kind, loving, jovial asshole.
So, in parting, Goodnight Irene, we’ll see you on the other side.
We know where to find you.
Rich is survived by his wife, Vicky Sandall; son, Derk (Breezy Synoground); daughter, Kelle (Tyler Strand); siblings, Mary Lou (Ed) Almaguer, Dan Sandall, and Betty (Bryan) Hood; along with numerous relatives, friends of the family, and Darrell (the other brother). He was preceded in death by his parents and sister, Sandra Kay Bair. Rich would be honored knowing he now shares his death date with lifelong friend Wylie “Breeze” Otterstrom.
A memorial gathering will be held Saturday, May 13, 2023 at 6 to 8 p.m., at Lindquist’s Layton Mortuary, 1867 Fairfield Road, where military honors will be accorded at 6 p.m. by the Brigham City Honor Guard VFW Post 1695.
The family would like to thank “Ma” and the entire staff at George E Wahlen Ogden Veterans Home for their wonderful care and sense of humor.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the George E. Wahlen Home in honor of Rich.
If you would like to share a comment or memory, please e-mail them to firstname.lastname@example.org or condolences may be shared at: www.lindquistmortuary.com