Richard Wight Burt, 88, beloved patriarch, passed away on October 20, 2012, attended by his children. Richard was born in Bear River City, Utah on July 12, 1924 to Reginald Nelson Burt and Mary Amelia Wight. He is survived by one brother, Clinton (Louise) Burt. His sisters and brothers who predeceased him are, Ruth (Gordon) Miner, Albert (Betty), Ted (Marj), Harold (Rae), and Barbara (Lee) Hawkes.
Richard grew up on the family farm in Bear River City, Box Elder County, Utah a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. In 1943 He joined the Army Air Corps, was trained and deployed to the European theater (Italy) as a crewman in a B-24 Bomber Group. His bomber was shot down over Yugoslavia on his fourth mission, where he was captured by the Germans and spent the rest of the war as a POW.
Returning from the war he married his high school sweetheart, Evelyn Deem, on December 4, 1945 in the Logan LDS Temple. Richard and Evelyn had three children, Terese (Errol) Fife, Neil (Vicki) and Russell (Deb). They have 14 grandchildren, one deceased (Nathan), 19 great-grandchildren with one more on the way.
Richard learned early how to work hard; he also learned he did not want to be a farmer. He had always dreamed of flying. He started as a certified aircraft mechanic, learned how to fly and rose to the rank of Major in the Civil Air Patrol. He worked in Army Aviation as a mechanic; received training both as a fixed wing and rotary wing (helicopter) pilot. In 1968 he was called up to serve in the conflict in Viet Nam, returning in 1969. He ended his full time career as the Shop Foreman (40th INF MECH, Aviation CO), Chief Test Pilot, a rank of CW4 and as an Army Master Aviator.
After his retirement he built the home that he and Evelyn had designed. They served four full-time missions for the LDS Church; Nauvoo Illinois, Philippines Micronesia Area (all 14 missions), New York City (Manhattan Family History Center), and Wisconsin Milwaukee (Family History). Between missions he served as an LDS Bishop. He then continued to serve as a part-time worker in the Salt Lake City Family History Center. He became his family's historian authoring numerous books on his ancestors and himself. He also found time to build furniture for Evelyn.
Because of poor health they decided to sell their home and move to an assisted living facility where last month Evelyn predeceased him.
Funeral services will be held under the direction of Bishop Ty Jeppesen of the Centerville 5th Ward. The funeral will be at the Centerville 1st Ward, 160 South 300 East, Centerville, Utah at 11 a.m.. Saturday, October 27, 2012. Viewing held Friday evening at Russon Brothers Mortuary, 295 North Main, Bountiful, from 6 to 8 p.m. There will also be a viewing 9:45 to 10:45 a.m. Saturday morning at the church prior to services. Interment will be at the Brigham City Cemetery. Online guest book at www.russonmortuary.com.