Richard Swails, 1945-2019

Richard Swails

Richard Swails was born Aug. 7, 1945 in Sonora Texas, and passed away peacefully Dec. 21, 2019 in his home in Moab, Utah, surrounded by his family.

Richard was drafted into the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War and was stationed in Germany as a radio repairman. He received the National Defense Service Medal and the Army Good Conduct Medal.

After his discharge he returned to the United States and went to work in the oilfield, which brought him to Moab. He married Elizabeth Ann Carter and they had a daughter, Helene. They divorced and several years later he remarried. In spite of the marriage ending, he maintained a lifelong relationship with his two stepsons, James and Timothy Ray.

Richard retired from Williams Pipeline and went to work as an independent inspector for pipeline construction projects all over the United States. While visiting his family in Moab he met his best friend and love of his life, Tami Barr, with whom he spent many years riding his Harley and exploring the red rocks in their UTV. They were married June 3, 2015 in Moab and continued their love for adventure up until his death.

Richard was a lifetime member of the VFW Post 10900 and the NRA. He was a proud defender of his country and the Second Amendment. He was a passionate gun collector and loved anything he could make go fast.

He was preceded in death by his father, Damon; mother, Lora Dell; and sister, Cheryl Swails Lowe.

He is survived by his wife, Tami Barr Swails of Moab; daughter, Helene Taylor of Moab; son, James Ray of Rifle, Colorado; son, Timothy (Marci) Ray, of Evanston Wyoming; daughter, Savannah Barr of Blanding, Utah; nephew, Wesley (Chrissy) Skains of Kerrville, Texas; and aunt, Margie Smith, of Austin, Texas; grandchildren, Tanisha (KC Christensen) Taylor, Kyler Bernal, Mitch (Raquel) Ray, Cody Ray, Cameron Taylor, Gunner Ray, Lydia Ann Taylor, Wyatt Jaramillo, Harley Jaramillo and Mackenly Ray; great-grandchildren Paislee Kendall, Konnor Bernal and Layla Bernal.

At Richard’s request cremation has taken place and a celebration of his life will be held at a later date.

Condolences may be sent to the family at