Tom Richards

Tom Richards PhotoThomas Martin Richards, 57, died at his home on Tuesday, November 18, 2014.

Tom was born August 8, 1957 in Hailey, Idaho to Art and Theresa Richards.  The third of eight children, Tom and his siblings grew-up hiking and skiing the mountains of the Wood River Valley. Tom was involved with the Boy Scouts from an early age and earned the Eagle Scout award.

After graduating from high school in 1975, Tom moved to Moscow where he studied Forest Management at the University of Idaho.  There he met future wife Tracy.  After graduation in 1980, he worked as a logger since jobs were scarce in the Forrest Service (his dream job).  He was injured in a logging accident, which lead him back to school to study Secondary Education, with the goal of teaching Math and Biological Sciences.  However, in 1984 his love of the woods led him back to forestry and he helped found Northwest Management Inc.  He was proud of the company he helped grow over the past 30 years.

Tom married Tracy and together they raised their children, Kristen and Conor, in Moscow.  Tom strived to impart his love of the outdoors with his children (and nieces and nephews) through forced marches, camping, skiing and canoe trips.  Tom was a regular presence at the pool when Kristen and Conor were members of the Moscow Swim Team.  He was also very involved with Conor’s Boy Scout Troop 326, and loved spending time in the wilderness with his Yetis’.

Tom is preceded in death by his parents, Art and Theresa Richards, and by Gracie.  He is survived by wife Tracy, daughter Kristen (Chris) and son Conor.  Sisters; Sarah (Ken) and Lizz.  Brothers; John (Jennifer) , Joe (Sue), Paul (Lori), Steve (Cathy) and Pete(Sandy.) In-laws Pedro and Betty Echanove, Joe (Allison), Mike (Paula), Mary (Beau), Thom, Lynn, Lee.  Nieces and Nephews;  Ian (Robin), Abby (Josh), Anastasia (Travis), Conrad, Alex, Meghan, Genevieve, Hailey, Hannah, Andrew, Bradley, Kendall, Austin, Jackson, Alsyssa, Kaylin (Nick), Sam, Travis (Stacie), Lucas, Claire, Pearl and Lydia. Great-nephews and great-niece; Max, Levi, Evelyn and Peter.

The family asks that any memorial donations be made to Boy Scout Camp Grizzly (Inland NW Council, Boy Scouts of America) or Rotarun Ski Area in Hailey, Idaho (

A Celebration of Life will be held Saturday at 11:00 AM at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Moscow. A reception will follow at St. Mary’s Family Center afterward.

Arrangements have been entrusted to Short’s Funeral Chapel, Moscow, and online condolences may be sent to

30 Responses to Tom Richards

  1. John and Michaela Erixson, Robert and Anthony says:

    Tom will be remembered with a big smile. His was always so infectious.
    Take care and all our love is with you.

  2. Jesse Nisson says:

    Dear Richards family . I just want to express my deep condolences for your tragic loss. I was so sad to hear this news. My thoughts and prayers for comfort and healing are with you.
    Sincerely Jesse Nisson …..Bellevue

  3. Randy Jones says:

    Tom was a great friend growing up and I often think of the back country trips we shared and all the yummy trout we caught. I’ll miss him at the high school reunions. My condolences to the whole family.

  4. polly anderson says:

    peddle by your house… remembering – what first came to mind is riding bikes w/ red running along, and of course sking at rotorun… special hugs from hailey

  5. Janet Carlsen says:

    My deepest sympathy to Tracy, Kristen, Conner and the larger Richards/Harris families. I loved Tom. He was one of the most kind men I know and quick to find humor in most situations. I hope you are able to focus and share your many fond memories of Tom and how he touched your lives and contributed to bettering the world around him. My thoughts & prayers are with you now and in the months to come. I hope he can rest in peace now. I know he will remain in your hearts as well as his many friends and live on through memories that can comfort us all through this tragedy . All my love, Janet Mallory Carlsen. Idaho Falls

  6. Joseph H. Boucher says:


    I am at a loss for words. I have such fond memories of Tom at the U of I and all of our adventures on the School Forest Logging Crew and the after hours carousing. Even though it has been 26 or 27 years since we were last together, it seems like yesterday. Tom is in 3 pictures that I often look at that hang on the wall in my office of our days at the School Forest. I will keep your family in my prayers.

    Joe Boucher

  7. Dan Schmidt says:

    I will always remember the “swim weekends” across the inland nortwest, Tom’s quiet but strong presence, his soft humor, his gentle acceptance of the world.
    I wish peace and love for Tracy, Conor and Kristen.

  8. Jerry Giles says:

    Our prayers are with all of you! The time doesn’t go by without thinking of the good times we had while room mates at Idaho and his accomplishments after. JW

  9. Stephens Family says:

    Dear Richards Family, we are so very sad and want you to know you are in our thoughts and prayers. We love Tom as we do all of you. The Stephens Family

  10. Dallas O. Traeger says:

    My sincere condolences to all in the great Richards family. Will be thinking of you this Saturday.

    Dallas Overfield Traeger

  11. Sally Overfield Bell says:

    Sincere condolences to the Richards family.

  12. Santamaria Family says:

    So much love to the Richards Family. I have always enjoyed hearing about Tom’s quick, dry wit and and impeccable timing. Our hearts are with you Tracy, Kristen, Connor, and Chris.

    ~Erin and Roberto

  13. Kerby Porter says:

    So many fine memories of scouts, skiing, kegs and smiles!
    God Speed Tom.
    My thoughts and prayers to all the Richards family.

  14. Kathleen Dobisch says:

    Dear Tracy, Kirsten & Connor,

    So sorry to hear of Tom’s passing. Your family stayed with me when you all came to Mn. From Iowa. I felt fortunate to have you here with me. Got to spend some time getting to know a little about you. Today I just found out about Tom, I’m sending prayers, love & hugs to All of you at your time of sorrow. I will be with you tomorrow as you celebrate the life of your Husband, Dad, Brother, Uncle, Great uncle & Friend.

    Love, Kathy

  15. phil wichman says:

    I worked with Tom and Northwest Management in the early to mid 80’s. What a great guy. Great forester. Friend. Though I haven’t seen him much in recent years, when I did he was always the same. Always a smile and kind words. He will be missed. God bless you Tom.

  16. Kathy Beerman says:

    The memories flood forward as I reflect on the life of this amazing man. Tom’s ability to connect with people was profound. My upmost respect comes from years of interacting with a man true to his beliefs, yet willing to consider other points-of-view. How much I enjoyed our late night discussions while playing cribbage and drinking gin and tonics. However, only Tom could manage these 3 things simultaneously. The countless boy scouts (my son included) that Tom mentored is testimonial of his ability to transform young boys into responsible young adults. Tom did not always have a lot to say; rather he led by example. I describe Tom as the most rock-solid person I knew; someone we could all turn to in time of need. Be at peace my friend. We miss you dearly, but you leave behind a legacy of kindness, generosity, and wisdom that will never be forgotten. My heart goes out to you Tracy, Kristen, and Conor.

  17. Susan and Edwin Odom says:

    Dear Tracy, Kristen, and Conor,
    Our heartfelt and deepest sympathy to you and all your family. Tom will be sorely missed and forever remembered. He made a difference in so many lives, especially young boy scouts, who he guided towards honorable values. We are so grateful we had the privilege of knowing Tom.

  18. Crys Harpole says:

    My dear friend Tracy – I am so sorry for your loss. I only met Tom once, when you came up to St Maries to run the marathon and he was your number 1 supporter, but he left a very positive impression. I knew he was a terrific person and that you two had a special marriage & relationship. My heart aches for you, your kids and the extended family. Please know that you are in my thoughts and prayers. May your memories ease your pain, at least a little, and help you through this most difficult time. Love & Hugs

  19. Jared France says:

    I am very saddened to hear of Tom’s passing. I have always considered him a colleague and a friend and will miss his smiling face at the Forester’s Forum. My thoughts and prayers are with the Richards family.

  20. Pam VandeWater (McClelland) says:

    If one were to measure a man’s worth by the impact they make on others and the trail of seeds they plant along the way, Tom by far exceeded all others. He brought strength and taught courage, he provided opportunities for other’s to exceed and taught ultimate responsibility, he taught leadership with patience and a sense of humor and laughter that will never be silenced. He believed that young boys could learn by example and would grow to be men who will always be grateful for having Tom in their lives. His beloved Yetis shall grow old being “farmers” as Tom taught them well and expected so much. They loved him dearly. I pray that his worth and his endless pockets of seeds will continue to be spread by those he impacted most. Thank you Tracy for sharing so many years of Tom with the boys and thank you Conor for being such a wonderful young man, a wonderful friend, while sharing your father with so many and Kristen with your father’s smile and laughter…your dad will forever be alive in our hearts. Our thoughts and prayers are with you always,

    Pam VandeWater & Rob and Anna McClelland

  21. Darrell Keim says:

    Tom was a great man. I knew him through his work with the Scouts. I always felt he was a great role model for the values the group teaches. My sincerest condolences.

  22. paula echanove says:

    Our Tom, best uncle, best bro-in-law, coffee maker, field guide, huckleberry finder, best trivia partner, roll maker, identifier of every species in the woods, hike leader is gone but not in our hearts. We all will carry our memories forever. Not a single day will go by that you are not missed but we will see you again and we will rejoice. Love love love…..Michael, Polly, Travis, Stacie, Evie, Peter, Lucas and Claire.

  23. Trish Lavin Sherman says:

    Our condolences to the entire Richards Family.
    Our families have had a long history together and hearing of the loss of Tom is hard to wrap my head around. There are many Richards/Lavin family memories but my memories of Tom are mostly during our U of Idaho days. We had a lot of fun together, especially when we (a few of my gal pals and me) would fight over Tom to country swing dance. He also helped me through some of my tough classes at Idaho. Thanks Tom. I will always smile when I think of you.
    May Tracy, Kristen, Conor, your siblings, and all your family keep your spirit alive. You were a sweet and kind man.

  24. alex odom says:

    A good scout master, teacher, and friend. I learned a lot during my time in scouts from Tom. My thoughts to the family.

  25. Karen Loeffelman / Claudia Mahler says:

    Dear Tracy, Kristen, and Conor —
    Although I didn’t know Tom, I know Conor and Tracy from band at high school. They are two wonderful people and I can only surmise that comes from having Tom as a partner in life and a father. Claudia and I both send our sincere condolences for your loss. We will keep your entire family in our thoughts.

  26. Brandy Baldwin says:

    To all the Richards Clan,
    Sending condolences to a fine and loving family during your time of loss. God Bless and please know I often think of your family. Prayers to you all.
    Brandy Baldwin

  27. Rosalie (Nelson) Little says:

    On behalf of all the Nelson families we would like to express how sorry we are for the the loss of Tom. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all at this time.

  28. Dean Lee says:

    My condolences to the Richards famlies, many great memories growing up with Tom in Hailey, Great guy.

  29. Candy Gillis says:

    Dear Tracy, Kristen, and Conor,
    I only just now read of Tom’s passing, and want to tell you how deeply sorry I am and that I am thinking of you. Tom was one of the positive fixtures of Jackson’s growing up on the swim team–a warm and supportive “team father,” always there for the kids and for the frazzled parents. He was a role model, a voice of reason, and a wonderful example of gentle strength for everyone. He will leave many people richer for his life.
    Candy Gillis

  30. Don Motanic says:

    I was lucky to meet Tom during our meetings with the Anchor Forest Project.
    He was fun, kind and wise.

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