Richard Franklin Ordyna, age 78, our beloved husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather passed away in his home in Mtn. Green Utah on August 12, 2020. He was born to Joseph and Virginia Ordyna on March 10, 1942 in East Chicago, IL. He was the first born of a very close Polish family who couldn’t get enough of their little Richie.
Everyone that knew Richard loved him. He was a people person and was always excited to see others and made everyone feel loved. He had a positive outlook on life and would always say and do crazy things that would make everyone laugh. Recently when he was asked how his parents picked his name he responded with “When I get to the other side of the veil, I will have to ask my parents…I can only surmise that Richard Franklin means, “very cute” What do you think?” That is the fun personality he had. Richard also had a tender heart and often became emotional as he talked about his family. His happiest moments were when his wife, children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren were with him. His life was busy making things with wood, gardening, fishing, and watching sports (especially his children’s and grandchildren’s games). He loved doing genealogy and found a lot of joy learning about his history and the stories of his family. He was happy and positive to the very end.
Richard found his forever love, Utahna (Tona) Dawn Royer, when he met her brother to play a game of basketball. From the moment he saw her he couldn’t get her out of his mind and heart. Tona meant everything to him. He was head over heels in love with her for his entire life. They were married Aug. 21, 1965 in Chicago Heights, IL and sealed in the Salt Lake Temple on August 25, 1965. The highest priority for him was that they were sealed for time and all eternity in the temple. The two love birds were together on this earth for 55 years and it brings great peace knowing that there are more to come on the other side. Together they had eight children. One daughter and seven boys. Richard’s family was everything to him. He was involved in every part of his children’s lives. He loved attending all of his grandchildren’s baptisms, marriages, sporting events and always looked forward to the next family reunion.
Richard was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He loved supporting the youth programs and serving as bishop, mission president of the Poland Warsaw Mission, missionary in Shanghai, China and Salt Lake City, Utah, but his favorite was serving with his wife as a primary teacher. He encouraged and supported his children and grandchildren as they served missions and as his boys each earned their Eagle Scout rank. He also desired all of his children and grandchildren to obtain the best education they could and to use that to create good in the world. He focused his life on the teachings of Jesus Christ and loved praying with his wife and attending religious classes with her.
Richard was a great problem solver and hard worker. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Physical Education from Purdue University, a Master of Science in Physical Education from Utah State University, and a Doctor of Education in Physical Science-Anatomy & Physiology from Brigham Young University. He was an assistant basketball coach at Utah State and Brigham Young and a head basketball coach and athletic director at Purdue University, Calumet. After Rich and Tona moved to Utah, he worked as a college professor, then associate director of athletics, and finally associate director of environmental health and safety at Weber State University
There is a wonderful reunion happening in heaven as he joins his mother and father and the many family members he found doing family history work. He is survived by his sister, Susan Swart, his wife of 55 years, Utahna Royer Ordyna; his eight children, Julie Ordyna Tomlinson (Robert Tomlinson), Adam Ordyna (Lindsey Vrtiska), Daniel Ordyna (Holly Hessing), Joseph Ordyna (Julynn Baggs), Paul Ordyna (Cyndi Garlock), Steven Ordyna (Kristin Roth), Jacob Ordyna (Alyssa Lillywhite), Nicholas Ordyna (Jamie Allen) and his 42 grandchildren and 3 great children.
A viewing will be held Friday August 14, 2020 from 7-8 p.m. and Saturday from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. at the Highlands Church, 5378 W. Old Hwy Road, Mtn. Green, Utah. A funeral will be held at 11 a.m. in the same church for family members. To join this funeral you can view via Zoom at https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87577619478
Interment will be at the Mountain Green Cemetery.
Condolences may be sent to the family at www.walker-mortuary.com.
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