Brigadier General (Retired) Lyle M. Rich died peacefully at a family cabin at Bear Lake on Wednesday, June 8, 2022. He was devoted to his family and deeply loved. Lyle was born in a log cabin on a frigid cold night in Fairview, Wyoming, to Marvin A. Rich and Leora C. Rich on February 12, 1933. Athletics were an important part of his childhood. He played several sports in high school and went on to play basketball and baseball for the University of Utah. This is where he met his sweetheart, Geraldine (Jerry) Clawson. They were married in the Salt Lake Temple on March 17, 1955, and were wonderful parents to their five daughters.
Lyle had an illustrious military career spanning 38 years. Upon graduation from the University of Utah with a BS degree in accounting in 1955, he was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in the United States Air Force (USAF), graduating from AFROTC as a distinguished graduate. Lyle attended navigator training at Ellington Air Force Base, Texas, receiving navigator wings upon graduation. He was assigned as a navigator/bombardier on the B-47 nuclear bomber in Strategic Air Command. In 1968 Lyle received an MBA degree from George Washington University. He became the Chief Navigator with the Utah Air National Guard as a full-time Air Technician flying the C-97 and C-124 transport air craft in Military Airlift Command and the KC-97L air refueling tanker in Tactical Air Command. Lyle became the Deputy Commander for Operations flying the KC-135 air refueling tanker in Strategic Air Command. He then served as Wing Commander and Base Commander prior to being promoted to Brigadier General as Assistant Adjutant General for Air, retiring in 1993. During this 38-year career, over 13,000 hours were flown on missions worldwide.
After retiring, Lyle did a tax business for over 30 years, and many clients became life-long friends. Athletics were an integral part of his life. He enjoyed playing tennis throughout his life. He played in the US Open family challenge with his daughter, Linda, in 1976 and 1977. Later he played for the Air Force on the USAF team. He loved playing golf. He was an avid bridge player with his wife, Jerry, and after her death his bridge partner was his daughter, Linda. Lyle was a faithful member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He loved his time serving in the Branch Presidency at the Primary Children’s Hospital. Lyle and Jerry served a mission in Sydney, Australia 2000-2001.
Lyle married Suzanne Clawson on September 10, 2011, and they enjoyed traveling the world. They were later divorced. He then lived with his daughter, Linda, and her family for the past two years. They enjoyed their time with him. The family is so grateful for all the love and care that Linda has given our dad.
Lyle is survived by his five daughters: Teri (Tracy) Williams, Linda (Dale) Livingston, Lori (Devro, deceased) Sealy, Stacy (Warren) King, and Kim (Joe) Cowley. He is also survived by 21 grandchildren and 49 great-grandchildren; his brother, Paul Rich, and his sister, Karyl Eustice. He was preceded in death by his wife, Jerry; son-in-law, Devro Sealy; siblings LaRee Rich, Erma Clark, and Boyd Rich; and his parents.
Funeral services will be held on Friday, June 17, 2022, at 12 noon at the Holbrook Mortuary located at 3251 S. 2300 E., SLC. Visiting with family and friends will be from 10:00 to 11:30 am at the same location prior to the funeral service. Interment is at the Salt Lake City Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, we invite you to donate to the LDS Humanitarian Aid in honor of Lyle Rich.
For those unable to attend the service in person, the family invites you to click on this link to view the funeral https://webcast.funeralvue.com/events/viewer/74857
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Dad, we love you very much and will miss you until we are together again!