1943 ~ 2021
Harold (Hal) Richardson passed away on June 1, 2021 after a lengthy illness and almost 30 years of service with the Jackson Hole Snow King Ski Patrol, National Ski Patrol (NSP). Hal was born in Salt Lake City, UT where his family owned and operated a small dairy farm and he developed his extraordinary work ethic, commitment to duty and loyalty to family – characteristics that served to provide him with a strong identity throughout the remainder of his life.
During high school, he was a multi-sport athlete and was a distinguished wrestler and football player. He enlisted in the U.S. Army Reserves in December 1960. He completed his basic training at Fort Ord in Monterrey, California. There, he earned an expert marksmanship badge as a rifleman. In December 1968, he was honorably discharged after having obtained the rank of Specialist.
From 1964-1969, Hal studied at the University of Utah. He red-shirted on the Utes Division I football team his first year, then proceeded to play offensive (right and left) guard for the remaining four years of his time at Utah. He graduated with BS in Health Sciences. In the fall of 1969, he began graduate studies in Physical Education and Health Science at Adams State College in Alamosa, Colorado and graduated in the spring of 1970.
At Adams State, Hal worked as a graduate assistant and offensive line coach and discovered his lifelong passion for alpine skiing during this time. Most importantly, while studying there, he met his future wife, Carol Murphy, who was studying as an undergraduate. They married on November 28, 1970. Hal also completed hours toward his doctorate at the U from 1970-71. After Carol completed her bachelor’s degree, Hal and Carol both worked as educators, and Hal as an educator and football coach, in Utah and Colorado. Hal also taught and was an assistant high school football coach in Plainview, Texas, where he also obtained his insurance license. In 1978, with two small children in tow, Hal and Carol moved to Jackson, Wyoming. There, and for the next 40 years, he built relationships with many clients to help them realize their goals, first as an insurance agent then stockbroker, financial adviser, and finally, as a small-business owner in the financial services industry
Hal first joined the Jackson Hole Snow King Patrol in 1992 and rapidly became immersed in building his own skills and knowledge to be certified as an OEC Instructor, contributing to the expertise of the entire patrol as well as new recruits. After just 5 years, Hal was named the J.H. Snow King Patroller of the Year. The patrol further honored his efforts with the Doug McClaren Award for Training Excellence. Repeatedly, throughout his career, Hal captured the record for most days patrolled in the season, which also led to the Fritch Award for Outstanding Commitment to the Patrol.
As an Instructor, Hal demonstrated his superior leadership and teambuilding skills, always demanding excellence while still being a valued cheerleader. Before long, Hal accepted the Patrol Representative responsibilities for the volunteer patrol in 2000. He went on to set the record for length of service in that role, as well as raising the overall skill level and expectations of the volunteers. His leadership resulted in resuscitating the volunteer patrol with renewed recruitment efforts, building a phenomenally successful annual fundraising campaign, equipment upgrades, improved relationship with the paid patrol and greatly enhanced position with Snow King management. Hal’s strong leadership, commitment and service led to award of the NSP National Appointment #9728 in 2003. In 2009, Hal was named the Outstanding Patrol Representative in the Intermountain Division.
Recognized for his adept management of funding, Hal was tapped to be the Intermountain Division Financial Advisor and served with distinction for 16 years through the administrations of 3 Division Directors. He advised not only the management of IMD funds, but also guided inexperienced Patrol Directors/Representatives throughout the IMD in the management and documentation of their finances. For his exceptional stewardship of IMD accounts, Hal received the NSP Meritorious Service Award in 2018. Additionally in 2018, in summation of his entire ski patrolling career, the NSP awarded its Distinguished Service Award to Hal.
Hal is survived by his wife, Carol; son Dirk, daughter Brandi Kupchella (Adam); daughter Brie Richardson (Luke); son Erik (Katie), and grandchildren Sia, Lincoln, and Lilah. He is also survived by his five siblings: Louise, John, Jeanne, Karen, and Faye, as well as many nieces and nephews.