Obituary of Richard Neal Heywood
Richard Neal Heywood passed away peacefully at the age of 90 at his home in Tempe, AZ, surrounded by many family members on October 18, 2023, due to causes inherent with age and dementia.
Richard was born to Leland and Margaret Smurthwaite Heywood on April 10, 1933, in Snowflake, AZ. He was the fourth of five children and was preceded in death by his parents and three of his four siblings, Josephine, Alfred, and Carol.
He lived in Mesa, AZ nearly all of his youth. He attended Mesa public schools and graduated from Mesa High School in 1951. He was a student at both Arizona State University and Brigham Young University, ultimately graduating from Brigham Young University with a degree in chemistry. Richard attended medical school at the University of Utah and graduated in 1961. After two years of postgraduate training and two years of service in Public Health, he practiced general medicine for six years. In 1973, he began a four-year residency in pathology. He worked as a pathologist for the remainder of his career. He cared deeply for his patients, both those he treated in general practice and those he diagnosed through his work in pathology. He retired in 2011 at the age of 68.
Without a doubt, love of God and love of family were of the utmost importance in Richard's life. The highlight of his life was his marriage to his loving and dedicated wife, Carma Smith. From his youth, Richard had a vague recollection of a cute blonde-haired girl from Snowflake, AZ that he had met while visiting cousins that lived there. After his mission, he asked a friend about a beautiful girl with a wonderful smile at an institute dance. He found out her name was Carma and later learned that she was the grown-up girl that he had remembered meeting in his youth. He and Carma were married on September 17, 1959, in the Mesa Arizona Temple and together they dedicated their lives to God and family, including raising seven children. Tempe, Arizona has been their home for the past 58 years of their 64 years together.
Richard was a faithful member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints throughout his life and served in many church callings. As a young man, he served as a full-time missionary in the Northwestern States Mission from 1954 to 1956. Throughout his life, he served in many capacities in Tempe 4th Ward (later Alameda Ward), including elders quorum president, counselor to multiple bishops, bishop, and stake patriarch. He served a mission, with Carma, as director of the Mesa Family History Library. Altogether, he served in the Family History Library for 14 years, happily helping patrons learn about their ancestors.
Richard was loved by everyone who knew him. He had a contagious smile that brightened every room. He is remembered for his kindness, generosity, optimism and undying belief in the goodness of everyone around him. In addition to his immediate family, he is beloved by his childhood friends, his in-laws, and his nieces and nephews, who have great admiration and respect for him. He enjoyed gardening, reading, music, and movies.
He is survived by his wife, Carma, his sister, Barbara Price, his sisters-in-law, Phyllis Heywood, Alene Kenney, Lue Janes, and Wanda Brown, and his children Karen (Rod) Miskin, Leland (Carolyn), Lawrence (Sherrie), Shelle (Jimmy Dillenburg), Kim (Robert) Thomas, Ricky (Shana), and Robert, 27 grandchildren, and soon to be 20 great-grandchildren. Nothing made Richard smile like a new addition to his wonderful family! He had great pride in each member of his family and wanted nothing more than success and happiness for each one of them.
There will be a visitation on Saturday, October 28, 2023, from 9:30 until 10:45 AM and a funeral held in his honor at 11:00 AM. Services will be held at the Tempe Stake Center at 2707 S. College Ave., Tempe, AZ 85282. Richard will be interred at the Mesa City Cemetery immediately following the funeral service
The funeral service will be broadcast at 11:00 a.m. Arizona time. Here is the link for Alameda Ward :
In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate a donation to LDS Philanthropies Humanitarian Services.To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Richard Heywood, please visit Tribute Store