John Richards, 81

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John Richards, 81

John Morgan Richards passed away peacefully surrounded by family and friends on July 25, 2018, at Hospice of North Idaho. He was born on March 17, 1937, in Spokane, Wash., to John Smith and Ruth (Triplett) Richards.

Raised in Hayden Lake, Idaho, he attended Hayden Lake Elementary, then Coeur díAlene High School. He graduated from Stanford University with a degree in economics and earned his MBA from Harvard.

John married Joy Elaine (Hanson) Richards on Dec. 23, 1983, in Hayden Lake, Idaho. During his life, John lived in north Idaho and California.

After completing his MBA, John joined the family business, Idaho Forest Industries, as manager of Fernwood Tie Company in Fernwood, Idaho, and then moved to St. Maries Plywood in St. Maries, Idaho. When St. Maries Plywood was sold to Potlatch Corp., John was part of the deal, and spent the next 29 years with Potlatch to become chief executive officer and chairman of the board until his retirement in June of 1999.

Johnís hobbies included golfing, hunting, fishing, skeet and trap, supporting Stanford Athletics and pouring hours into jigsaw puzzles, crossword puzzles and Sudoku.

John was an active member of several organizations dear to his heart, serving as chairman of St. Maries School Board, director of Bay Area Boy Scouts, director of Bay Area Junior Achievement, chairman of Bay Area Invest in America, Idaho Supreme Court Advisors Council, University of Idaho Presidentís Advisory Panel, director of Northern State Bank and Stanford University Athletic Board.

John, alongside his twin brother Tom, was inducted into the Idaho Hall of Fame in 2014 for their outstanding leadership in the timber industry and generosity to the community. Both John and Tom received the Mulrooney Award in 2000 from the North American Wholesale Lumber Association (NAWLA).

John is survived by his wife of 34 years, Joy Elaine (Hanson) Richards of Hayden Lake; sons, John Smith (Kelly) Richards of Hayden and David James (Kali) Richards of Bellingham, Wash.; daughter, Morgan Richards (Keanu) Dyer of Hayden; twin brother, William Thomas (Sheila) Richards of Hayden Lake; grandchildren, Mackenzie Shea Richards, John Colin Richards, Alexis Rose Dyer, with a fourth grandchild on the way; nephew, Thomas James (Kirste) Richards and niece, Karen Lynn (Dave) Stubbs.

There will be a celebration of life for John, open to all, from 2 to 5 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 5, 2018, at the Hayden Lake Country Club, 2362 E. Bozanta Drive, Hayden Lake, ID 83835.

Our family kindly asks that if you wish to send flowers, please consider instead supporting one of these local causes that John loved so much:

EXCEL Foundation

There is a scholarship fund set up in John Richardís name at The Excel Foundation.

EXCEL Foundation, Inc.

PO Box 2469

Coeur díAlene, ID 83816

Contact: Kory Wilson

(208) 772-4066

Kootenai Humane Society

Kootenai Humane Society

P.O. Box 1005

Hayden, ID 83835

Critter Care Corporation of St. Maries


Yates Funeral Home is in care of the arrangements and you may visit Johnís online memorial and sign his guest book at

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