Howard Fairfield Richards was born on October 7, 1933 in Hayward, California to a naval family. His college years were spent at University of California San Jose and Denver University. After graduation he spent two years traveling around Europe on a Vespa. Upon his return to the United States he became interested in flying and obtained his pilot’s license. For a time he worked some crazy jobs which included ferrying planes to Australia and taking fishing charters to Mexico, the most illustrative being a pilot for Bing Crosby. Soon he ended up in Tahoe where he built homes and it was then he decided to get his real estate license. His love of skiing took him on winter vacations to Europe and ski resorts in Colorado and Idaho where he discovered the town of Ketchum and Bald Mountain. He thought Baldy and the rustic town surpassed anything he had seen in the other ski areas. That is when he made the move to Ketchum and opened Ketchum Realty and later Hailey Realty. In the late 70’s he sold the business and retired to work on his own projects plus hike and ski the mountains he loved, bike, fly, camp in his RV and travel around the world. Howard had a love for animals and spent his last years traveling with his golden retriever Elsee by his side.
Howard leaves behind his daughter Kathryn Fairfield Richards of Green Bay, Wisconsin, her mother Helene (Lanie) Richards Harkin of Stuart, Florida, and his godson Michael Brady of Hailey, ID. As well as many friends, some near, some far and some he may have met up with again.
Howard loved this sonnet written by war poet John Gillespie Magee Jr. who was inspired by his experience as a fighter pilot of the Royal Canadian Air Force in World War ll…..
“Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings”…
It is well worth reading about the author’s story and if you happen to read the entire sonnet please give a nod to HFR and to his life well lived until January 25, 2023. He is missed.