Richard attended school in Longmont, CO; K-4th at Potato Hill, 5th-8th at Altona school, 9th-12th at Longmont High School where he graduated. In his school years Richard competed in 4-H (10 yrs) and Future Farmers of America (FFA, 4 yrs). Through 4-H and FFA he participated in numerous judging contests in Colorado. In 1956 Richard competed at the National Livestock judging for FFA in Kansas City, Kansas. In 1956 he received a state Farmers Degree. Richard's love of the programs influenced him to go on to become a Montana 4-H Leader. For 42 years he dedicated his time and effort to enriching the 4-H program and helping children learn and grow. He also continued to show his own cattle along with his family.
On July 4th of 1954 Richard washed over the Alberta Falls in the Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado. After that day many health concerns and later surgeries arose including knee and hip replacements.
An old friend of Richard's taught him how to shoot a pistol and rifle. He started with the 22 target rifle indoor and outdoor at 50 and 100 yards. He went to all of the local, regional and state matches in Colorado, Wyoming and Montana. He also went to the National meet each year from 1960-1964. Richard was just shy of making the USA Olympic team for shooting sports.
On July 10th, 1966 Richard married his childhood sweetheart and the love of his life Donna Campion Bryan. At the time also becoming the father that he didn't have to be to Virginia (Ron Chenoweth) and Andrew (Josie Platt). In July of 1966 Richard moved his new family from Colorado to Montana to begin his own farm. On the farm he raised his beloved Normandy cows as well as many other animals. He was then further blessed with three more children: Guy, 1971, Mary (Greg Simons), 1974, Ty (Sonya Platt), 1977. In his 51 years of marriage he became a grandfather of 12 and great-grandfather of 5.
Richards' dedication to his community and his big heart was shown in his involvement with many organizations and jobs. Richard was a board member on the Heron United Methodist Church for 40 yrs. He also built the rock and stone message board for the church. He spent 2 terms on the Heron School board and 2 terms on the Noxon High School board. Richard also served on the Heron-Noxon Cemetery board for about 20 yrs. Richard worked on his family farm and neighboring farms as a Soil Conservation Services (SCS) and Agricultural Stabilization Conservation Services (ASCS) agent. He worked for the Bureau of Roads in Denver, CO. In Montana and Idaho he worked road construction. Richard also worked at the sawmill in Trout Creek, MT from 1966 to 1968. Richard then worked for Washington Water Power from 1968 until his retirement.
His love of animals and crops continued throughout his life. He loved woodworking, lapidary and fly tying. He created items such as wooden toys, frames and furniture. He designed and built rock fireplaces and magically turned ordinary rocks to fine jewelry. More than anything Richard loved to fish and hunt. He was always in the mood to go hiking into the backwoods to fish in a stream or lake of crystal blue water hoping to catch the big one. He believed there was no better way to spend a day.
Richard was a man that touched the hearts and lives of many people. He was the unsung hero in the background making sure what was needed to be done was. He could fix anything and everything with a little ingenuity and a gung-ho attitude. He loved his family and enjoyed the company of friends. He will always be loved, forever missed and alive in the memories of his friends and family.
Richard is survived by his loving wife Donna, his 5 children and their families, siblings Jim (Jackie Platt), Bill (Nancy Platt), Frank (Kathy Platt) and many other friends and family. He was proceeded in death by his parents and 1 grandson. A memorial service will be held on August 19th, 2017 at 2 pm at the United Methodist Church in Heron, MT. There will be a potluck to follow. Richard will be interned at the Heron Cemetery. Only family please at the grave site.
Family and friends are invited to sign the online guestbook, for Richard, at www.coffeltfuneral.com.
Funeral arrangements are entrusted to Coffelt Funeral Service.