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  • –Dick Mitchell and his Silver Springs Memorial Park



    Dick Mitchell piloting his home-built, two-seat Lancair 320



    In Appreciation for years of dedicated service to the Silver Springs Single Family Homeowners, Park City, Summit County, Utah.

    dick-mitchell-air-force-photo 2014-10-25-Dick Mitchell

    James Richard “Dick” Mitchell born May 4, 1929 in Ogden, Utah
    “Dick” Mitchell died on his 86th birthday (2015), Park City, Utah.

    Dick Mitchell was a three decade resident of Silver Springs, moved here on June 13, 1984 to enjoy a quieter life of skiing, bicycling and flying his airplane after fifty years of achievement, service and adventure.   Dick’s motto: “When in doubt, go full speed ahead.”

    On Wednesday, September 20th beginning at 6:00 PM the Will and Jean Pickett Intermountain Ski Hall of Fame will be holding their Induction Ceremony for four inductees, one of them will be our own Dick Mitchell,  a long-time Silver Springs resident and stalwart HOA officer.  The Ceremony will be held at the Joe Quinney Winter Sports Center at the Utah Olympic Park in Park City, Utah.  Festivities will begin at the Alf Engen Ski Museum.   RSVP by September 13, 2017.  Email to Connie Nelson <[email protected]>

    After graduating from Ogden High School, Dick attended Weber State for two years (1947-1949). Dick accepted a mission call to serve for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in California from 1949 to 1951. Upon returning from his mission he married his childhood sweetheart, Helen Daines, also of Ogden. At this point Dick enrolled at the University of Utah to continue his education. The year 1953 brought triple rewards: –as the captain of the U of U ski team Dick participated in downhill, slalom, cross-country and ski jumping, he won the 1953 NCAA downhill title.   1956 found Dick as a member of the U.S. Olympic VII Men’s Ski Team.

    1956 U.S. Olympic Men’s Ski Team at the Hotel Post in St. Anton, Austria.  Back Row, L – R: Nelson Bennett (manager), Tom Corcoran, Marvin Moriarty, Ralph Miller, Bud Werner, Bobo Sheehan (coach). Front Row, L – R: Dick Mitchell, Marvin Melville, Brooks Dodge, Bill Beck, Les Steeter


    Dick’s athleticism on the ski hills led to his being selected to be a member of the U.S. Ski Team for the upcoming 1956 VII Winter Olympics in Cortina d’Amprezzo, Italy. He also was selected as the downhill forerunner to prove the course before the official races. The day before the downhill races coach Robert “Bobo” Sheehan removed Dick Mitchell from the line-up replacing him with Bill Beck. This proved to be a disastrous change in line-up; Beck fell during his race run and was disqualified in the event.1956-ski-jumping

    The Viet Nam war broke out at the end of 1955 and soon after in 1956 Dick was called into combat duty. Fighter pilots were required to fly 100 missions, Dick flew his one-seater F-105 during 100 combat sorties over North Vietnam cities Lao Cai, Hong Gai, Hai Phong and Hanoi; and he flew an additional 49 sorties over Laos. His plane was shot down twice, he parachuted into the jungle and was rescued by helicopter. During one 1966 mission Dick’s wingman, Chuck Boyd was captured and remained a POW for 6 1/2 years in “Hotel Hanoi. ” Dick and Chuck were pilots from a squadron of 20.F-105-Jaws_of_the_Dragon

    While stationed in France from 1942-1950, Dick developed a love of the French language. He continued his study of French until 1973 when, in part due to his fluency, he was appointed Assistant Air Force Attaché in the U.S. Embassy in Saigon. When South Vietnam fell to the communists on April 27, 1975, Dick was directly involved as an Air Force attaché in the evacuation of American, as well as Vietnamese, military personnel and civilians. He was on the last helicopter out of Tân Son Nhut International Airport at midnight. He remembers looking out from the back of the helicopter at the sight of Saigon’s buildings and landmarks being burned down by the North Vietnamese invading soldiers. His rescue helicopter landed on an aircraft carrier in the China Sea.


    Gen. Charles Graham Boyd

    General Boyd at Dick’s Ski Hall of Fame Induction
    Recently, Dick’s life-long pal, Chuck Boyd, became the only Vietnam prisoner of war (1966-1973) to reach the 4-star rank (1992). Boyd was commissioned as a second lieutenant through the aviation cadet program in July 1960 and served in a variety of assignments in Europe, the Pacific, and the Continental United States. A command pilot, with over 2,400 flight hours, he flew F-100s and F-105s in Southeast Asia, some as Dick Mitchell’s wing man, during the Vietnam War. Chuck was shot down on April 22, 1966 while on his 105th mission. From 1966 to 1973 (2,488 days), he was a prisoner of war, interred in various prisons in North Vietnam. He was released on February 12, 1973 as a part of Operation Homecoming.

    During his military career Colonel James Richard Mitchell was awarded major military awards and decorations including:Dick-receives-medal-honor

    SilverStar.gif Silver Star for Gallantry in action against an enemy of the United States
    Distinguished Flying Cross ribbon.svg Distinguished Flying Cross (2) heroism during aerial flight
    Bronze Star ribbon.svg Bronze Star (2) for heroic service in a combat zone
    Purple Heart BAR.svg Purple Heart wounded while in action against an enemy
    Defense Meritorious Service ribbon.svg Defense Meritorious Service Medal non-combat outstanding achievement or service
    Air Medal ribbon.svg Air Medal (10) Meritorious achievement while participating in aerial flight
    Air Force Commendation ribbon.svg Air Force Commendation Medal (2) for meritorious service

    While stationed in Ohio he bought and raced a Formula Ford single-seat, open-wheel racing car and won eight of the nine races he entered. After his service in the war Dick continued his education at the University of Utah, culminating in June 1968 with his Masters degree in Business Administration. On December 31, 1976 he retired from the Air Force after 22 years commission reaching the rank of Colonel (06). Dick lived in the San Francisco Bay area for several years where he enjoyed racing up and down the coast in his 36″ sloop. He raced to Hawaii twice with a six man crew, once sailing the seventeen day trip single-handed using only celestial navigation and with a large albatross for companionship.

    Dicks-sailing-sloopIn 1980 Dick moved to Park City to again take up his love of skiing. On June 13, 1984, Dick Mitchell bought his home in Silver Springs, where he has continuously resided. The Silver Springs Single Family Homeowners’ Association was newly being formed and was in need of homeowner volunteers to help establish the Architectural Guidelines and man the much-maligned Compliance Committee. Dick took on the responsibilities to keep the many new home builders honest and true to our neighborhood building standards. His efforts were not often appreciated by those receiving his reminders and instructions, or by female residents who were denied their request to install white shutters. The early SSSFHOA Meeting Minutes are peppered with the descriptions of his efforts to uphold the Architectural Guidelines. It is the opinion of the homeowners who have lived in Silver Springs since the early 1980’s that if it had not been for Dick Mitchell’s dogged determination, his persistence, and his integrity to perform the duty he had accepted, this neighborhood would not have developed into the wonderful, appealing landscape that we enjoy today.

    1990s-Egyptian-TheaterDick has always enjoyed a variety of pursuits. In Park City he joined the Egyptian Theater community group where he participated in nine stage plays as an actor. His favorite was a four actor play performing opposite his girlfriend, Jossy Sheya. He admitted to being the worst actor in the group but he had great fun. At the Canyons Resort he coached junior alpine skiers. For a time, Dick was a real estate agent for the Park City Gump & Ayers Real Estate firm.


    James Richard Mitchell, eldest son of Ralph M. and Louise Fisher Mitchell of Ogden, Utah, has been married twice, first to Helen Daines, whom he has known since the fifth grade. They have four children, Carey (Stephen) Drufner, John, Suzanne, and Thomas. Dick said he was never happier than when they were all on the ski slopes together. Later in life, when he was 55 years of age, Dick married Betty Rizzo, with whom he has his son, Andrew James Mitchell, born on July 9, 1986, “the pride and joy of my later life,” Dick quipped, “Betty almost killed me, taking away my son whom I dearly love.”

    In the Spring of 2014 Dick attended Andrew’s graduation in Boston from Harvard University with a PhD with full honors in Molecular Biology at the age of 24

    1990c-Andrew-Dick-MitchellAndrew James Mitchell, around the time he lived in SSSF, with both of his parents.

    When Betty and Andrew withdrew from his life, to assuage his empty days with activity, Dick commenced to fulfill his life long desire to build his own two-seat airplane. He began this project in his garage. For seven years his labor was transformed into his beloved Lancair 320 pictured at the top of this page. He greatly enjoyed this amazing, fast and sleek airplane that he flew for over twenty years. How many of you remember walking past his house when he was busy hand tooling his wonderful little airplane?

    1993-05-body-wings-in-garage 1994-05-29-body-primed-Dick-in-garage
    1993-10-unpainted-driveway-Bob-and-Shirley-Wan-house unknown-date-sitting-on-wing

    Click on each picture to view the above photos in enlarged detail.
    Fall of c.1993 – Neighbors on Dick Mitchell’s Lot 17
    Background shows backhoe working on Little Lake formation.


    Just around a month before his demise Dick sold his Lancair 320 to a Marine who held a great appreciation for Dick’s handmade two-seater.

    Dick loved the environment and town of Park City. Until these last few years he has enjoyed skiing and bicycling. Since 2000 Dick battled multiple myeloma a cancer that affects plasma cells in bone marrow. He bravely and begrudgingly faced his fears and pain. In the end his heart gave out on May 4, 2015. Dick Mitchell, his storytelling and trusted supportive friendship will be dearly missed.

    Funeral Services were held on Saturday, May 9, 2015. Interment at Leavitt’s Aultorest Memorial Park, 836 36th Street, Ogden Utah where military honors were accorded. To visit Dick’s grave site go to the American Legion area, Grid Lot 184, Space Position 4.

    borderJAMES RICHARD MITCHELL 1929-2015 Obituary


    During one of our visits to Dick’s grave site we met Tom Leavitt Jr. Tom told us he is a long-time friend of Dick’s, they skied together for decades. Tom said Dick was a wildman, an exceptional pilot with more courage and bravado than most people. “I just cannot get over Dick’s patience and skill while building his little airplane in his garage.” Tom recalls closing day at Snow Basin when Dick, piloting his handmade Lancair 320, buzzed the parking lot then pulled up and rolled his airplane several times. Hundreds of people in the parking lot and on the slopes saw him, everyone was cheering and hooting as they enjoyed this very impressive feat. “Dick was famous in Ogden, everybody knew who he was, super skier, war hero, all-round nice guy. We often tried to convince him to move back to Ogden but he loved Park City so stayed in the mountains for his last thirty years.”


    Dick Mitchell’s grave is located in Leavitt’s Aultorest Memorial Park Cemetery in Ogden, Utah. The grave is in the center of the Memory Garden and American Legion section known as Grid Lot 184, Space Position 4; due west of the flagpole in the center of this green space. Look for the mound of pink flowers in the center of the above photograph.


     Intermountain Ski Hall of Fame


    2011-This Aerial view shows length of Parcel Q from the Pond to the Lake.
    Parcel V is at the corner at 4866 Silver Springs Drive aka 1574 Meadows Connection.
    Parcel V, as indicated with blue lines, dimensions are 56 ft on the NE; 56.7 ft on the W; 90.5 ft along the curved south boundary.

    Neighbor Julia Loughlin told another story of Dick Mitchell’s personal strength and determination.  Julia said she was walking past Dick’s front yard when she saw him mowing his grass.  This was on a very hot day in 2014.  She could see that he was staggeringly fatigued, perspiring, dust on his face and hair; Julia could also see he was determined to complete the work he had begun.  Julia said she offered to finish his mowing.  Dick declined her offer, with the multiple
    myeloma raging in his marrow, Dick, then 84 years of age, pushed forward to hold on to what he had started in 1984 and to remain independent as long as he could.

    2015-07-18-fifteen new aspens planted
    John Richard, Isabelle, and Bruno planted fifteen aspen trees for future shade enjoyment.
    dau-son-exwife-resizedDick Mitchell’s Family – Two of his children: Suzanne and John Richard, wife Helen Daines
    They received a commitment from the Master Association to maintain and landscape the Dick Mitchell Memorial Park in perpetuity for the use and enjoyment of the Silver Springs Community.
    Since June 2016 the MA has neglected the 15 aspens and the lawn they promised to care for, the aspens dried up, died and have been removed.

    1981 Plat Map Shows SW area next to Lot 17 to be dedicated as the Dick Mitchell Memorial Park (56′ by 56′ by 92′)


    In August 1988 at a Summit County Planning Committee meeting, Jerry Tulley, one of the original planners of Silver Springs with Webster and Associates, 1979-1983, said back when Silver Springs East was developed by Vern Hardman and his S.S.D. Inc. company, Summit County could not require the recordings of open space parcels on plats. It was never designated what was open space.  Mr. Tulley said this open space, and a number of others were never recorded.

    In 1990 when the Master Association was established this parcel was not included in their list of common area properties. MA board members have disavowed ownership or responsibility, as has the Silver Springs Single Family Homeowners’ Association. At one point a new Master Association board thought this property was one of their parcels. Ralph Stanislaw drew up a landscape plan but the uncertainty of ownership precluded the MA from going forward with the work. Neither HOA owns or holds jurisdiction over this parcel, therefore it is not a part of either Association. In 2008, board secretary Lucy Archer was given permission to engage High Country Title Company to research this parcel’s ownership records. The officer called it the same name as was used by Allen Spriggs, Summit County Recorder, it is a “title blackhole.” During the early P.I.C. ownership of the entire Silver Springs East 857.5 acre tract, this piece has never been designated or attached to an owner or entity. Care and maintenance of this parcel has been provided by Dick Mitchell since 1984. Archer was encouraged to proceed with plans to landscape this parcel at the intersection of Meadows Connection and Silver Springs Drive between Lots 17 and 172; and to dedicate this ownerless parcel to a very worthy tri-decade resident of Silver Springs, missionary, 1956 VII Winter Olympics ski racer, Viet Nam pilot veteran, yacht and sloop racer, actor, ski coach, founding member of our Silver Springs Single Family HOA and enduring chairman of the Architectural Compliance Committee, to our friend and neighbor, James Richard “Dick” Mitchell.

    2017- May 09 MA Minutes:  Meadows Connection and Silver Springs Drive Orphan Parcel “V”. Bill Salmon (a Park Place homeowner) volunteered to look into ownership of this parcel. He spent time at the county recorder office looking through the records from the original developer forwards and confirmed there is no record of it being fully transferred. In the documentation, it could be intended to be incorporated as part of the Masters parcel “Q”. Salmon recommends we get all parties involved together to resolve ownership.

    We should reach out to the previous owner  (Dick Mitchell who maintained the property from 1984 to 2015) and/or the new owner (Mehregan who has maintained it since 2015). It is premature to ask either owner to withdraw the affidavit that creates disseisor action in support of the Mitchell ownership claim. The Mitchell’s would have had the parcel dedicated as The Dick Mitchell Memorial Park if it hadn’t been for the interference of the SSSF board president in 2014.  The Masters maintains the Parcel “Q” channel that runs along the west property line of this parcel.  Past Masters work on the lakes has more than once created an eyesore on this parcel.  Photos available.  Also see emails “Black Hole Parcel.”

    2017-07 SSMA Minutes  Item IV-g. Unclaimed Parcel “V”: The resident who bought Dick Mitchell’s home reached out to Phil Tisovec to talk about this corner that is adjacent to his property. He would like to append ownership of this area, not including the waterway. This way he could take care of the area under legal ownership. The area would then be under SSSFHOA and subject to their landscape restrictions. The Masters is primarily concerned about the line of site for traffic safety reasons and would like to ensure there wouldn’t be a fence or swing set on that corner.

    MEMORIAL PARK PARCEL FILED AND RECORDED   2015-07-15-Entry 1023514-Mitchell-Park

    Donations to this Memorial Park can be a bench, tables, solar lights, etc.
    Contact John Richard Mitchell to contribute to this private neighborhood park.
    [email protected] or [email protected]

    2000 Webpage

    Creekside Open Space Easement - corner in April 2008
    Creekside Open Space at 1574 Meadows Connection
    – 4-2008 House in right side background belongs to Dick Mitchell.
    Area east of the creek will be his Memorial Park.

    2007 - Creekside Easement from Silver Springs Road
    2007 – Standing at Silver Springs Drive from South Shore.
    Large boulders in center front of lot were moved by the MA in 2011, then years later were returned or uncovered.

    2007- Creekside Easement waterway

    2008 – Dick Mitchell and Lucy Archer, SSSFHOA secretary, inquired of the MA and SSSFHOA whether either of these HOAs owned this Park parcel.  Both stated that they did not own or hold title nor have any jurisdiction on this parcel.  High Country Title Company’s Jeff McCluskey performed a title search and found no identification on plat, no County property number, no tax I.D. for this “title black hole” parcel.  The MA website does not list it as one of their common areas.

    2011-This Aerial view shows length of Parcel Q from the Pond to the Lake.
    Parcel V is the dark corner at 4866 Silver Springs Drive aka 1574 Meadows Connection.

    Frustrated new owner has not had cooperation of the MHOA or the SSSFHOA.
    He has divided Lot 17 from the east part of Parcel V with a row of evergreen trees and verbena.
    He does not need the permission of the HOAs for him and his family to file for ownership.


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