Longtime Jackson resident Alva Francis Richins died Jan. 28. He was 93.
The following was submitted by Shawna Yant.
Alva was born July 28, 1926, in Victor, Idaho, to Joseph and Julia Richins. He was one of seven children in the family. He grew up in Victor and at the age of 18 joined the U.S. Navy to help with what was left of WW II. He was a Machinist’s Mate 3rd Class on the USS Scania until his honorable discharge on July 2, 1946, in Bremerton, Washington.
He met his best friend and future bride in the coming years. He and Nora courted, but soon found themselves separated by their jobs, hers in Ellensburg, Washington, and his in Jackson. The distance proved unbearable, and Alva decided he couldn’t be without her by his side. They married on May 23, 1950, and would have been married for 70 years this coming May.
Shortly after marrying they moved to Jackson where he continued his work for Gene Gillette. Soon they found themselves with two children, Ken and Lynette, and were happily living the American dream.
He worked for Gene and Jeanette Gillette for many years. He bought the business from them when they were ready to retire, thus beginning Richins Oil. He was an amazing, service-focused salesman and worked hard to provide for his family. He retired from Richins Oil in 1990, but he was never without work.
He was a proud member of the Oddfellows Lodge and was passionate about their scholarship program. He could be found puttering around in the shop, showing his grandkids how to work on small engines, or out in the yard either digging up weeds with his pocketknife or moving sprinklers around on the immaculate lawn. If he didn’t have a tool that would do the job, he would either make one of his own or make improvements to what he had on hand.
In the winter he was known to plow snow for his family and some of the locals. He would also plow the snow in the yard into hills for his grandkids to sled down and ride the snowmobiles around on. He loved to fish, no matter the season, and he was also foe to many antelope and pheasant in his lifetime.
Everything Alva did was for those he loved most, his family. And we all loved him just as much. He always had a funny saying or anecdote to add to every conversation, and I’m sure we all have one in our hearts and minds whenever we think of him. He has left behind many happy memories and we will cherish those forever.
Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, but love leaves a memory no one can steal.
Thank you, Alva, for being such an important part of all our lives. You’ll be missed greatly by all who knew you and were fortunate enough to call you family. We love you. Thank you for all the memories.
Alva is survived by his wife, Nora; his children, Ken and Lynette; his grandchildren, Shawna, Kendra, and Kristopher; and three great-grandchildren.