Cover photo for Richard James Hiltbrunn's Obituary
Richard James Hiltbrunn Profile Photo
1958 Richard 2021

Richard James Hiltbrunn

December 2, 1958 — June 2, 2021

12/2/1958 ~ 6/2/2021

Richard Hiltbrunn (62) of Fountain Green, lost his life in a tragic drowning accident during his regular morning swim. He is deeply mourned by Paola, his wife of 33 years, as well as their 10 children, and 17 grandchildren. He loved swimming and enjoyed entertaining the lifeguards with his youthful pool antics. Richard was so pleased that Paola would often accompany him for this exercise.

Richard was born in Tacoma Washington to his adoptive parents JoAnn and Richard Hiltbrunn Sr.  Richard Sr. was plagued by post-traumatic stress as a result of his service in WWII. This created a difficult childhood for Richard which he covered with a tough facade. A high school friend saw through this to Richard’s tender heart and shared the Gospel with him. He immediately felt it was true and never looked back. Despite opposition from his family, he served a mission and afterwards moved to Provo to attend BYU.

Richard and Paola met in the Celestial room of the Provo temple. Afterwards, Richard asked Paola out on a double date for Chinese food and two short weeks later he got down on one knee at a Chinese grocery store and asked her to marry him. Without hesitation Paola said yes, and they married a few months later at that same Provo temple. Paola knew that Richard loved God more than he loved her, and that is just the way she wanted it to be.


Throughout their marriage, Paola was playfully annoyed by the permanent stack of books next to their bed. Richard worked for the State of Utah as a Computer Technician and loved computers, but anyone who knew him, knew that his interests and love of learning extended far beyond the sphere of his occupation. His curiosity about the world was endless! Richard had a way of explaining things to anyone so they could understand. He conversed comfortably with everyone, from professors to mechanics, always as equals.

Richard had a smile on his face and radiated love to everyone he met. He enjoyed serving and talking with family, neighbors, and strangers for hours. He never hesitated to help when someone was in need. Even if he didn’t have a lot to give, he would give everything, without regard for his own well-being. As newly married students, the couple always managed to find “extra” cash in their budget to help others. Throughout their marriage, Richard would convince Paola to make treats as an excuse to visit people he thought could use some company.

Richard absolutely loved spending time with his family, cracking dad jokes every chance he could. His children were always happy when daddy was home. Even as teenagers (and adults) the kids called him when they needed a sympathetic ear. They knew their dad was present in the moment when he was with them. Richard was a firm foundation for his family and his solid presence will be forever missed.

Later in life Richard connected with his biological family. They are grateful for the opportunity to know him, and Richard enjoyed learning about the familiar traits they all shared. These new relationships filled a hole in Richard’s life, and he felt complete and at peace, knowing where he came from and that there were many family members who loved him.

As Richard’s family mourns his passing, they will miss the silly nicknames he had for all of them and the way he turned even difficult situations into an opportunity for fun.

Richard was preceded in death by both his adoptive and biological parents and his younger brother Tom. He is survived by his Wife Paola and children, Seffora, Jessica, Thomas, Vittoria, Poala, Marah, Michael, Angela, Joshua and Richard as well as his 17 grandchildren.

Funeral Services will be held on Monday, June 7th at 11:00am at the Fountain Green LDS Chapel located at 151 S. 200 W. Fountain Green. Friends and family are invited to call at a viewing Sunday evening from 6-8pm and Monday morning 9:30-10:30 held at the church prior to the services. Interment to follow at the Fountain Green cemetery.

Richard’s family and friends are devastated by this unexpected loss. They appreciate your thoughts and prayers. To contribute to the costs of Richard’s funeral or to support his family as they deal with the loss of their husband, father, and sole provider, donations may be made to a Go Fund Me created for them

To Watch Recorded Funeral Service Click Here.

To Watch Recorded Graveside Service Click Here.

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