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Richard, 65, died Nov. 14, 2012, in Salt Lake City, Utah, of prostate cancer. He was born March 2, 1947, in Twin Falls, Idaho. During his smokejumping career he traveled all over the west as far south as New Mexico to the far borders of Alaska, narrowly missing his goal of 100 jumps by one. He developed a brotherhood with his fellow jumpers of which many were in contact with him until his passing. Richard's passion for nature led him to acquire bachelors and master's degrees in biology and conservation from Idaho State University, with the intent to pursue a career with a natural resource agency. Little did he know that 33 years later he would be retiring from a long and fulfilling career as a biology and taxidermy teacher at Highland High School. Richard began his taxidermy curriculum which encompassed the preservation of wildlife, art, conservation, wildlife identification and ecology. Many of his students excelled and became award winning taxidermists themselves. He developed additional curriculum to include mammalogy, ornithology, botany, entomology, environmental science, and advanced biology. Richard was named best-all-around taxidermist in Idaho for 1989. In 1990 the Idaho Society of Energy and Environmental Education named him as "Environmental Educator of the Year." He jumped at McCall during the 1967-73 seasons.



Publication Date

November 2012


Smokejumping; Smokejumpers -- United States; National Smokejumper Association; Wildfire fighters; Obituaries


Forest Management

Smokejumper Obituary: Jeppson, Richard (McCall 1967)