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Memorial planned for 'Mr. Downtown' at Gallivan Plaza

Published: Monday, March 5 2012 1:26 p.m. MST

Richard Wirick, pictured in 2000, owned the Oxford Shop shoe store and was known as "Mr. Downtown."

Jason Olson, Jason Olson, Deseret News Archiv

SALT LAKE CITY — Downtown business groups will host a memorial Thursday to honor the life of longtime shop owner Richard Wirick, who was hit and killed by a bus Feb. 21.

The event will run from 5 to 7 p.m. in the Gallivan Hall at Gallivan Plaza, 239 S. Main.

Wirick owned and operated the Oxford Shop downtown for nearly 60 years. He often was referred to as "Mr. Downtown" for his passionate promotion of downtown shopping and the city's urban renewal.

"Dick Wirick was one of Salt Lake City's greatest advocates and friends," Mayor Ralph Becker said. "He never missed an opportunity to promote our city's downtown community. No one could talk to Dick without feeling a sense of optimism for the future and an appreciation for Dick's steadfast dedication to downtown."

Wirick, 82, was hit by a Utah Transit Authority bus while using a crosswalk at 400 South and 200 East. The traffic light turned green before Wirick made it across the street, police said.

The first two lanes of traffic stopped and waited for the man to finish crossing, police said, but the bus didn't stop.

The memorial is being hosted by the Downtown Alliance, Vest Pocket Business Coalition, Visit Salt Lake, Downtown Retail Merchants Association and Salt Lake City.

The Downtown Alliance is collecting funds to create a permanent downtown memorial in Wirick's honor. In lieu of flowers, his family has asked that donations be made to the memorial fund.

Jared Page

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