BYU law professor, well-known Utah stage actor Richard Wilkins passes away at 59

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  • JayDogg Orem, UT
    Dec. 2, 2012 7:57 p.m.

    Rest in Peace Professor Wilkins. I once took a law class from him, and he was a great teacher. Even had the class over to his house for dinner at the end of the semester. Just an awesome person, and the stories he would tell would blow you away. The man was on first name bases with some of the Supreme Court Justices, to include the Chief Justice. You will be missed Professor.

  • nathan000000 Yuma, AZ
    Nov. 28, 2012 9:54 p.m.

    What a tragic loss! The first I ever heard of him was when I bought his book as a college sophomore, "A Sacred Duty." I saw it on the shelf and grabbed it because I knew that I was interested in the topic, and that I knew nothing about it. It was an energizing experience reading about his work. A few years later, when the Utah marriage amendment was being debated, I called him with some questions. Even though he'd never met me, he took the time to answer my questions, help me reason things through in my head, and sent me some articles for further study. I'm sure I'm not the only person he helped. He has left a lasting impact.

  • Michael De Groote
    Nov. 28, 2012 4:06 p.m.

    I was a student of Professor Wilkins at J. Reuben Clark Law School back in 1989-1992. If I recall correctly, he had graduated from the law school himself with the highest GPA ever. The joke was that now, as a teacher in that same school, he would grade us lower so that nobody would ever surpass him. :-)

    He treated our class to a performance of A Christmas Carol at Hale Theater. He was amazing -- and very frightening as Scrooge.

    I talked to him in later years about his work in preserving the family. He was doing a great work standing for truth.

    A brilliant scholar, a talented actor, a defender of family. He tried through his life to bless us, everyone.

  • Vanka Provo, UT
    Nov. 28, 2012 12:21 p.m.

    I also worked with Richard briefly. He was a sincere man. I told him he was on the wrong side of the "marriage equality" issue, but he forged ahead with determination. "An international advocate for traditional family values..." or, in other words, "anti-marriage equality".

    RIP Richard. You were a strong advocate for your beliefs, and though I disagreed, you were usually respectful.

  • gramma b Orem, UT
    Nov. 28, 2012 10:08 a.m.

    I worked with Richard for a time, counted him among my friends, and am shocked at his passing. It is such a loss. He was brilliant. He wore himself out doing good works. He was also so unbelievably kind and unselfish. He was a good, good man in every sense of he word. Truly one of a kind. I am so sorry for Melany and his children.

  • Cherilyn Eagar Holladay, UT
    Nov. 28, 2012 8:13 a.m.

    I first met Richard and Melany and the family in rehearsals for A Christmas Carol at the Hale in 1995 when I was cast as Fred's wife as well as multiple roles. He was extraordinary to watch and it was an honor to perform with him. I told him he could have played this role among the best in any Broadway production. Off stage I assisted him in raising money for his project Defend Marriage and came to know his brilliance in Constitutional law. He was respected throughout the world in his advocacy. He was a dear friend and will be sorely missed. My prayers are with this great family he has left behind all too soon that they may be comforted in their loss.

    Cherilyn Eagar

  • BYUalum South Jordan, UT
    Nov. 28, 2012 7:20 a.m.

    What a great loss to the human family! We became acquainted with Richard Wilkins in 1996 when he traveled to Istanbul, Turkey, to attend the United Nations Habitat Conference and boldly defended women, marriage, and the family. His story was compelling as he outlined in his book which we purchased. We later listened to him retell the experience in person at BYU Education Week. He was a man for the ages. We wanted to see him on stage as Scrooge at Hale Theatre this year, but that opportunity is now lost. Thank you for your outstanding life; you belong to God now earning a great reward, I am sure! Condolences to your wife and family.

  • KTC John Wetumpka, AL
    Nov. 28, 2012 6:53 a.m.

    I, unfortunately for me, never had the opportunity to meet Richard Wilkins in person, but I knew him through his articulate writings about the family unit in civilized society. I was always favorably impressed and profoundly so. It would have been a singular honor to have shaken his hand. Even at my long-distance observation, I can feel the onset of a distinct vacuum when I ponder his passing. I suspect, at least for a while, it will take an entire group of outstanding people to replace him. I extend my anonymous condolences to his own personal family and am confident that there are many throughout the world who feel as I do as they reflect upon the loss of this noble soul.

  • Editorial Notes At Home In, UT
    Nov. 27, 2012 10:35 p.m.

    Oh my gosh, my heart is so sad.
    Thank you Mr. Wilkins for the many cherished opportunities I had to watch you become Ebenezer Scrooge.
    You are truly a Christmas treasure.

    And special thanks to your family, for the sacrifice of time, that allowed you to share the Spirit of Christmas with so many.
    My prayers of gratitude and condolences for your family at this tender time.
    God bless you, every one.