Salt Lake City, Utah—Richard Arms Fay passed away peacefully Sunday, April 3, 2022, from a heart condition with his devoted wife of 48 years, Carol M. Fay, by his side. He brought meaning to living well, as he did so for 102 years. Dick was born in Boulder, Colorado, and his father died when Dick was two years old. His mother and grandmother got the wanderlust and migrated to Southern California when Dick was four. His mother became affiliated with the film industry and Dick attended schools in Hollywood through Junior High school.
At age ten, Dick became a member of the Trailfinders, a boys outdoor organization. Later from age 14 through 19, he was a leader and supervisor of boys in the Trailfinders private boys school in Altadena and summer camp at Big Pines in the San Bernardino mountains. Dick received a driver’s license at age 14 and drove the Head Master’s V-12 Lincoln Town Car. Dick started his undergraduate work at Pasadena Junior College while still in high school and while working at the Trailfinders.
Dick finished his undergraduate work at the University of California, Berkeley in 1941. He spent four and one half years in the Army Air Corps during World War II as a Radio Communications officer instructor at Yale and did advanced work at Harvard and Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the top secret area of radar, qualifying as a Radar Officer with wings. Dick left the military with the rank of 1st Lieutenant. One of Dick’s personal highlights of his service included marching morning and evening as a cadet, to Glenn Miller and his Orchestra, the Military Band at Yale.
After the war, Dick obtained his Master of Business Administration degree from Stanford University in 1948. He then embarked upon his financial career and was selected on a national basis to work for Merrill Lynch, and trained in New York before starting as an Account Executive (Stock Broker) in their Los Angeles office.
In 1952, Dick became a Regional Sales Engineer for Philco Corp. In 1955, Dick embarked upon his first entrepreneurial venture forming Richard A. Fay & Co. (RAFCO), a securities broker/dealer firm in Beverly Hills. RAFCO was a first with the concept of a one stop financial planning service, integrating investment securities, insurance and estate planning.
In 1959, Dick became a part of the General Electric Company in the Business Data Processing Department focused on Business Planning and Marketing Research. Later in 1966, Dick performed the same function in G.E.’s Process Control Computer Department, leaders in industrial process control.
An entrepreneur at heart, in 1970 Dick combined his backgrounds in finance and computers to work full time in computerizing securities analysis and forecasting as a securities trader for his own account (RAFCO). Dick was an early user of computers and financial data bases when financial information was first being computerized. The strength of his techniques was the use of statistics and quantitative approaches, which later financial research and theory validated in academic circles. Dick was a pioneer in the use of portfolio theory and methodologies which uncovered fundamental stock market relationships. Approaches used in his individual securities trading have become the practices used by institutions.
Knowledge and scholarship were the driving forces behind Dick’s lifetime experiences.
Universities were always his greatest resource, as he continued his educational pursuits at fourteen different universities, including 33 years at the University of Utah. Dick greatly enjoyed watching the University of Utah grow in quality and stature.
One of Dick’s basic philosophies was that success is measured not by what you can get from society, but what you can give back. He felt that satisfaction comes from having the capability to direct your achievements to the benefit of others, not to yourself. This guiding principle shaped Dick’s legacy, with his focus in the area of health sciences and the desire to promote the health of all.
Dick was delighted to learn of the University of Utah’s Medical Informatics Department, whose efforts parallel those of his life’s work in the combined use of computer and engineering sciences. Dick’s focus was on empowering the patient as a more integral part of medical information, and with control of their own healthcare. Dick’s legacy lives on with the bequest of the Richard A. Fay and Carol M. Fay Presidential Endowed Fay Medical Informatics Center in honor of Dr. Homer R. Warner, Chairman Emeritus and Founder of the Department of Medical Informatics. The Fay Center includes two presidential endowed chairs, fellowships and endowments for the Huntsman Cancer Institute, the Department of Human Genetics, Orthopedics, Pharmacy and the University of Utah hospitals and clinics.
Dick is survived by his beloved wife, Carol, whom he met at a dinner arranged by friends in Phoenix, where Carol served as a District Manager for Social Security. Dick and Carol’s lives would never be the same. Inseparable soon after they met and wed in 1973, the dynamic couple found that their interests and lives of dedication intersected and complemented each other perfectly. Dick followed Carol as she moved to serve with the Internal Revenue Service, living happily with her in Portland, OR, Atlanta, GA and ultimately in Salt Lake City, where Carol served as IRS District Director. Most recently they made their home at Park Lane Senior Living in Salt Lake City, where Carol continues to reside. Carol was clearly the sunshine and joy of Dick’s life.
Few encountered Dick without being struck by his quick and effortless wit, warmth, and wisdom.
His sense of humor was legendary and remained evident until the very end of his life. His bright and contagious smile and laughter lifted countless hearts. Always interested in others, Dick brightened the lives of all who met him through his friendly and welcoming outreach. Dick was a true gentleman in every sense of the word. Few have learned and accomplished as much as Richard A. Fay in his lifetime, but even fewer have done so with such humility, kindness, caring and consideration for others. He will be forever loved and missed.
In lieu of flowers, please do a good deed in memory of Dick.
Published by Deseret News from Apr. 5 to Apr. 13, 2022.