UTAH COUNTY – Funeral services for Kay Ricks were held in American Fork Saturday afternoon, and members of the community and fellow UTA employees also paid tribute to the man in various ways.
Supporters tied yellow ribbons all around the Ricks family neighborhood, and dozens of American flags were erected outside of the LDS Church where services were held. All UTA buses and trains came to a stop briefly around noon as operators read a brief message about Ricks in conjunction with the funeral.
"The service was completely appropriate for who Kay Ricks was,” said Justin Jones, a neighbor and family friend.
Loved ones said Rick was a man of service who cared about helping others at work and in the community. The UTA employee vanished during a shift and was found dead in Wyoming several days later, potentially a victim of a pair of fugitives who fled the state around the same time.
“It was wonderful to feel the presence of so many loved ones,” Neighbor Lori Demille said of Saturday’s services.
Those who were in attendance were especially grateful to hear from Kay's grown children..
“He was the same at home as he was with all of us in the neighborhood,” Jones said. “Always working, always serving.”
Jones added, “His son said today, the one word he described him as is: forgiving.”
A forgiving man, whose life was taken. That knowledge is a hard thing for neighbors, like 8-year-old Ashlyn, to grasp.
“We have had a talk about it with Ashlyn, when he was missing, it was really hard, she actually broke down one night wondering where Kay was,” Demille said. “And now that he's gone, thank goodness we have an eternal perspective.”
Jones said family and friends are grateful for the support they received from people all over the state.
“In all of this, we've seen the best of Utah,” Jones said. “The very best of this neighborhood, the best of our community come out.”