PROVO, Utah (ABC4) — The pilot of the private jet who died in a crash at the Provo Airport yesterday has been identified as 62-year-old Nathan Ricks. Ricks was a top seller for Nu Skin and a force in Utah’s business community. Today, friends and family shared how he inspired people around the world and made a difference in their lives.
“He just was a mentor to a lot of people. Tremendous mentor to a lot of people. His legacy was enormous,” said Kelly Thayer, a friend and work associate who said he knew Nathan for around 30 years and was his neighbor for about 10 years in Santa Clara.
“There’s been a plane crash and Nathan didn’t make it and I just sat there like what…I didn’t know what to say,” said Jeff Mack, his friend and business partner, recalling the moment his family members told him about Nathan’s passing. Mack says he knew Nathan for over 30 years and he was like a brother to him.
More than a business leader, Mack shared that Nathan was a great friend and helped him get through many hard times, such as the passing of his son.
“There were times in my life I didn’t know what was gonna come, but I knew Nate had my back,” he said.
Loved ones also shared that he was a loving father to his four daughters and a devoted husband and grandfather.
“As far as a family man, that was the most important to him at the end of the day,” he said.
Nathan’s family said he was going to take his wife and friends to the Rose Bowl in his own jet. Monday around noon, the Provo municipal airport reported a small plane crash. Another passenger, 51-year-old Brent Beardall, was taken to the hospital with critical injuries but is expected to survive. The two others on the jet walked away with just bumps and bruises, 36-year-old Dane Margetts and his wife 56-year-old Joyce Ricks.
Friends said they will remember Nathan for always serving others and being kind-hearted.
“Nathan became known as a person you could depend on, and someone of strength and virtue and vitality and just motivation,” said Mack.
“He’s a very strong person, personality, but with a deep love for his God and to serve people,” said Thayer.
Nathan’s family sent a statement to ABC4 in his honor, which reads:
We are sincerely grateful for the outpouring of love from our friends, neighbors, and community following Nathan’s passing. We lost a beloved husband, father, mentor, friend, and leader. He loved life to the fullest, especially the wonderful people around the world that touched his life and he theirs through his business pursuits. He loved Utah and was all-in on making it a better place to live, work, and play for his grandkids and Utahns alike. He was a believer in new beginnings and saw more in people than they often saw in themselves. We will love and miss him for a time, while we put faith in the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Blake Roney, former CEO at Nu Skin, remembers Nathan for being energetic, tenacious, and being very strong in his beliefs.
“He was very intelligent and a very good man who went about doing good,” he said. “He fiercely loved his family and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. His departure is unimaginable. There is not another one like him to my knowledge.”
Former Nu Skin CEO, Truman Hunt, said that Nathan was relentlessly passionate in everything he did.
“Everything he touched succeeded. He had a drive that I have never seen before or anywhere else,” shared Truman Hunt, former CEO of Nu Skin. “His loss is a massive loss of a truly powerful force for good in our community.”