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‘Mr. Downtown’ was devoted to community, local business

Owner of SLC’s Oxford Shop was on way to a meeting when he was hit and killed by a bus.

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Wirick also touched a former paperboy and current Third District Juvenile Court judge.

"I bought my first pair of shoes from him, when I was in high school, at his shop on Broadway in 1968," Judge Andrew Valdez said in an email, noting that Wirick’s shops on Broadway and later on 100 South became Salt Lake City landmarks after the first opened in 1951.

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"He never changed — he-treated me the same as a paper boy and judge, with respect and a caring heart."

Wirick was born May 22, 1929, in Salt Lake City.

Wirick’s first wife was Caroline Evans Wirick, Stephen Wirick’s mother, who died in 1989. After their divorce, Richard Wirick married sculptor Ursula Brodauf in 1958 and they had two sons, Frederic and Andre. She died last May.

In the obituary of Esther Radinger, who died in July 2009, Richard Wirick is also noted as her loving companion of 40 years .

Funeral arrangements for Wirick are pending, but Stephen Wirick said there will be a celebration of his father’s life.

"We’ll want the city to be involved because he was such a big downtown guy."

In 2010, the Downtown Alliance presented Wirick with its Achievement Award, which is given to individuals and organizations who have made significant contributions to the Central Business District.

"He really was downtown’s greatest champion," said Jason Mathis, Alliance executive director. "At 82, he’d certainly weathered several storms and watched this community evolve and change in many ways. All of downtown will mourn his passing."

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twitter: @catmck

Tribune reporters Derek Jensen and Cimaron Neugebauer contributed to this report.

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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