Remembering Race Director Richard Ault

Richard T. Ault, 72, of Bark River, passed away on Tuesday, January 4, 2022, joining his wife of 49 years in their Heavenly home.

Richard was born on August 18, 1949 in Escanaba, son of Paul G. and Marjory S. (Robinson) Ault, Sr. The 3rd born of 9 children, he was raised in Bark River and graduated from Bark River Harris School in 1967. His love of all mechanical things started as a young kid he liked to take things apart just to see how it worked and put it back together. By the time he was a young man he could fix just about anything.

After Graduation he traveled to Chicago for employment where he stayed with his cousins who were among some of his best friends. While there he was an ornamental iron worker and worked on many buildings within the city most notably the John Hancock building,

Richard was sent to Vietnam in 1970 serving as a radio operator for the United States Army, Second Platoon, Company B. While serving in Vietnam he built friendships that would last forever. He was honorably discharged after one tour and returned home to Bark River, Michigan.

Upon his return he started work at the Northern Motors Truck Garage where he was employed as a mechanic and rekindled his love for repairing engines. He spent several years there honing his craft.

On July 29, 1972, Richard married the former Mary Ellen Williams at the Bark River Bible Church. Mary was the love of his life and together they raised 4 children. Mary preceded him in death in September of 2008.

In 1979 Richard started Ault’s Truck Repair, a diesel repair shop where he worked everyday with his wife doing a job he enjoyed. For many years Richard worked side by side with his son “Richie”. He was generous with his time and knowledge of mechanics and shared both often and willingly.

He was an avid outdoorsman who loved his time at the camp, where he built a log cabin with the help of many family and friends. He took pride in the fact that this property has been passed down through 6 generations and has become the gathering place for family and friends. Since Mary’s passing, his time was often spent at camp maintaining the memorial garden he built in her honor along with the 50+ bird feeders around his yard.

Racing was a passion of Richards as well and around 1976 he got in his first Buggy for the Bark River Off Road Races. He raced for many years until he passed the baton to his son Richie. It was then that he became very active in the Bark River Lions Club, helping to grow the sport. He served as co-race director up until his passing. The time and dedication he gave to the event never went unnoticed and was invaluable.

Most of all though he enjoyed being with his family. His children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren brought him so much joy. He set a wonderful example of Godly leadership for anyone who crossed his path. He was slow to anger and quick to forgive. He was generous with his gifts and lived by the policy of if not me, then who? He truly enjoyed helping others, expecting nothing in return.

Among survivors include his children, Nora (Henry) Williams of Bark River, Richie (Laurie) Ault of Escanaba, Sarah (Tony) Hoffmeyer of Bark River, and Cara (Jeremy) Koster of Wetmore; grandchildren, Alec(Stephanie Derouin) and Jarret VanEnkevort, Adrianne (Joe Mahoney) Ault, Alyssa (Nick Lippens) Ault, Austin, Kinsleigh, Jessa, and Easton Hoffmeyer; great grandchildren, Emma Rae, Rylee, Chase and Rhett; sisters, Sandra Ault, Linda Ault and Bonnie O'Donnell; Brother-in-law and friend Dwaine Taylor and many nieces and nephews and countless friends.

In addition to his parents and wife, he was preceded in death by his siblings, Paul "George" Ault, Wally Ault, Margie Lusardi, James Ault and Gail Mouzoune.

Visitation will be held on Tuesday, January 11th from 12-4 the Bark River Bible Church. The funeral service will follow at 4 p.m. with Pastor Bradley Cochrane officiating.

A committal service and military honors will take place at the Bark River Cemetery in the spring.

A message of condolence may be directed to the family by visiting