Obituary | Richard Richards | Obit

Richard W. Richards was born January 25, 1951, to Maurice and Edna ‘Elaine’ (Besgrove) Richards in Mt. Vernon, Washington.  

He was one of eight children that tended to the family farm just outside of Bow, Washington. Among the 3 farms, they primarily raised and milked Jerseys cows.  Every chance he could, he talked about the hard work and fun he had alongside his brothers in the barn and working in the fields.

Richard graduated from Edison High School in Burlington, WA in 1970. He was an active member of the FFA all through high school.  While living in Washington he was blessed with his first son, Jeff, in March 1975.  He was proud to be able to take Jeff to the family farm and share those memories with him. He was often met by his brother David to discuss who was going to mow the lawn, which ended up discussing who was ‘better’ at it.

May 12, 1976, Richard enlisted in the United States Air Force Base in Seattle, Washington. Shortly after basic training he was transferred to the Grand Forks Air Force Base, ND.  In 1977 he met Leora and after a short engagement they became married on February 1, 1978. To this union he gained three more kids, Ann, James, and Betty.   Over the next four years they would welcome three more children, Elaine, Richard, and Laurie.  

During his time at the Grand Forks Air Force Base, he worked on the maternity ward and took pride in his job as well as taking care of infants.  They often found him calming the fussy newborns and helping with feeding.  He was also a fire fighter during his time on base and over the years to come. In July 1984 he was honorably discharged as a Sargent.  

Summer of 1997, they moved to St. Hilaire and settled into their forever home. He was a welder by trade in his later years of work all the way up to his retirement in 2013.  While he was a man of many trades the ‘job’ he enjoyed the most and was so proud of was ‘Grandpa’ and later ‘Great-Grandpa’.   Some of his favorite times with any of us was fishing.  Any chance he had there was a fishing pole in his hand and one of us next to him. If he wasn’t fishing, he was turning a wrench with one of his grandsons.  He took what he learned on the family farm in his younger years by fixing tractors and small engines and passed that along to them.  If any of the grandkids were too small to fish or fix, they were always the perfect size to take a nap with him in his chair.

His other favorite pastime in retirement was having coffee everyday with his wife Leora. Occasionally they would be joined by their children, grandchildren or even great grandchildren who would proudly declare they got to have “chocolate milk with Grandpa!”

Survivors include his loving wife of 46 years, Leora; children, Ann, James, Betty (Tom), Jeff, Elaine (Kent), Richard, and Laurie (Jeremy); 18 grandchildren, Cody, Michael, Brittany (Jamie), Lance Jr. (Russia), Emily (Andrew), Madison (Connor), Kenzie (Jake), Karter, Tyler, Evan, Kayla, Malachi, Teriana, Alexander, Morgan, Paige, Brandon, and Chase; and 10 great-grandchildren, Khloe, Maesyn, Emery, Isaac, Lee, Daisy, Emma, Wyatt, Theo, and Anastasia; Siblings Roberta, Jack, John (Colleen), and David (Ida); and his sister-in-law Grace; as well as many nieces, nephews, great nieces, and great nephews.

Richard was proceeded in death by his parents, Maurice and Elaine; his brother Bill (Gerry); his sisters Joan (George) and Anita; brothers-in-law Duane and Gibson; and mother-in-law, Elizabeth.

Richard W. Richards, 73, passed away on Sunday, April 14, 2024 at his residence in St. Hilaire, MN.

A private family burial will be held at a later date. 

# Richard Richards, #

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