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Francis J. (Dick) Richards, 79, began his earthly life as the youngest child of Arthur F. and Lois M. (Jenkins) Richards on Feb. 15, 1933 near Rome, Mo. He began his heavenly life Jan. 6, 2013, on the same farm where he was born. In 1953 he married Mary Rumler and his union was blessed with three children: Steven, Scott, and DeAnn. After Mary passed away in 1979, he married Pauline Maloney.
Dick grew up roaming the hills of Peckerwood Hollar and swimming in the creek. There were always chores for a boy to do on the farm; the garden always seemed to need weeding or cows to be milked.
The walk to Lone Star School was a time to play with the neighbor kids. Dick left Ava in 1950 to seek work in the Quad Cities area. He worked for the Rock Island Railroad for 28 years. After it closed in 1980 he went to work for the Moline School District where he retired in 1992. In East Moline he and Pauline were very active in their church often working with the food pantry.
After Dick’s retirement they enjoyed traveling to many places but their favorite place was their home on the “old Richards” farm near Rome. A special joy in his life was living close to three of his grandchildren. Dick was very active at Goodhope General Baptist Church.
Dick was preceded in death by his parents; his first wife Mary; son Steven Richards; brothers Jack, Bill, and Marshall Richards; sisters Pauline Jenkins and Helen Dobbins.
He is survived by his wife of 32 years, Pauline; one son Scott Richards and wife Mary; one daughter DeAnn Thompson and husband Kelly; and one stepson Danny Maloney, as well as nine grandchildren, and 10 great-grandchildren. He is also survived by sisters-in-law Freda Richards and Irene Richards, and several nieces and nephews. The Rome and Goodhope communities will deeply miss Dick’s sense of humor and big friendly smile.
Funeral services were conducted Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013 at 11 a.m. in the Ava Family Funeral Home Chapel with Pastor David Welsh officiating. Burial followed in the Mt. Tabor Cemetery. A visitation was hosted from 5-7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 9, in the Ava Family Funeral Home.
All arrangements were under the care and direction of Ava Family Funeral Home.
To send condolences visit www.Facebook.com.AvaFamilyFuneralHome.