Sanford D. Richards, age 85, of rural Walker, Mo., passed away on October 13, 2009, at St. John's Hospital in Joplin, Mo., after a lengthy battle with cancer.
Sanford was born on Aug. 7, 1924, in El Dorado Springs, Missouri, to Julian Richards and Lela Mae Allison.
In 1943, after graduating from El Dorado Spring High School, Sanford married Wilma Nell Moore and joined the United States Navy. They were first based in Seattle, Wash. Wilma Nell preceded him in death on Oct. 14, 1963. He later married Dorothy Miller, who preceded him in death in Aug. 27, 2000.
After returning from military service, Sanford bought his grandfather's farm, which was called Ferndale Farm, where he resided until his death. Sanford worked for Joe Pohl Construction and later did custom bulldozing in the Vernon County area.
Sanford was a World War II veteran; a 50 year member of the Walker Masonic Lodge and a member of the Dederick Christian Church, where he served as an elder and board member for numerous years.
Survivors include: son Randall Richards and wife Diana Charles Richards, of Chillicothe, Ill., their sons Tyson and Travis Richards; son Ronald Richards and wife Pamela Schoneweather Richards, of Joplin, their children Ronald Richards Jr., Shannon Richards Martin and Rian Richards Irwin and stepchildren, Michelle Wiedenmann, Melinda Morgan, Melissa Wise and Meredith Anstine; son Terry Richards, of Nevada, his children Paul Richards, Johanna Richards, Brooke Foster and Rori Richards; daughter Joy Richards Eason and husband Roger, of Harwood, Mo., their children Michelle McKinney Sanderson, Miranda McKinney, Marci Eason Brake and stepchildren Brian Eason, Amy Jacobs, Amber and Amanda Eason; stepson Kenneth Farris of Warsaw, Mo., his children Doug, Scott and Shawn Farris and Pamela Ismert; his brother J.D. Richards and wife Willie, of Lubbock, Texas and his sister Carmen Dale of Springfield, Mo.; 17 great-grandchildren; several stepgreat-grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews.
Sanford was a loving father, grandfather, brother and friend. He was the greatest man we ever knew!
The family will receive friends on Thursday, Oct. 15, from 6-7 p.m. at Bland-Hackleman Funeral Home. Funeral services for Sanford D. Richards will be at Bland-Hackleman Chapel on Friday, Oct. 16, at 10 a.m., with Josh Frakes officiating. Interment will follow in the El Dorado Springs City Cemetery under the direction of Bland-Hackleman Funeral Home.
Pallbearers are: Ronny Richards Jr., Tyson Richards, Travis Richards, Paul Richards, Scott Farris and Shawn Farris. Honorary pallbearers are: Doug Sanderson, Scot Irwin, Tim Brake, Lee Martin, and Doug Farris.
In lieu of flowers memorial donations may be made to Dederick Christian Church Building Fund in memory of Sanford Richards.