Services celebrating his life and faith will be held on Saturday, December 9, 2023, at 10:30 AM at FountainGate Fellowship with Pastor Scott Beard officiating. Interment will follow in Elmwood Memorial Park. Visitation will be held on Friday evening from 6-8:00 PM at Elliott-Hamil Funeral Home at 5701 US Hwy 277 S. in Abilene.
Jim was born on July 3, 1944 in Worcester, Massachusetts to the late Theodore Richard, Sr. and Ardis M. (Rogers) Richard. At an early age, his parents passed away. His maternal grandmother and his aunt Avis raised him until he went to live in a Catholic orphanage. Jim joined the United States Air Force and served his country for 26 years. While stationed in Florida, a love story between Jim and Peggy Woodworth began. After a short courtship, the two married on July 7, 1968 in her hometown of LaGrange, Indiana. Jim not only gained a faithful companion but a whole family, as he considered her parents and siblings his own. While stationed in Panama, Jim and Peggy welcomed their only child, Karen.
During his distinguished career he served in Tampa, Key West and Satellite Beach, Florida; Kotzebue, Alaska; Cape Cod, Massachusetts; and the Republic of Panama. He was stationed at Dyess AFB in 1984 where he helped with the transition from the B-29 bomber to the B-1 bomber. After his military career, he became a broadcast engineer for KACU-FM and was a computer technician for Action Telecom.
Jim always kept busy and was active in his community through a number of organizations. He was a member of the Key City Amateur Radio Club and a volunteer for the AISD (VIPS Program) where he was named “Volunteer of the Year” at Jefferson Middle School in 1997-98. He was a lifetime member of the Abilene Kennel Club and helped with the annual dog show. He was also a member of MARS (Military Affiliate Radio System). He was a faithful Christian and a former Sunday school teacher at Berry Lane Baptist Church. He was a devoted member of FountainGate Fellowship. Jim loved people and was full of energy. He was joyful, always positive and best described as an encourager. He recently took up the game Pickle Ball and enjoyed playing the dulcimer. Though his journey began with some hardship, God’s hand sustained him and allowed him to be a blessing to many others.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his beloved wife Peggy "Peg" Richard; his beloved in-laws Fayette “Woody” McKinley Woodworth, Jr. and Joyce Woodworth; his brothers, Theodore Richard, Jr. and Paul Richard; brother-in-law James Woodworth and sister-in-law Jewell Richard.
He is survived by his daughter Karen Michele Richard; sisters-in-law, Jeanne Spreuer (Dennis), Barbara Mascow, Eleanor Cappelli and Mary Woodworth; and numerous nieces, nephews, other relatives and special friends.