Bobby Joe Richards

April 5, 1938October 30, 2013

Bobby Joe Richards, born April 5, 1938 at King’s Mountain Memorial Hospital in Bristol, Virginia to Allie Louise (nee Shoecraft) and Clarence William Richards. He lived on the Tennessee side of Bristol and attended Bristol Tennessee High School until April, 1955 when he joined the United States Air Force and went off to see the world. He served 21 years as a USAF Air Traffic Controller and retired at Tinker AFB, Oklahoma on June 1, 1976, where he had been assigned to the Air Traffic Control Division of the Communications Computer Programming Center since 1972. He served at numerous state side Air Force installations and overseas in Iceland (1958), Philippines (1963-1966) and the Republic of Vietnam (1968-Tet Offensive). After retirement, he made his home in the Oklahoma City area and in May 1978 married Elizabeth ‘Beth’ Pitesa of Hueytown, Alabama.

Bobby owned and operated several businesses before selling all of them and retiring in 2003. After retirement, he dedicated his life to making the landscape into a beautiful flowerbed. He planted anything and everything that made the surroundings more desirable to look at. He loved gardening with a passion found only in the eyes of God. He was a graduate of the Oklahoma State University Extension Service Master Gardener Program, class of 2006. He took great pride in giving advice to other gardeners to help them beautify the countryside.

Bobby was the oldest of four children and was preceded in death by his parents. He is survived by his wife of 35 years, Elizabeth ‘Beth’ Pitesa, son, Robert Gregory of Moore, OK, daughter, Pamela Louise Lowe and her husband Tom of Oklahoma City, OK, sister, Verna Gail Thomas and her husband Hartsel (Shorty), of Bristol, TN, sister, Mary Jane Chowning and her husband Guy of Toledo, OH, brother, Randall Lee of Houston, TX, grandchildren Brice Andrew Cook, Schuyler Danielle Cook and Alyssa Ann Duncan, great-grandchildren Ethan Nathaniel Cook, Elijah Jerome Williams and Charlotte Casey Duncan and many nieces and nephews. Bobby had many friends on FaceBook that he communicated with daily. He will be greatly missed by all. Bobby wanted to offer a special thank you to Optim Oncology for all the special care.

Bobby was a member of the First United Methodist Church of Guthrie, OK. Funeral services will be held at 3:00 PM, Friday, November 1, 2013 at Baggerley Funeral Home Chapel in Edmond. Rev. Mike DeMoss, Pastor of First United Methodist Church in Guthrie will officiate. Interment will be held at a later date in East Tennessee State Veterans Cemetery at Knoxville, TN. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the church’s building restoration fund or the American Cancer Society.


  • Funeral Service Friday, November 1, 2013

Bobby Joe Richards

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Rhonda Bachman (Sias)

November 12, 2013

I can't believe it was 35 years ago you married Bobby - I remember how happy you both were!! Where have all the years gone?!

My thoughts & prayers are with you, Beth.

Maude Larkins

November 9, 2013

Bobby, although I only knew you a short time it was enough for me to realize that you were one of the finest men who has ever walked this earth. When you shared your stories with me of your military career, I couldn't stop reading them and it proved my belief that you were a hero. Fly with angels, Bobby...I know you will make sure they all have safe landings....Maude

November 2, 2013

We are so sorry for your loss. We are keeping you in prayer.
Bobby we are going to miss you.
Dena, Jennifer and Leon

Marylou Fonseca

November 2, 2013

Rafy, Mandy & I are so very sorry for your loss. Our thoughts are with you always Sis & Guy! R.I.P Bobby..

Gary Davis

November 2, 2013

God speed Bobby.

Johnnie Barnette

November 1, 2013

May you find comfort and feel the love that Bobby left for us, each in different ways. He passed through this world, but took the time to smell the roses and shared them with us.

Mary J. Richards Chowning

November 1, 2013

I would have given anything to be at my brother's services today but I was unable to attend because of my health. Beth, you have been with Bobby 35 years and the best wife and partner he could have chosen. I know how much he loved you and how much you loved him. Thank you for being there and caring for my brother. I love you and I am proud to call you my sister-in-law now and always.

Clara Melvin

November 1, 2013

RIP....BJ, the DJ! You will be sorely missed! I loved to read your posts on FB, and listen to the songs you posted. It was my pleasure to meet you and Beth when you came to Bristol in 2012. Now you and Loretta both are gone. Beth, may God's love fill the empty place in your heart. Prayers being said for you and all concerned.

Joanne Desiderio

November 1, 2013

My prayers are with the family as they mourn their loss. Remember that he is in a better place. Mary, you will always be one of my FB friends.

Anne Thomas

November 1, 2013

Greg....please know that the girls and I are praying for you and your entire family at this time. We are hopeful your sorrow will soon ebb and the wonderful memories of your dad will fill your heart and mind.

Love always, Anne, Danielle, Samantha & Rachelle (Thomas)