OBITUARY

George Walter Richards

December 15, 1961September 11, 2021
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George Walter Richards went home to be with his Lord on September 11, 2021 at the age of 59 after putting up a valiant fight following a heart attack. He left his tired earthly body to join his Savior. He passed surrounded by love and doing what he loved; cracking jokes and ministering to everyone he came into contact with to the very end. George had suffered quietly for years from chronic pain and is now free from pain and in the arms of Jesus.

George started his career in EMS at age 16 with Johnson Ambulance. Although he couldn’t get paid until age 17, his desire to help people and his deep love for medicine led him down this path. He then worked for Tri-Hospital EMS for 20 years. He was known for his calm demeanor while in the most stressful situations, but also his practical jokes in between calls. Few knew he was at the heart of many of them. He was a memorable part of the team and made lifelong friends.

His wife Tina, prayed to attend church together for many years. Once he did, it wasn’t long before God got ahold of him and George felt the call to enter into ministry. It became the running joke that Tina prayed him over the edge. Over 15 years, he pastored 2 churches and became an ordained Elder in the Free Methodist Church. He could entertain as well as teach the youngest in the room to the oldest. If you were in the sanctuary, you always knew you could soon became a part of his sermon without warning and sort of against your will. He was always very creative in his sermons. George shared with us why with great emotion. “Being creative and helping, trying to get it so people see that God isn’t just something just way out there. That he can be a part of our lives here…. Something creative that would bring it home to them, then they can remember it and tell their neighbor that their pastor wore a Hazmat suit last Sunday.”

From malfunctioning toga’s, to hazmat suits, to paying other pastors not to wear a tie when it’s so hot (no passing out allowed) to Shoptalk for men and all the tools on the platform then Shoptalk for Women since they didn’t want to be left out. Some other ways he was so creative was U-Haul According to God, chronological Biblical timeline painted on the wall, Ebenezer Scrooge, Whoville, Kidstuff, Radical Worship, many ways to cut an onion, bridges for Easter services and many more. He captured their attention by drawing them in to his message and engaging them and always found a way to share the gospel in almost every sermon.

George had a deep love for learning and acquiring new skills. He referred to himself as a polymath. Look it up if you don’t know what it is. That’s what he would tell you to do. He enjoyed a range of hobbies from playing the piano and singing, woodworking, painting, computers, reading, collecting books, ping pong, tennis, cooking and working out.

He also truly enjoyed his time with the Coffee Club although he would tell you he wasn’t old enough to drink coffee. He came to be a part of a wonderful group of friends in his community that met weekly which helped him immensely. The friends he made around the neighborhood have all meant so much to him. It was not uncommon to hear stories of him helping one neighbor or another and they in turn helping him.

Most of all George loved spending time and taking care of his wife. He loved Tina fiercely; with every ounce of his being. From the simple tasks, like running errands with her on the weekends, to secret trips he planned behind her back, taking her hand for a quick squeeze and kiss or a spontaneous slow dance, George did whatever he could to show Tina how much he loved her. This did not spare her from his practical jokes. A poke in the ribs, or a lick of the nose or elbow…or even a wet willy, George was a jokester (as his grandkids would call him) and loved to make people laugh. No one could walk past him unnoticed and without being messed with. He would say he was an equal opportunity picker on-er.

He also loved his children and grandchildren with this same fierceness. He took every opportunity to teach them and pass along his knowledge. To Katie, he passed on his twisted mind and love of jokes and puns. Both would laugh at their own jokes more than others. To Tim, he gave his quiet strength, loyalty and helping take care of the family. To Sarah, he passed on his creative spirit and drive to learn and master new things. To Stephanie he passed along his sweet spirit and ability to see people’s hearts and sense how they feel. He also passed his creativeness and love of art. For the grandkids, he built many things to keep them entertained like a swing set, a ball court, picnic table, and many times teaching them how to do things. He also enjoyed having their help in decorating for the holidays. He so enjoyed spending time with them.

George had a gift for making people feel seen. Whether it was the cashier at the grocery store, or the person delivering his mail, he made sure to connect with people everywhere he went. He went from saving lives to saving souls right to the very end.

George Walter Richards is survived by his loving wife Tina (Bettina/ Elizabeth- whatever you wish) Richards of Newaygo whom he married in 1986 and had 4 wonderful children; daughter Katie Clark of Newaygo; son Tim of Twin Lakes; daughter Sarah (David) Poling of Lansing and daughter Stephanie (Tess) McIntosh-Lopez, Lansing; and grandchildren Linkon, Lily, Hazel and Judah. He is also survived by his brother Kevin Richards; Elder Edward (Sharon) Smerer, Marysville; Marcella Smerer, Pontiac; Dan (Mara) Hasty, Muskegan; Jaron (Jody) Ching, Florida and many cousins, nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his Father Harold Ellsworth Richards and Mother Ruth Cornelia (Vesper) Richards and grandparents.

Good is good, all the time and all the time, God is good.

George was born on December 15, 1961 in Port Huron, Michigan to Harold and Ruth Richards. He attended many upper educational colleges and universities. He received his Associate of Science CUM LAUDE from St. Clair County Community College in 1982 and a Bachelor’s Degree in Biblical Studies from Hobe Sound Bible College in 2013.

Services to be held at the Williamston Free Methodist Church on Saturday, September 18th, 2021 with a reception to follow at the same location. Viewing will be from 10am -noon with funeral service at 1pm. Elder David Dollinger will officiate assisted by Elder Ralph Funk and Elder Edward Smerer. All are welcome to attend and celebrate George’s life. The family like to thank everyone for the love, prayers and support through this very difficult time. Donations for the family can be sent to the Stanwood Free Methodist Church at 7486 Stanwood Dr. Stanwood, Mi. 49346. The family is being served by Gorsline Runciman Funeral Home Williamston. To leave a cherished memory, photo or words of sympathy for the family please visit www.grwilliamston.com.

  • PALLBEARERS

  • Tim Richards, Pallbearer
  • David Poling, Pallbearer
  • Mike Alexander, Pallbearer
  • Elder Dave Dollinger, Pallbearer
  • Frank Nejman, Pallbearer
  • Jared Clark, Pallbearer
  • Linkon Clark, Honorary Pallbearer
  • Judah Poling, Honorary Pallbearer

Services

  • Visitation

    Saturday, September 18, 2021

  • Funeral Servcie

    Saturday, September 18, 2021

Memories

George Walter Richards

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Biography

George Walter Richards went home to be with his Lord on September 11, 2021 at the age of 59 after putting up a valiant fight following a heart attack. He left his tired earthly body to join his Savior. He passed surrounded by love and doing what he loved; cracking jokes and ministering to everyone he came into contact with to the very end. George had suffered quietly for years from chronic pain and is now free from pain and in the arms of Jesus.

George started his career in EMS at age 16 with Johnson Ambulance. Although he couldn’t get paid until age 17, his desire to help people and his deep love for medicine led him down this path. He then worked for Tri-Hospital EMS for 20 years. He was known for his calm demeanor while in the most stressful situations, but also his practical jokes in between calls. Few knew he was at the heart of many of them. He was a memorable part of the team and made lifelong friends.

His wife Tina, prayed to attend church together for many years. Once he did, it wasn’t long before God got ahold of him and George felt the call to enter into ministry. It became the running joke that Tina prayed him over the edge. Over 15 years, he pastored 2 churches and became an ordained Elder in the Free Methodist Church. He could entertain as well as teach the youngest in the room to the oldest. If you were in the sanctuary, you always knew you could soon became a part of his sermon without warning and sort of against your will. He was always very creative in his sermons. George shared with us why with great emotion. “Being creative and helping, trying to get it so people see that God isn’t just something just way out there. That he can be a part of our lives here…. Something creative that would bring it home to them, then they can remember it and tell their neighbor that their pastor wore a Hazmat suit last Sunday.”

From malfunctioning toga’s, to hazmat suits, to paying other pastors not to wear a tie when it’s so hot (no passing out allowed) to Shoptalk for men and all the tools on the platform then Shoptalk for Women since they didn’t want to be left out. Some other ways he was so creative was U-Haul According to God, chronological Biblical timeline painted on the wall, Ebenezer Scrooge, Whoville, Kidstuff, Radical Worship, many ways to cut an onion, bridges for Easter services and many more. He captured their attention by drawing them in to his message and engaging them and always found a way to share the gospel in almost every sermon.
George had a deep love for learning and acquiring new skills. He referred to himself as a polymath. Look it up if you don’t know what it is. That’s what he would tell you to do. He enjoyed a range of hobbies from playing the piano and singing, woodworking, painting, computers, reading, collecting books, ping pong, tennis, cooking and working out.

He also truly enjoyed his time with the Coffee Club although he would tell you he wasn’t old enough to drink coffee. He came to be a part of a wonderful group of friends in his community that met weekly which helped him immensely. The friends he made around the neighborhood have all meant so much to him. It was not uncommon to hear stories of him helping one neighbor or another and they in turn helping him.
Most of all George loved spending time and taking care of his wife. He loved Tina fiercely; with every ounce of his being. From the simple tasks, like running errands with her on the weekends, to secret trips he planned behind her back, taking her hand for a quick squeeze and kiss or a spontaneous slow dance, George did whatever he could to show Tina how much he loved her. This did not spare her from his practical jokes. A poke in the ribs, or a lick of the nose or elbow…or even a wet willy, George was a jokester (as his grandkids would call him) and loved to make people laugh. No one could walk past him unnoticed and without being messed with. He would say he was an equal opportunity picker on-er.

He also loved his children and grandchildren with this same fierceness. He took every opportunity to teach them and pass along his knowledge. To Katie, he passed on his twisted mind and love of jokes and puns. Both would laugh at their own jokes more than others. To Tim, he gave his quiet strength, loyalty and helping take care of the family. To Sarah, he passed on his creative spirit and drive to learn and master new things. To Stephanie he passed along his sweet spirit and ability to see people’s hearts and sense how they feel. He also passed his creativeness and love of art. For the grandkids, he built many things to keep them entertained like a swing set, a ball court, picnic table, and many times teaching them how to do things. He also enjoyed having their help in decorating for the holidays. He so enjoyed spending time with them.

George had a gift for making people feel seen. Whether it was the cashier at the grocery store, or the person delivering his mail, he made sure to connect with people everywhere he went. He went from saving lives to saving souls right to the very end.