Robert D. Richards Sr., a lifelong resident of Gloversville, passed peacefully on Thursday, May 11, at Nathan Littauer Hospital surrounded by his loving family.
The youngest of four children, “Bob” was born October 5, 1934, to Charles J. and Agnes (Brown) Richards.
Graduating from Gloversville High in 1952, Bob was celebrated as a 3-star athlete lettering in basketball, football and his favorite, baseball, boasting a tryout with the Brooklyn Dodgers after graduation. Bob continued to play fast pitch softball in area leagues and enjoyed competition as a champion hand-ball player, league bowler and darn good pitch player.
A proud American, patriot and veteran of the U.S. Navy during the Korean Conflict, serving overseas from 1952-1955 on the USS Ault where he was awarded the National Defense Service Ribbon, Korean Medal and United Nations Medal. Bob “circumnavigated the globe” by the age of 20.
In 1954 Bob married Joan Barthe and together raised six spirited children in the famed “North End.” Bob worked his entire career for AT&T (Western Electric), retiring after 35 years. Often, he could be found at one of the local establishments encircled with friends “solving the world’s issues…” In later years he enjoyed car rides, his lawn tractor, and telling stories of the “good ole days.”
The “Captain” is survived by his children, Karla Putman (Eric Waffle) and Lana Ruggiero (Michael) of Gloversville, Robert Jr. of Folsom, California, Jed “Clampett” of Mammoth Lakes, California, Tamie Fancher (Todd) of Meco and Adriene Cotugno (Kyle) of Mayfield; grandchildren, Brianna Hurlbut (Steve), Ryan Putman (Kayla), Karriann Ruggiero (Mark Hine), Kristi Ruggiero (Zach Cast), Robert Ruggiero (Kara Miller), Max Jonathan Richards, Vincent, Michael and Sierra Fancher, Kylie and Korey Cotugno; great-grandchildren, Michaela, Patrick, Olivia; his sister, Doris LaVallo; the mother of his kids, Joan; in-laws, Clara Albanese, Charlotte Young, Helen and Don Strathaus; and many nieces and nephews. Bob was predeceased by his parents; siblings, Frances (John) Petrucelli, Charles (Nancy) Richards; and brother-in-law, Anthony LaVallo.
The family would like to give special thanks to the staff at Nathan Littauer Hospital ICU, Extended Care and Sarah, along with the girls who made it possible to bring Dad home – Jennifer, Michelle, Crystal, Margie, Tessa, Becky, Sharon, and Susan.
The family will receive relatives and friends from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Monday, May 15, at Walrath & Stewart Funeral Home, 51 Fremont St., Gloversville, where a funeral services will follow at 2 p.m. with the Rev. L. David Almleaf officiating.
Interment will take place at Prospect Hill Cemetery, Gloversville.
Memorial contributions may be made in lieu of flowers to Parkhurst Field Foundation, P.O. Box 706, Gloversville, NY 12078.
Online condolences may be made to the family at www.brbsfuneral.com.