WILLIAM L. RICHARD
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April 17, 2013
The world has lost a great mind, a loyal friend, a brother, a father, a husband, and a total individual that did it "his way to the very end".
William Loyal Richard age 76, formerly of Cleveland Ohio, born in Detroit Michigan, died at his home in Fort Myers, Florida on April 17th, 2013.
Bill was born in Royal Oak Michigan, where he spent the first 14 years before his family relocated to Bay Village, Ohio. I would listen to his stories about his childhood years, Mary, his sister, Jack his brother, it made me believe that move molded his life into the great man he was to become.
He attended Bay High, and as he told it, was a great shock to the proper school
that took in this boy from Detroit. Knowing Bill, I am sure their were some rules stretched.
He graduated from Ohio State University, not with an engineering degree as his father had hoped but with a B.S. Ed., returned to Bay Village to teach English while starting his family. From teaching, Bill made a decision "to be his own boss", went to the corporate world and worked as a personnel Manager/director, in Human Resources, giving him the first taste of employee relations which would prove to be invaluable in his career. During these years he attended night Law School at
Cleveland Marshall Law School, now Cleveland State University. If you knew Bill, you knew what a brilliant mind he possessed, and why Law was the perfect fit...
He excelled, made Law review and many other awards, hung out his shingle, Hartshaw Thomas and Richard, and started his own successful law career. Precision and fairness ruled the rest of his life. He tried to retire several times, and finally devoted the last twenty years to his own labor arbitration practice, where he was well respected and much in demand.
That was the not all of Bill, there was also the Ohio State Fraternity man, the lifelong bonding of his brothers of Lambda Chi Alpha, and then his Law fraternity Delta Theta Phi where he was to became a Chancellor, and then his favorite role as "Past Chancellor". The melding of all those great minds brought peace to him and an environment of intellect that needed. Then the athletic Bill, the Life guard at Huntington Beach early on, the water skier, with his frat "little brother, uncle Rick, the snow ski trips with family, the "infamous stories of his Lake George Days. The House on the Lagoon will always remain in Lakewoods' history books as will it be in the minds of the many participants in the revelry and companionship that happened there, ( would be in error now not to mention his dearest Rene Cremona
as a part of this chapter and future chapters), the Corner Bar and Moriarty's, where he swears more business was done than in any lawyers office, lawyers, judges and great friends all were apart of the Bill Richard I knew, then the annual trips to Italy engaging friends, family, in the lust for adventure. Then the quite Bill, the avid book reader, the thousands of volumes that could never been returned or banished as each one became "like an old friend" , the brilliant awards he issued, slaved over for just the correct word, the correct fact, precision. What a full and fulfilling life Bill had.
He married and fathered three children Beth, Steve and Susan. His married life was challenged by change and divorce, however, during a third marriage he inherited 5 step children that he took as his own and kept them in his heart with his own children. He was proud of all eight of them. Even after divorce he was able to maintain lasting relationships with all. He was the happiest man alive as his grandchildren from Beth where born, Christopher and Katie. His last and final marriage (of 30 years) was to Pam who brought Debra her daughter, into his life. He took her as his own and fathered her, then most lovingly grandfathered Deb and Donnie's children, Devin and Jordan.
Bill was one of those special people who once he took you as a friend you became part of him, no matter how frequently of seldom you had time for each other, it would be like yesterday to be together again. He would say " Old Friends are like money in the bank, providing an inner sense of security, simply because they exist" His passing left a hole in my life and a hole in my heart. I am certain that all his children, siblings, relatives and friends are suffering the same dismay to day. His personality influenced all of us.
One week before he left us, he was in Key West with all his grandchildren for one last "trip to Paradise", it was very difficult for him but he was determined.. To that Day you could ask him how he was doing, and his reply would always be the same:
"Not Bad For an Old Fart"
Billed passed away at his home holding his Pam's hand. Candles burned. His daughter Debi close by, listening to Tony Bennett and K.D. Lang crooning him into whatever he believed would lay beyond, (maybe it was as simple as : "The great Saloon in the Sky") his parting left a great emptiness.
I hope that I can walk with each of you through this time and someday regale each other with any one of the hundreds of great stories that we have all heard, but never tire of another telling. We will all suffer this loss in our way, but I hope you smile in remembrance of what ever your relationship was. He wanted no service, no celebration, no memorial, only wanted me to " go down to the local watering hole" and buy his friends a drink on him, this will happen
His Daughhter Beth wrote, " Cups all over the country, and perhaps even in different parts of the world will be raised in his memory. Mine will join them."
In lieu of flowers or condolences, please support your local Hospice organization in his honor.
Published in The News-Press on May 24, 2013
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