GASTONIA - Jack Carlton Richards Sr. passed away at the age of 87 Thursday, June 14, 2012, at Gaston Memorial Hospital.
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He was the son of the late Walter Hugh and Goldie Bradley Richards, and husband to the late Alice Louanna Nunn Richards. Jack was also preceded in death by his brother, Walter Richards.
Jack began, at the age of 17, building Liberty ships in Wilmington in support of the war effort. He later joined the United States Navy and became a chief petty officer serving in the Pacific Theater during World War II. He was a landing craft coxswain at Okinawa.
After serving his country, Jack attended NC State University and Milwaukee School of Engineering, where he earned a degree in mechanical engineering. He owned and operated Home Appliances Company in Gastonia and Charlotte. He later worked for Mantissa Corporation, where they named a building in his honor called ""The Jack Richards Building."" He retired from Mantissa after 25 years of service.
Jack was a strong believer in the Lord and worked to spread the Gospel whenever possible. He believed in missions and serving his community. His Christian ministries included deacon and Sunday school director at First Baptist Church, Full Gospel Business Men's Association, Lay Witness teams, and Southside Baptist Church. He founded The Lighthouse - a Christian coffeehouse. He was a longtime member of the Optimist Club. He also traveled to Charleston to help rebuild houses after Hurricane Hugo.
Jack lived in Gastonia for 60 years. He was a loving husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather. Jack will be dearly missed by many.
Survivors include his son, Jack Richards Jr., and wife, Linda, of Lake Forest, Fla.; daughters, Beverly Eaddy of Gastonia, and Mary Alyce Dudley and husband, James, of Gastonia; brother, A.B. ""Pete"" Richards, and wife, Evelyn, of Jeffersonville, Ga.; sister-in-law, Jewel Richards of Athens, Ga.; seven grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.
A celebration of life service will be at 11 a.m. Monday, June 18, 2012, at First Baptist Church, Gastonia with Dr. Ray Ammons and Dr. Douglas Aldridge officiating.
Visitation will be one hour prior to the service at the church.
Entombment will follow at Gaston Memorial Park Mausoleum Peace with military honors provided by Gaston County Honor Guards.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to First Baptist Church, P.O. Box 6298, Gastonia, NC 28056.
Condolences may be sent online by visiting www.mcleanfuneral.com.
McLean Funeral Directors of Gastonia is serving the Richards family.
Greene Funeral Service, Southside Chapel
1503 South York Road
Gastonia, NC 28052
Published in Gaston Gazette from June 16 to June 18, 2012