Robert Warren Richards, a lifelong resident of Edwardsville, Ill., passed away on Sunday, December 30, 2012. He was 89. Bob was born in Edwardsville on July 5, 1923, the son of the late Benjamin Howard and Clara (Tuxhorn) Richards. He graduated from Edwardsville High School and attended the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. He was a veteran of WWII, serving in the 66th Signal Battalion, Company C.
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Bob married Mary Louise Strejcek in 1948. Bob and Lou were married for over 50 years and had four children. Lou preceded him in death in 2004.
In 1946, Bob went to work for his father at Richards Brick Company, founded in 1890 by his grandfather, Benjamin Sr. He would eventually run the company with his older brother, Charles. Bob retired in 1993, serving as President of the company from 1984-2006 and Chairman of the Board from 2006 -2012. Bob was a proud member of the National Institute of Ceramic Engineers, as well as a member of the Brick Industry Association and the American Ceramic Society, receiving the ACS's "Emeritus Award" for 35 years of service in 1989. A long-time member of the Edwardsville Rotary Club, Bob served as President, 1980-1981. He received the Rotary's Paul Harris Fellow Award in 1984. He was also a member of the YMCA Foundation and the EGHM Foundation. Bob served as Chairman of the Board at First Federal Savings and Loan for over a decade and was later a member of the Board of Directors at First Clover Leaf Bank. He was associated with the Boy Scouts throughout his life and received the "Leadership Member" award in 1976. He was a member of St. John's United Methodist Church. He loved traveling, golf and classical music; he was a dedicated supporter of the St. Louis Symphony.
Bob will be remembered for his lively sense of humor and quiet generosity. He cared deeply for his family, his company and his community.
Bob and Lou are survived by four children, Deborah Richards of Edwardsville, Jane Richards and husband Charles Rollman of Colorado Springs, Kate Motley and husband John of Glen Carbon, James Richards and wife Char of Edwardsville; six grandchildren, Krista Wachob and husband Chad of Chicago, Mark Motley and wife Michelle of Glen Carbon, Nathan Richards and Nikki Richards of
Edwardsville, Michael Ashley-Rollman and wife Melinda Guinn of Pittsburgh, and Caitlin Ashley-Rollman of Redman, WA; and eight great-grandchildren, Luke, Lila, Samuel, Moira, Anna, Henry, Emma and Zoey.
A memorial service will be held Saturday, January 5, 2012 at 1 p.m. at Weber & Rodney Funeral Home. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be given to the Edwardsville YMCA and Anderson
Hospital. Condolences may be expressed online at weberfuneralhome.com.
Published in Edwardsville Intelligencer from Dec. 31, 2012 to Jan. 3, 2013