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1927 - 2012 Obituary Condolences


Eugene "Rich" Richards, 84, of Chico, California passed away April 8, 2012, after a valiant battle against cancer.

Rich was born May 4, 1927, in Russell Springs, KY to Ruel Oliver and Bessie Lee (Calhoun) Richards.

Eugene grew up during the great depression on his family's farm, where his young life was full of helping farm his land and that of his neighbors. At age 17, he began his service in the U.S. Army during the Korean Conflict in Korea. He was later trained as a communication specialist, became fluent in German and French, and was stationed throughout Europe and the U.S., moving 26 times during his 20 years of honorable service.

He met his wife of 48 years, Delphia Jean Hancock, at the Santa Cruz Boardwalk while stationed at Fort Ord, CA in 1948. He raised his family during his military travels and ultimately settled in Salinas, CA. He expanded on his electronics training and worked as a TV repairman for 22 years, first at Salinas Valley Appliance & TV then later at Soledad Appliance & TV. Upon retirement, he moved to Chico, CA, where he spent his time gardening, playing guitar, collecting coins, leather crafting, hoping to hit the big one while playing the slot machines, and enjoying his lifetime hobby as a ham radio operator, call sign "WA6LBA".

Eugene is preceded in death by his brothers, Bruce Etheridge "Celon" and Everett "Herlon" Richards. He is survived by his son, Gary (Doris) Richards of Wadsworth, OH; his twin daughters, Cindy (Chris) Ottone of Chico, CA and Debra (Bill) Ottone of Salinas, CA; his sister, Lila Mae Coffey of Kentucky; his grandchildren, Nathan (Stephanie) Richards, Amy Richards, Craig Richards, Kelly (Matt) Eltgroth, Lauren Ottone, Candice Ottone, Jonathan Bresciani, Joseph Bresciani; and his great-grandchildren, Christian Romo, Lucas Richards, Sophia Bresciani and twins, Gabriella and Giulianna Bresciani.

A service at Glen Oaks Memorial Park in the Military Court of Honor will be held at 1:00 p.m., Friday, April 13, 2012 in Chico, CA.

Donations may be made in his memory to the USO at www.uso.org or by calling 1-888-484-3876.

Arrangements are under the direction of Affordable Mortuary. Send condolences online at www.affordablemortuary.net.

WA6LBA, signing off for the last time.
Published in Chico Enterprise-Record on Apr. 11, 2012
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