John Lewis Richter
1933 - 2018
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John Lewis Richter, age 85 passed away suddenly at home in Albuquerque, New Mexico on August 21, 2018. John, the son of Herbert and Anna Sutton Richter, was born on July 23, 1933 in Laredo, Texas. John attended the University of Texas at Austin, obtaining his undergraduate degree in 1954, graduate degree in 1956 and PhD in 1958 all in physics. In 1958, John married Mary Ann Ward and they had two boys, Donald Andrew and Alan Ward. John and Mary Ann divorced in 1985. John remarried in 1995 to Dixie Hanks. He is proceeded in death by his parents, his brother Donald Herbert Richter, and his son Donald Andrew Richter. He is survived by his wife, Dixie Elizabeth Hanks and his son Alan Ward Richter of Albuquerque, New Mexico.
In addition to his family, John had two enduring passions: Opera and his career. John was a patron and a contributor to the Santa Fe Opera. He attended every season from 1958 to 2018 and was a member of the Los Alamos Opera guild and a member of the opera club. John and his brother Donald made many trips to New York to attend performances at the Met.
Career wise, John worked 39 years, his whole career, at Los Alamos Labs. John referred to himself as a cold war warrior and designed multiple weapon warheads that were tested at the Nevada Test Site. He loved pushing the envelope on nuclear physics. John retired in 1997 to Albuquerque. He continued to stay active with the Santa Fe Opera. Please visit our online guestbook for John at

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Published in Los Alamos Monitor from Sep. 2 to Sep. 16, 2018.
No memorial events are currently scheduled. To offer your sympathy during this difficult time, you can now have memorial trees planted in a National Forest in memory of your loved one.
Memories & Condolences
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10 entries
September 4, 2018
Steve Becker
I was a coworker with John at LANL and he was a great and interesting person to work with. I helped him make burgers at the May Opera Day at the Ranch activities. He will be missed. My condolences to Dixie.
Stephen Becker
Stephen Becker
September 4, 2018
Dixie, my condolences to you and John's son. May he rest in peace.

Hazel Kutac
September 4, 2018
John was an incredible man. He mentored me in the 80s when I first started an LANL, and was also there when the hardest problems presented themselves. Beyond this, he was just a fun guy to work with, with one of the sharpests wits ever. Truly a giant, he will be sorely missed. Thank you John, for everything.
Joe Martz
September 3, 2018
Dixie, out condolences to you, our friend and former neighbor.
Sharon & Tom Bennion
August 31, 2018
Our condolences to the family. May God fulfill his promise of binding up the brokenhearted. Isa. 61:1.
August 30, 2018
John helped me in 1969 when I joined the Group and was always available when I needed him. I have fond memories and am deeply grateful. Condolences to Dixie.
Al Charmatz
August 30, 2018
John was a giant. Alan, I am sorry for your loss.
Scott Watson
August 30, 2018
All I have are fond memories of him. My condolences to the family. May he rest in peace.
John Budzinski
August 30, 2018
Our condolences to the family. May God fulfill his promise of binding up the brokenhearted. Isa. 61:1.
August 29, 2018
I will miss John's tremendous depth of knowledge and ability to make everyone laugh. Farewell cold war warrior.
Scott Turner
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