James Edward "Ed" Richards, Sr., 85, a resident of Westover and formerly of Dailey and Elkins, passed from this life Thursday, Dec. 19, 2013. Mr. Richards was born in Linwood, on Sunday Nov. 11, 1928.
He was the youngest child of the late Thomas Allen Richards and Minnie M. Smith Richards. In addition to his parents, Mr. Richards was preceded in death by his brothers George, Robert and Billie Richards, and his sister, Martha M. White. He was the last surviving member of his immediate family.
The Richards moved to Dailey in 1934 as one of the original "Homestead" families. Ed would often tell his children about seeing Eleanor Roosevelt driving along the dirt roads of Dailey in her touring car and at the square dances held in her honor. Mr. Richards attended the old Beverly High School and in 1948 enlisted with the U.S. Army where he received training as a medical corpsman at Fort Sam Houston, Texas. He continued his service with the U.S. Air Force where he served in Wiesbaden, Germany until being honorably discharged in 1951.
During his enlistment Ed was recruited to participate in the highly competitive Armed Forces basketball and baseball leagues that had been established during WWII to help boost morale. He traveled and played extensively throughout Europe. Ed continued playing baseball after his tour of duty when he returned to West Virginia and became a member of the Mountain State Baseball League. He was also a pitcher for many years in the Elkins Fast Pitch Softball League. Ed was active as a baseball coach with the Elkins Babe Ruth Association and was very proud that many of his "Texaco" players would go on to play baseball in college. He also helped organize and coached in the first Pop Warner Football League in Elkins. He was retired from Reckart Equipment Co., a member of the Elkins VFW and Faith Baptist Chapel in Beverly.
On Sept. 18, 1952, in Elkins, Mr. Richards was married to the former Mary A. Corbin, who preceded him in death on Dec. 7, 1985.
He is survived by their children, Linda K. Richards Moore and husband, Paul, of Westover, James E. (Ed) Richards, Jr. and wife, Cindy, of Dillonvale, Ohio and Thomas W. (Tom) Richards of Atlanta, Ga. Mr. Richards was also Papaw to six grandchildren of whom he was especially proud: Dr. James H. Moore and wife, Gretchen, of Morgantown, Becky Moore, of Westover, Tara Richards of Pittsburgh, Pa, and Brandy and Hallie Richards, of Dillonvale, Ohio.
Also surviving are his brother-in-law, Robert Corbin, and wife, Ethel, of Elkins, and several nieces and nephews. He was Uncle Ed to Evelyn Warner, Sheila K. Himes, Donald Corbin, Susie Ware, Brenda Romine, Betsy Jones, Tom Corbin, and Pat Corbin, all of Elkins, James M. (Mickey) Richards and wife, Margaret, of Carrolton, Ga., Harold (Butch) Richards and wife, Renee, of Slicksville, Pa., Mary Conrad and Doris White of Chattanooga, Tenn., Barbara (Bobbie) Fontenot, of Marietta, Ga., Angie White of Dailey, Anita Corley and Kathryn McLean, both of Belington, Robyn Allen, of Midlothian, Va., Christine Childers, Karen Corbin, Troy Corbin Jr., Jason Corbin, of Decatur Ala., and Brandon Corbin, of Johnson City, Tenn.
His special family "up the valley" includes: Burl, Laurie and Caitlyn Rennix, Gary Arbogast and wife Ladonna, Gary Lee Arbogast and wife, Tammy, their daughters, Samantha Cook and Ashley Arbogast, and the late Roxie Howard, with whom he shared his life for more than 25 years.
Visitation will be held at the Randolph Funeral Home on Friday, Dec. 27, 2013. from 6-8 p.m. A funeral service will be conducted at the funeral home Saturday, Dec. 28, 2013 at 11 a.m. Interment will follow in Elkins Memorial Gardens where members of H.W. Daniels Post No. 29, American Legion, the Tygart Valley Post No. 3647, Veterans of Foreign Wars and the Air Force Honor Guard will conduct full military honors.
The family suggests the memorial donations may be made in Ed's memory to the Disabled American Veterans, P.O. Box 14301, Cincinnati, OH 45250-0301 or online @ dav.org. "Mom is waiting on the porch, Dad. Tell her to whistle when she wants us to come home." Linda, Ed and Tom.
The Randolph Funeral Home and Cremation Services has been entrusted with the arrangements for James Edward "Ed" Richards Sr. Send online condolences to the family at www.therandolphfuneralhome.com