Obituary Details

William Thomas Richards

February 28, 1933 - December 5, 2014

Birthplace & Residence

Information withheld per family request

Visitation

Location:
Cypress of Raleigh
Date:
Tuesday, December 16, 2014
Time:
5:00 PM to 6:00 PM

Funeral

Information withheld per family request

Cemetery

Information withheld per family request

Notes

William “Papa” Thomas Richards, age 81, passed away Friday, December 5, 2014 at the Rosewood Health Center. Bill was born on February 28, 1933 to the late Frank and Mary (Jamieson) Richards of Kingston, Ontario, Canada.

Bill was a devoted family man who enjoyed fishing, baseball, hockey, going for walks, photography, dancing, country music, and playing euchre. He loved having his kids and grandkids around, always sharing stories and pictures about “the good old days.” We will forever be grateful for the many memories he left behind in the form of his photography. Bill was a very sociable man -- no one a stranger. If someone needed help, he was there to lend a hand. He was a kind, soft-spoken man and as gentle as they come.

Bill Richards was a top class ball player in The Kingston Baseball Association ( KBA ) during the 1950's, renowned for a super fastball and pin point control. He was selected to pitch some games for The Kingston Ponies in The Border League against teams from Watertown, Ottawa, Geneva and other teams near the Canadian/American Border. Bill earned a tryout with a Major League Team but was considered too small in stature to make the jump.

Bill received his education at Kingston Collegiate Vocational School in drafting and continued his studies in mechanical engineering in Ohio at Cleveland State University.

Bill began his working career at the Aluminum Company of Canada (ALCAN) in 1950. He married Audrey Lorraine Tooley in 1952, and they had a daughter and a son before moving to Cleveland, Ohio, where Bill took a job at the Aluminum Company of America (ALCOA) in 1956. They added another son to their family while in Cleveland and moved to Atlanta, Georgia in 1966, where Bill joined Lockheed Corporation as a forging specialist.  During his tenure at Lockheed, he had significant accomplishments including perfection of many processes and design of aircraft including the Lockheed c130 Hercules and the Lockheed C5A Galaxy.

 In 1970 the family moved to St. Louis, Missouri, where Bill joined McDonnell Douglas Corporation (MDC), now Boeing, as an engineer and forging specialist.  He worked on many aircraft programs during his tenure at MDC, including the F-15 Eagle, F/A-18 Hornet, and the C-17 Globemaster III.  He made numerous significant contributions to the aviation industry during his 40 years of dedicated service.

Bill retired from McDonnell Douglas in 1995, and he and Audrey moved to their home at Lake Gaston, North Carolina. Bill worked as a consultant to ALCOA for another 10 years. He and Audrey then moved to Raleigh, North Carolina, to be closer to their daughter and her family.

Beloved husband of 62 years of the late Audrey “Nee-Nee” Lorraine Tooley Richards (died November 19, 2014,) Devoted father of Diane (Jerry) Wilks, Gary (Maggie) Richards, and Bill Richards; loving father-in-law of Connie Oberhaus. Cherished brother of Shirley Jeffrey, Gary (Jean) Richards, Gloria Moyer, and Brenda (Danny) Lewis. Devoted grandfather of Neil (Heather) Wilks, Dustin (Mary) Wilks, Jason (Nicki) Richards, and Ashley (Marty) Meyer. Beloved great-grandfather of Hailey and Riley Wilks, Ella Wilks, and Tyler and Lucas Richards. Loving uncle, cousin, brother-in-law, and friend.

We will miss you, Papa, you were such a special man, but we find comfort in knowing you and Nee Nee are together again.

Thank you to the staff at the Rosewood Health Center for making him feel a special part of the family there, well-cared for, and loved.

In lieu of flowers, the family request memorial contributions be made to the Memory Disorders Program at UNC through the Medical Foundation of North Carolina, 800 MLK Jr. Boulevard Chapel Hill, NC 27514, or to The Primary Progressive Aphasia Research Fund. www.aphasia.org

Be the first to leave a guestbook message!

Visitation

Cypress of Raleigh
8801 Cypress Lakes Drive
RALEIGH, NC 27615

Funeral

Unknown Location

Cemetery

Unknown Location