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Betty Jane Richards, 79 of New Concord, Ohio, passed away at 1:10 pm, Thursday, November 14, 2013 at her residence surrounded by her family.
Betty was born May 20, 1934 in Mt. Vernon, OH the daughter of the late Fred and N. Mae (Lockhart) Thompson. Betty was a graduate of White Cross Hospital in Columbus, OH. She worked as a registered nurse at White Cross Hospital, Deaconess Hospital, Massillon Community Hospital, Union Hospital, the Tuscarawas County Health Department and she retired in 1996 from Buckeye Joint Vocational School as a school nurse.
She was a member of the JOY Sunday School Class, the United Methodist Women’s Miriam Circle and the ORTA – Tuscarawas County RTA. Betty also volunteered at the John & Annie Glenn Historic Site, The Wilds and she was a faithful member of the New Concord United Methodist Church.
Betty is survived by her husband Stanley H. Richards whom she married October 9, 1955; her children Kimberly K. (Eric) Esteran of Georgetown, IN, Eric T. Richards & (Deborah Spadafore) of Bridgeport WV and Mark S. (Julie) Richards of Norwich; her grandchildren Jordan Richards, MacKenzie Richards and Sydney Richards; her step-grandchildren Rachel (Justin) Goff, Jessica Singo and her two great-grandchildren Jade and Jagger Goff and her brother Lawrence Tom (Judith) Thompson of Mount Liberty, OH.
In addition to her parents, Betty is preceded in death by her brother Clyde W. Thompson who passed away in 2004.
Married 58 years to the love of her life, she and Stan shared a life that reflected their Christian faith filled with family, friends, love and adventure.
Family and friends were her greatest joy and celebrating special days, family reunions, holidays or simply sharing time together was very important. The Richards Family Reunion and Thompson Family Reunion were special occasions to connect and spend time. Her love of family extended far beyond the immediate family. She had room in her heart for EVERYONE.
She was an extensive traveler. Beginning with summer family vacations camping across the American West, she and Stan eventually traveled to every state in the United States. She had an adventurous spirit and loved white-water rafting and canoe trips sharing good times with family & friends on the Mohican River, New River, Cheat River and Youghiogheny Rivers. Other travel destinations and adventures include touring the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico and a hot air balloon ride over central Ohio. For their 40th Anniversary they went to Hawaii, then in 2008 traveled through the Panama Canal on a Caribbean cruise. They had a fabulous 50th Wedding Anniversary (2005), which the entire family celebrated by going on an Alaskan Cruise and train ride, where she even panned for gold in Fairbanks. In 2010, they traveled to Munich, Germany, for a Danube Riverboat Cruise which ended in Budapest, Hungary. This last year the entire family rented a house on Ocracoke Island in the Outer Banks for a week of sun, beach, food and laughter. And just this past fall, they enjoyed a train ride through the mountains of West Virginia.
She loved to garden and spend time outdoors, hiking, camping, canoeing, and boating were some favorite activities. She had a “green thumb” and always had a vegetable and flower garden. She loved Nature and enjoyed watching birds & wildlife.
She was a great cook and made fabulous pies and cookies! Thanksgiving was her favorite holiday and although the holiday revolved around family, there was always an abundant amount of food.
She lived a Christian faith her entire life and had many church families. She was always involved with Sunday school, bible studies, Woman’s Circle and volunteered in other church positions over the years.
She was an extensive planner and extremely organized…all her life!
Many will remember receiving cards and letters from her as she was an avid letter-writer and stayed in touch with family and friends. She seldom missed a birthday, anniversary or holiday.
She loved her nursing classmates “The Girls,” and attended yearly reunions.
She laughed often, when she cried – she cried deeply. While she lived, she lived life to the fullest.
In lieu of flowers, please make memorial contributions to the New Concord United Methodist Church, 20 East High Street, New Concord, OH. 43762 Visitations will be 4 to 8 pm Monday, November 18, 2013 at the Farus Funeral Home of New Concord and from 10:30 to 11:30 am at the New Concord United Methodist Church where Funeral Services will be 11:30 Tuesday, November 19, 2013 with Rev. Karen Graham officiating.