Thomas Dale Richards, age 88, of Frederic, passed away Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2019, at the Burnett Medical Continuing Care Center in Grantsburg. Tom was born July 27, 1931, in Clark, NE, to parents, Marjorie (Shields) and Dale Richards. The fourth of seven children, he was raised in Nebraska until the age of five when the family moved to Denver, CO. As a young man, Tom worked seasonally on ranches in the western Rockies, and, when winter hit, would race the snow to make it over the pass and into Denver in time to work construction. Tom even took part in the local rodeos while doing ranch work.
In 1951, Tom enlisted in the United States Marine Corp. He served during the Korean War. His unit was dispatched to serve in various capacities, and Tom ended up in Greenland as a sharpshooter instructor and a Corporal M.P. On July 23, 1953, he was honorably discharged. When Tom returned home, he worked as an independent contractor/carpenter.
Tom met Audrey Deppa in Los Angeles, CA, while on military leave. That relationship blossomed, and, shortly after he was discharged, he married Audrey in November of 1953. Tom and Audrey started their family in Minneapolis, Minn. The couple’s family grew into a family of eight children in no time, while Tom worked as a general contractor in Minneapolis. After two years in Green River, WY, from 1976-78, the couple moved to the Grantsburg area in 1979 and purchased the Shady Knoll Rest Home, which they lovingly ran until 2004.
Tom was a devoted member of the Grantsburg community. He was an active member and past President and Treasurer for the Grantsburg Rotary, a member of the Grantsburg Chamber of Commerce, and he served on the Grantsburg Village Board for 14 years, using his background in construction to oversee many village improvements projects. He also served in many capacities as a dedicated parishioner at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Grantsburg.
Tom enjoyed being a dad and raising his children, golfing, downhill skiing, bowling, hunting, horses, fishing, water skiing, snowmobiling and mowing his lawn. A devoted husband, loving father, grandfather and uncle, Tom will be missed by many.
Preceding him in death are his parents and siblings: Jean, Polly, Sally and Jack.
Tom is survived by his loving wife of 66 years, Audrey Richards; children: Stanley (Annette) Richards, Teresa (Michael) Stein, Julie (Stephen) Wickham, Michael (Tamara) Richards, Joseph Richards, Thomas (Deidre) Richards, John (Jodi) Richards and Holly Richards; grandchildren: Matthew Richards, John (Karina) Wickham, Andrew (Britta) Wickham, Christopher (Angel) Richards, Chaston (Sara) Richards, Chelsea Richards (Mario Giancola), Sara (Timothy) Carpenter, Jacob Richards, Molly, Sydney and Nicholas Richards, Josephine Richards, Zoe and Cecilia Hoeg-Richards; great-grandchildren: Jade, Dominick, Jaydon, Jaxon, Jazmine, Shaylarae, Shyla and Isabella; sister, Janet Sleeth; brother, Larry (Betty) Richards; brother-in-law, David Deppa; and many nieces, nephews, relatives and friends.
A visitation will be held Friday, Nov. 29, 2019, from 4-7 p.m. at the Swedberg-Taylor funeral Home in Grantsburg. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held Saturday, Nov. 30, 2019, at 11 a.m. (visitation from 10-11 a.m.) at the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Grantsburg. Military honors will be conducted immediately following the Mass at church. Interment to follow at Maple Grove Cemetery in Frederic.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Swedberg-Taylor Funeral Home in Grantsburg. Online condolences may be expressed at www.swedberg-taylor.com.