April 3, 1935 – April 22, 2021
Bill was born in Red Deer, Alberta on April 3, 1935 to Jim and Agnes Richards. He died peacefully on Thursday, April 22, 2021 in the presence of his wife, Donna Richards.
Bill lived his life on the family farm located just south of Red Deer in the Horn Hill district. Growing up, Bill was the eldest of three children, along with his two younger sisters, Kay (Hartley) Johanson and Anne (Dan) Kern. Bill attended Horn Hill School until grade 9. He often remarked that the trip to Horn Hill school was uphill both ways; which partially explained his reluctance to attend.
After grade 9, Bill transferred to Red Deer Composite High School where he boarded during the week. Following his graduation from high school he studied Agricultural Mechanics at SAIT. In his free time, he enjoyed playing hockey and was a member of the Red Deer Monarchs.
Bill spent his life farming with his dad, Uncle Evan and Uncle Owen, as well as his sons on the family farm. He showed prize winning Ayrshire cattle with his Uncle Owen. This led to his participation in the World Ayrshire Tour.
This group provided the opportunity for Bill and Donna to travel the world; enjoying unique experiences visiting farms in countries like Kenya, England, New Zealand and Australia. The farm was Bill’s passion and life’s work. During his life, Bill oversaw the construction of two new dairy barns, the increase in the farm’s land base and was always looking for new techniques and technologies to make the farm better.
Continuing the dedication of previous generations; Bill’s hard work, foresight and innovation were recognized through Richards Farms Ltd. receipt of the Century Farm Award (1984), Farm Family of the Year (1991) and the Golden Furrow Award. Bill was also very proud that he was able to celebrate the farm’s 125th Anniversary in 2009.
Bill is survived by his loving wife of 63 years, Donna. He was predeceased by his parents Jim and Agnes Richards, as well as a son Grant. Bill is also survived by: Matt and Yolanda, their children Locke and Amy (Will and Warren), Elyse and Johan Krause (Wesley), Gina and Kolten, Connor and Melissa (Elsie). Tim and Holly, their children Owen and Tucker. Colin and his sons, Grady and Zac; his fiancée Alicia and her daughters, Kennedy and Keaton.
Bill was blessed with a large family and enjoyed spending time with them. Many happy memories were created spending holiday meals together, playing cards, sharing coffee after chores or vacationing together.
Later in life, Bill and Donna were able to spend many winters in Meza, Arizona. He loved going down south and spending time with Tim and his family. Bill also enjoyed golf, shuffle board and lawn bowling with his friends at Venture Out.
Bill’s wisdom and wit will be sorely missed by family and friends. Due to COVID a private family service will take place. We invite you to share your fondest memories of Bill and raise a glass in his honour!
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Red Deer Hospice Society, 99 Arnot Avenue, Red Deer, Alberta, T4R 3S6. Condolences may be sent or viewed at www.parklandfuneralhome.com
Arrangements in care of Parkland Funeral Home and Crematorium, 6287 – 67 A Street (Taylor Drive), Red Deer. 403.340.4040.
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