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880 Hopmeadow Street
P.O. Box 335
Simsbury, CT 06070
Phone: 860-658-7613
Fax: 860-651-0476
George Richards

George Thomas Richards

October 3, 1932 - January 7, 2020
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Obituary

George Thomas Richards, 87, of Simsbury, CT, died Tuesday, January 7, 2020, with family at his side after an extended illness. Born in New Castle, PA, on October 3, 1932, he learned the value of hard work and perseverance early on, traits which served him well with various part time jobs throughout his childhood and on into an adulthood that was marked by success by virtually every measure of human achievement.

He was the son of the late Barton and Elizabeth (Weingartner) Richards and attended New Castle public schools. A 1950 graduate of New Castle High and a 1954 graduate of Penn State University, he served our country honorably in the United States Army with the 7th Infantry Division in Korea from 1954-1956 and then transferred to the inactive reserve until 1962.

After his service in Korea, he went on to study business and marketing at Harvard Business School and earned his MBA in June 1958. He met his future wife, Ann, while he was studying at Harvard and he married her on November 29, 1958. The two later settled in Connecticut, where they raised their family and established roots in the community together.

Over the years, George served on the Board of Directors of the Farmington River Watershed Association, the Board of Trustees of the First Congregational Church of Granby, and the Board of Trustees of the Mark Twain House and Museum. He was a longtime member of The First Church of Christ in Simsbury, helped with some key projects at the Simsbury Public Library and championed the arts through the Hartford Stage Company where he held season tickets for decades.

Always loyal to the people and organizations he loved, he was an ardent supporter of Penn State’s alumni association and earned the distinction of being named as one of twenty Centennial Fellows during the 100th anniversary of the founding of the College of Liberal Arts at Penn State. He lived a life of exemplary integrity and honor and expected the same from those around him. He was known for his sense of humor, his strong will and his eternal optimism. He pursued his professional dream of owning and running his own business and grew his company, Vitex Packaging, to be a world leader in packaging for tea and other goods, and he served on the Board of Directors for the US Tea Association.

He enjoyed traveling the world, history and, most especially, spending time with his family and friends. He had a keen interest in genealogy and wrote the book Down the Richards Line about the history of his family and he helped build the foundation from which his family could launch, and to which they would return time and time again. He enjoyed teaching his grandchildren to fish and taking them to his garden plots to pick fresh vegetables in the summer and he relished large family vacations and cooking his father’s recipe for spaghetti sauce.

He is survived by his four children: Thomas Richards of Simsbury, CT, Barbara Karpiniski of Greenville, RI, Sally Lehr of Wayland, MA, and Nancy Richards-Cavanaugh of Hopkinton, MA, as well as their spouses: Kimberly Richards, Frank Karpinksi, Michael Lehr and Neil Cavanaugh, his 14 grandchildren, and a sister, Ann Brooks. He is predeceased by his parents and by his wife of 54 years, Ann (Stiegler) Richards.

Calling hours will be held at Vincent Funeral Home, 800 Hopmeadow St, Simsbury, CT, on Friday, January 17, 2020, from 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM and a celebration of his life will be held at First Church of Christ, 689 Hopmeadow St, Simsbury, CT, on Saturday, January 18, 2020, at 2:00 PM. Burial will take place at the convenience of the family. In lieu of flowers, those who wish may make donations in his memory to Simsbury Public Library (www.simsburylibrary.info ), 725 Hopmeadow St, Simsbury, CT 06070 or to Simsbury Land Trust (www.simsburylandtrust.org ), P.O Box 634, Simsbury, CT 06070.
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Service Details

  • Visitation

    January 17, 2020 | 3:00pm - 6:00pm
    When
    January 17, 2020 3:00pm - 6:00pm
    Location
    Vincent Funeral Home - Simsbury
    Address
    880 Hopmeadow Street
    Simsbury, CT 06070
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Service

    January 18, 2020 | 2:00pm
    When
    January 18, 2020 2:00pm
    Location
    First Church of Christ, Simsbury
    Address
    689 Hopmeadow Street
    Simsbury, CT 06070
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    Officiant
    Rev. George Harris
  • Interment

    Location
    Simsbury Cemetery
    Address
    16 Plank HIll Road
    Simsbury, CT 06070
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email

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WC

William Cox

Posted at 10:11am
My wife and I had the privilege of knowing George. I first met him while working at Dexter Corporation and was struck by his honesty and integrity and strong work ethic. He was a leader and senior manager you wanted to follow. After George left Dexter to pursue his next dream(s) I was determined to stay in touch ....and that was easy to do in Simsbury, CT. When I choose to volunteer my time with Simsbury Land Trust and the First Church of Christ I would discover that George had already made his mark and was continuing to do so. Quietly and with huge impact. He was a man who knew how to get things done and he was a lot of fun. He lived a very full, important and generous life. A great loss to family, friends and community.
RD

Randy and Laurie Davis

Posted at 05:48pm
I had the privilege of being hired to Dexter Corporation by George in 1983. We worked together at the USTea Association for many years and looked forward to spending time with George and Ann at the annual conventions. Having just started our family we really appreciated their dedication to their family and Disney vacation times!! George was great fun to be around and an outstanding role model! We fondly remember the Richard’s.

Troy Leong

Posted at 10:38pm
Hello Thomas Richards, Kim Richards & Family. Mom and me are so sorry of Mr Richards passing. We both wish we could have met him...cause he seemed so interesting. We know this is a hard time for the family right now...but know our Lord Jesus Christ has reserved a special place in his kingdom for him. Much love, blessings and many prayers for the whole family.

Sincerely,
Troy
&
Dottie Leong
Stratford, Connecticut
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