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In Memoriam: Franklin J. Richards

08.24.07 It is with great sadness that we report the passing of Franklin J. Richards at the age of seventy-two. Mr. Richards was a life member of the United States Chess Federation and for many years was very active in Maine tournament and scholastic chess. He had a passion for the game and he shared that passion with others. Mr. Richards will be sorely missed.



Franklin J. Richards

November 11, 1934 - August 17, 2007


The following obituary appeared in the Portland Press Herald on August 20, 2007:

Franklin J. Richards
August 17, 2007
Scarborough

Franklin J. Richards, 72, of Scarborough, a longtime resident of Sanford, died August 17 in Scarborough after a lengthy illness. He will be sadly missed by his wife, children, grandchildren and community. However his wisdom and sense of humor will live on through his family and friends.

He was born in Winchendon, MA on November 11, 1934, a son of Harry and Marion (Waterman) Richards. He was a graduate of Portsmouth (NH) High School and Hanson Barber College in Lewiston.

Franklin served in the US Navy during the Korean Conflict aboard the USS Coral Sea and the USS Hornet.

He worked for over 30 years as a marketing representative and manager for the John Hancock Insurance Company. He owned and operated Frank’s Barber Shop in Sanford from 1995 to 2006.

Frank was community minded having served on the Sanford Police Commission, Fire Commission, and was chair of both the Public Safety Committee and the Personnel Committee. He served on the 911 Committee and was a Town Meeting member for 30 years. He was a longtime facilitator of a grief support group in Springvale and was the first president of the Sanford Springvale Youth Athletic Association.

His memberships include the Sanford Elks Lodge, life member of the American Legion, life member of the VFW, Springvale Social Club, Springvale Fish and Game of which his was a past president and life member, the Springvale Masonic Lodge and the Kora Temple Shrine in Lewiston.

Chess was his passion. He was a life member of the National Chess Association. He taught the game of chess in the Sanford schools to all grade levels. At his barber shop, one could get a free haircut if one could beat him at a game of chess. Local lore has it that he never had to provide a free haircut. He played in chess tournaments and had represented the United States on International matches. He had an absolute passion to teach the game to others.

Frank also enjoyed playing bid whist and was a fan of both the Boston Red Sox and the New England Patriots.

He married his high school sweetheart, the former Barbara Hewey of Springvale in 1955 and raised his family with her. He lost her to a rare disease in 1991. He was also preceded in death by his brother Walter Richards and by his beloved granddaughter Barbara LaRochelle in 2003.

Survivors include his wife of 15 years, Karen (Astle) Richards of Scarborough, a son, Brian Richards of Shapleigh, 2 daughters, Ellen (Richards) Robertson and her husband Randall of Springvale, Lisa (Richards) Dolliver of Sanford, 4 grandchildren, Kelly Richards, Cindy Richards, Dustin LaRochelle, all of Springvale, Derek Dolliver of Sanford, 2 brothers, Louis Richards and his wife Elaine of Somersworth, NH, Herbert Richards of Sarasota, FL, and several nieces and nephews; stepson F. Jay Astle of Thomaston, stepdaughter Karyl Hazard, her husband Jamie and their children Caton, Lauren and Jake, of Falmouth.

Relatives and friends are invited to call on Monday from 5-8 PM at the Carll-Heald & Black Funeral Home, 580 Main Street, Springvale. A funeral service will be conducted on Tuesday at 10:00 AM at the Curtis Lake Christian Church in Sanford, with the Rev. Jim McAtee officiating. Burial with military honors will follow in Riverside Cemetery in Springvale.

Frank’s family wishes to extend a very special thanks to Dr. Matt Dugan and the entire staffs of Maine Center for Cancer Medicine, Hospice of Southern Maine, and the Gosnell Memorial Hospice House for their loving care and support during his illness.

Those planning an expression of sympathy are asked to consider the Barbara Larochelle Memorial Scholarship Fund, c/o York County Federal Credit Union, 870 Main Street, Sanford Maine 04073.

Comments

We are always saddened to see one our members of the US Chess Federation pass. We will add Franklin to our "In Passing" section of our website where we remember them. -Joan DuBois/USCF

I met Frank 15 years ago at one of the chess tournaments. I will always remember his nice personality, his smile. Although we had met only at tournaments, we always met as old friends. I will miss Frank and remember him always. My deepest sympathy to Frank's family.

Ruben.

FRANK WAS A STRONG CLASS "A" PLAYER OVER THE BOARD AND A MASTER PLAYER IN THE GAME OF LIFE.

I NEVER HEARD A COMPLAINT FROM HIM IN ANY TOURNAMENT I DIRECTED OR PLAYED IN.

HE WAS ALWAYS CHEERFUL AND HAD A SMILE EVEN WHEN LIFE DEALT HIM SETBACKS .

I WILL MISS HIM.

Frank was a longtime chess friend of my Dad and I. Whenever we arrived at a tournament and saw the Maine license plate with CHESS on it, we knew Frank was there. He was a solid chess player and individual and we enjoyed many battles over the board. We will miss him.

Steve and Al Morgan

Frank was a long time friend. We played many times in Portland tournaments. I used to visit him at his Sanford barber shop some 3 years ago when I lived in Wells. He won our last game.I will miss you my friend. Roger

Frank's passion for chess was most evident in his comments and advice on the game---always gently and honestly given. For me, it was always a rare joy to see him at a tourney. He will be missed deeply and remembered fondly.

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