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Christopher John Richard


Christopher John Richard, age 62, of East Grand Rapids, died on Wednesday, June 27, 2018 following a year-long battle from complications post heart transplant. Chris is survived by his wife of 24 years, Meg; daughters, Ann (Rob) Quandt, Emily (John) Monley; sons, Luke and Will; six adorable grandchildren, Chase, Lexi, Luke, Jack, Matthew and Jody; mother, Mary Kay; sister, Julie (Rick) Foust; brother, Mike; many nieces, nephews; and extended family. Chris was preceded in death by his first wife of 14 years, Jody Saunders; father, Ray Richard; and niece, Holly Foust. Chris was a loving husband, father, grandfather, son, brother and friend to all. Chris spent many years in the automotive and textile industry, demonstrating expansive knowledge of his field and a passion for his work. Although Chris held various executive positions, his coworkers always viewed him as a friend and helping hand first. Chris was a bona fide outdoorsmen; he was most at peace while hunting, fishing, riding his motorcycle and playing sports, with his wife, children and grandchildren by his side. A perfect evening for Chris was a round of golf, a view of the sunset and dinner with Meg. Chris maintained a youthful, free spirit throughout his life and loved nothing more than to share his newest joke with a family member or friend. Chris was a fierce competitor and a world-class oarsmen, winning 15 national championships on the US Rowing team and competing in the 1980 Olympic trials. A special thank you to Mary Free Bed for their love and support while Chris was in rehab and for giving him a sense of hope and healing. Visitation will be Monday, July 2 from 5-8 PM with Rosary at 5:30 PM at O’Brien-Eggebeen-Gerst Chapel, 3980 Cascade Rd SE, Grand Rapids.  A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Tuesday, July 3 at 11 AM at Immaculate Heart of Mary, 1935 Plymouth Ave SE, Grand Rapids. Rev. Troy Nevins presiding. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made in Chris’ name to the Mary Free Bed Foundation, 235 Wealthy St SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503.

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21 Responses

  1. What a beautiful tribute to Chris. We know how much he loved his family. Sending prayers, love and hugs to Meg and the rest of the family.

  2. My deepest sympathy goes out to the Richard family. Chris was a dear friend for many years.

  3. What a beautiful & remarkable tribute to an amazing man. Chris will be dearly missed by his family & friends. We will always remember his sense of humor, his wit & his love of a good time. He has been surrounded by a loving & loyal family throughout this illness, and Meg has been an incredible advocate for Chris during this difficult journey. Our thoughts & prayers to your entire family. Love, Donna & Don Bramlage

  4. Meg, Will and family, Our sincere sympathy to your family. Jackie and Mark Domin

  5. I had the honor of knowing Chris both personally and professionally. Such a unique and special person. My best wishes for peace and comfort to the family in this difficult time.

  6. What a beautiful tribute to a man who was loved by so many. He was not only my boss, he was my friend. He will forever have a place in my heart. He spoke of his love for each of you often to me and I want you to all know how much he cherished each one of you. Words can not express how sorry I am that he is gone. Cherish your memories of him and he will live in our hearts always. Much love, Jessica & Nicholas Palladino

  7. Chris would talk to us like we were family not his sisters in-laws. A hand on your back and intently listening to you. That’s family upbringing. We all lost a great man when he past.

  8. So sorry to hear of Chris’ passing. I will always remember his winning smile and can do attitude. A great athlete; I can see him launching the shell in his DBC jersey at the club. He and Jody were the first of my peer group to marry. A real loss.

  9. My prayers of comfort to the family. Ann I now see one of reasons you are such a competitor, your dad has given you a cherished gift & you wear it well. You are in my thought & prayers.

  10. It has been nearly 40 years, but I remember Chris as a competitor, a teammate, a friend, and a truly good man.

  11. He was a great rowing crew mentor and example of excellence to many of us oarsman; a great guy. We pray at sunrise for his family, and will row extra hard.

  12. Chris and I rowed together at the Detroit Boat Club. His humor, camaraderie, joy of living will be my memory of him! May the Lord Jesus keep him and his loved ones in His care.

  13. So incredibly sorry for your loss. Chris was such a wonderful man and I was lucky enough to know him. Thoughts and prayers your way. xo

  14. Chris was a very good friend of mine. He was the best friend my dad could ask for. Not only was he my dads co-worker but he became part of the family always calling and checking on everyone. We had a lot of good times in North Carolina. Thanks for always making us laugh.

  15. I only knew Chris while we rowed at the Detroit Boat Club. He was my older brothers Skip’s and Andy’s age. As a younger sister and younger rower I looked up to him. I respected Chris for his leadership, kindness, demeanor, and attitude. I do remember when he and Jody fell in love and married. Chris just beamed of happiness. He will be missed by many and he will forever have a little piece of my heart. I hope the heavens know how lucky they are to have him.

  16. I only knew Chris through his daughter, Ann, and through her, an amazing, compassionate, fun-loving, can-do — and competitive! – -woman, that Chris was a terrific role model, father and teacher, who inspired deep love and loyalty. His legacy will live on through a wonderful family.

  17. Rocket you were one of a kind, my best man, teammate, my friend, my career and my family are all there because of your altruistic nature. The hunts were never the same without you and Ray. My deepest sympathies to your family.

  18. I rowed with Chris at Marietta College. Some of my best rowing memories there are pairing up with him in pairs completion our senior year. We also lived together in a house off campus our senior year. Unfortunately we lost touch over the years, but I’ll always remember him for the seriousness he brought to his responsibility as captain, but also the lighthearted good humor and fun times he brought to other situations. I wish him and his family peace.

  19. I have known Chris for forty four years! I first met him when Jody was on my floor freshman year at Marietta College. She was truly one of my best friends, ever. We rowed together and had a blast. You’re not supposed to talk in the boat- but we giggled enough to make up for that! Chris came along and made us laugh even more! He was a one of a kind, dear soul and lots of fun! Meg and Chris came to a reunion at MC, years after Jody died, and I liked Meg immediately. They told me Jody had said Chris should date Meg after she died. So glad Chris found not one, but two lovely wives to share this journey. I am in tears as we drive to Michigan now for the funeral tomorrow. As Chris loved to say, “10-4 good buddy. Roger that.” Love you, Chris. You will be sorely missed. Hope to see you in heaven…xo
    Joanne Popolin
    p.s. Can’t wait to meet your dear children whom I haven’t seen since they were wee ones…
    God’s peace to all Chris’s family & friends.

  20. To the Richard family , sorry for the loss of a very courageous man. Chris was a great friend of my son Guy and he will be forever remembered. Judy bilkie

  21. I am so very sorry for your loss. Please find comfort in God’s sure promise of a resurrection as set forth in the Bible. (Acts 24:15; John 5:28,29) Those who are raised to life will have the prospect of never again being subject to misery, sickness, or death. (Revelation 21:4) I hope that reflecting on these thoughts will give you some relief during this difficult time.

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Mary Free Bed Foundation

235 Wealthy St SE

Grand Rapids, MI 49503