We are sad to announce the passing of our sweet and loving father, Lawrence Eldon Richards, who died peacefully on January 30, 2024 surrounded by his family and supported by the gracious prayers of family and friends. Born in Quebec City on November 25, 1935, he was the eldest son of Thomas Richard and Jeanne Pellitier, and precious older brother to Shirley (North Bay), Gavan (predeceased), Hazel (Montreal), Russel (predeceased) and Clayton (Gatineau).
“Papa” would say he was a lucky man. One night in 1957, a beautiful young girl knocked on the door of his grandfather’s house in Charlos Cove, Nova Scotia beginning his love affair with Jean. Married 65 years last October, he was so proud of her and their four children, Gavan (Monique), Candy, Willes and Stacey. Growing up in Keswick, Ontario our fondest childhood memories are when he’d take us kids, alone without mom, for long drives and adventures. As he loved to drive across Ontario, we’d go heading to various racetracks, listening to classic country, all the while with dad teaching us how to bet on the horses – quite exciting days for kids! Most summer weekends, dad loved having his brothers and sisters, with their families, arrive from the city. Soon the house would be filled with the warmth of family and rum, country music and games of chance. Our house was full of fun and laughter with our aunts, uncles and cousins all gathering to enjoy Aunt Jean’s delicious homemade dinners and desserts - dad always jumping up at the end of the meal to wash the dishes.
In 1958, recruited from Port of Quebec, dad was the youngest-ever foreman with the International Longshoremans Association at the new Port of Toronto. Opening a new port meant recruiting, so the “Richards Gang” was born. Dad loved working alongside his “Walking-Boss” father, his two brothers, three of his brothers-in-laws, and a variety of dockworker characters who remained lifelong friends.
Retiring in Saint John in 1985, he thoroughly enjoyed 35 years of adventures hand in hand with “The Boss” Jean. Frequent road trips to visit their brothers and sisters living in Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia, the car directed like a magnet to the closest casino or racetrack. His go-to greeting of “you’re still good looking” endeared him to everyone he met.
Dad loved Saint John, and while living uptown, he’d head out for his daily walk to shoot the breeze with his buddies at Pete’s Pub, and then later, while living in Regency Towers, it was seeing his fun-loving friends and the beautiful ladies staffing at Dooly’s, something he’ll surely miss. He loved nothing more than making a few dollars at the “machines” and using the money to shop for grocery deals driving east to west to save a couple cents. A great joy for Dad is hearing a good joke or making the Exhibition Bingo ladies blush with his harmless flirts. A lover of all creatures, he would take left-overs to feed the birds and the deer, and always unselfishly outstretched his hand to anybody who needed it.
“Papa” loved and was so proud of his children, especially his grandchildren - Kelly, Christopher, Melanie, Cameron, Jordan, Brandon, Austin (predeceased), Jayde and Drake. The always dutiful, responsible, caring and fun-loving husband, father, grand-father and great-grandfather, brother, uncle and friend will be sadly missed by everyone who met him.
Arrangements are under the care of Fundy Funeral Home, 230 Westmorland Road, Saint John, NB (646-2424). As per his request, his ashes will be scattered around the final stretch at Woodbine Racetrack this summer.