The Rev. Robert Fox Richards of Seven Fields, PA, formerly of Franklin and Erie, PA, died unexpectedly at age 84 on Wednesday at Shadyside Hospital. Son of the late Rev. Nicholas Fox and Margaret Hoffman Reining Richards; brother of the late Margaret Jane Richards Kendall (Ralph) of Toledo and John Henry Richards of Beaver and Atlanta -- he is survived by his wife of almost 60 years, Nancy Lee Clement Richards and his children, Jennifer Lee Richards of London, England, Stephanie Wynne Richards and Brian Arbuckle of Los Angeles and Robert Todd Richards of Cleveland. He is also survived by his "grand-girls", Audrey Wynne and Tatum Margaret Lee Arbuckle; and his sister-in-law, Mary Lou Richards of Atlanta. He leaves behind his beloved nieces and nephews, as well as his countless friends and colleagues. A faithful servant of Jesus Christ, he received his BA from Duke University and his Master's in Divinity from Drew University School of Theology. Following his ordination, as a United Methodist minister, he started a new Church, Charter Oak United Methodist in Greensburg, PA in 1971. He also served as senior pastor of First United Methodist Church, McKeesport PA and senior pastor of Lakewood United Methodist Church in Erie, PA. He was Dean of the Western Pennsylvania Cabinet and District Superintendent of the Franklin District, overseeing 111 churches and pastors. In 1989, he and his wife and Nancy moved to Pittsburgh where he became President of the United Methodist Church Union, overseeing multiple agencies assisting troubled youth, the poor and the elderly. He continued as an active board member and on his birthday last month he was presented the Lifetime Achievement Award, in recognition of his immense impact on the city of Pittsburgh. During the same period, he became the volunteer-pastor of Calvary United Methodist, saving it from being closed. He was cherished as Pastor Emeritus of Calvary and an ex-officio Board member of Church Union until his death. Bob also helped to create and served as the Restoration Chair and Board member of Allegheny Historical Preservation Society (AHPS), to rescue Calvary's valuable physical building and priceless original Lewis Comfort Tiffany windows. He also found time to serve as a trustee of the United Methodist House at Chautauqua Institution in Chautauqua NY. His accomplishments were many, but he is best known and loved for his passion for people - all people. His tireless energy, his warm embrace, joyful and booming voice, and his unfailing faith led legions of people to Christ and to His service. His greatest joy was to be with his wife, Nancy, and their children and "grand girls". A Celebration of his Life will take place on Sunday, November 10 at 5:00 p.m. at Calvary United Methodist Church on the north side of Pittsburgh (see address below). A reception will follow in the Church's adjoining Chapel, to which all are cordially invited. Handicapped and Valet parking available. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the United Methodist Church Union (971 Beech Avenue, Pittsburgh 15233) or Calvary United Methodist Church (971 Beech Avenue, Pittsburgh15233) or the United Methodist House at Chautauqua (United Methodist House Box 115, Chautauqua, New York 14722). A more detailed obituary can be found on www. stephenbradyfuneralhomes.com. Arrangements by STEPHEN BRADY FUNERAL HOME.
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PostedNovember 10, 2019