Carol Jean (Johnson) Richards, age 89, of Jackson, Ohio passed away peacefully at home Wednesday, July 4th, 2018. She was born January 19th, 1929 in Jackson, Ohio daughter of the late Walter James Johnson and Carrie Mae (Riegel) Johnson.
Growing up on Chestnut Street in Jackson, Carol was active in her church, Girl Scouts, 4H, and Methodist Youth Fellowship. She attended Jackson High School, played clarinet in the marching band, and was a talented piano player who accompanied for the High School Glee Club. She graduated as Salutatorian of the Class of 1947. Afterwards, she worked for the Jackson City Schools as an Administrative Assistant in the office of the Superintendent. Carol and John Ellsworth “Jack” Richards, met a few years later and were married on June 7, 1959. She enjoyed taking time off to be a stay-at-home mom until her youngest son started middle school. Carol then returned to the Jackson City Schools, this time in the office of the Treasurer, and became the Payroll Clerk. Carol retired in 1997, after a combined total of 30 years with the Jackson City Schools.
A lifetime member of Christ United Methodist Church, Carol participated in the choir, served on several committees, and volunteered as a children’s sunday school teacher. She enjoyed participating and holding offices in Study Club, Literary Club, Junior Federated Women’s Club, Wagon Wheelers Square-dance Club, PTA/PTO, and various other organizations. Prior to her marriage, she also served as the piano accompanist for the Laura’s Harmonettes, a women’s singing group who performed at various venues in Jackson. She also served as a Girl Scout leader and Cub Scout den mother.
A talented pianist, Carol’s other hobbies included square-dancing, attending the Silver Sneakers, traveling, cooking, and gardening. She loved the beautiful flowers that she and her husband planted all around their yard and enjoyed cooking and eating fresh vegetables from their garden. She prepared many favorite foods — delicious pies, apple crisp, and waldorf salad—with apples from the Richards Brothers family farm. She loved animals, especially family pet dogs and cats. She enjoyed Jackson Ironmen football games, Ohio State football, and the Jackson County Apple Festival.
Family was Carol’s most important priority; she always looked forward to visits and quality time spent together with children, grandchildren, and other relatives. She encouraged her children and was proud of their accomplishments. She was a dedicated wife, and a beloved mother and grandmother. She had a light-hearted, fun spirit and a quick sense of humor. She loved playing board games and had a great knack for solving puzzles. She made the best Texas Sheet Cakes, especially for Jack’s birthdays.
Carol enjoyed going on vacations with her family, especially to Myrtle Beach, and going on motorcycle trips with her husband and other couples. She and Jack had the opportunity to travel upon their retirement and enjoyed exploring various parts of the world together on group trips to Hawaii, Europe, Greek Islands, Alaska, Australia, and New Zealand. Her most precious times were spent with family. She loved holidays and get-togethers, always making sure they were special for all in attendance.
Although Carol became physically weak during the last few years, she remained a positive inspiration. The family feels blessed that Jack was able to care for her at home and share each day with her. The dedication he gave her was truly out of love, and she was always concerned about him. The family wishes to thank Carol’s personal nurse, Emilie Paul who diligently and compassionately attended to Carol over the past two years, and the caring staff of Holzer Hospice who paid visits regularly. The family also wishes to thank former Pastor and Mrs. Dave Roach, Associate Pastor Janie Karl, current Pastor Jay Madigan, and others from Christ United Methodist Church, neighbors, and family friends who have visited and shared delicious food, flowers, encouraging words, and prayers over the past several months. The outpouring of love has been so very much appreciated.
Carol is survived by her husband, John E. “Jack” Richards, Jr.; her children: John Brian Richards (and special friend, Kristine Swick), Brenda Caryl (Alan) Freiheit, and Brent Alan (Mary Beth Rizzo) Richards; daughter-in-law, Beth (Crawford) Richards, wife of the late James Braden Richards, Sr.; seven grandchildren: Zachary, Zane, and Quinn Richards, Sophia Freiheit, Bailey Poland, Bree Richards, and James Braden Richards, Jr.; brothers-in-law, John R. Hagely and Lon D. Richards; sister-in-law, Sherry Richards Scarlett; former sister-in-law, Carol Henderson Walsh; and nieces and nephews: Todd, Scott, and Eric Hagely, Randall Scarlett, Holly Scarlett Yancey, Sean Scarlett, Angela Richards Dickmeyer, and Carmen Richards Melton, and all their families.
In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death in August of 2017 by her youngest son, James Braden Richards, Sr.; her only sister, Wilma Louise Hagely who passed away in 2015; brother-in-law, John Donald Scarlett; and former sister-in-law, Fay Spencer Richards.
Family and friends may call on Monday, July 9th, 2018 at the Lewis & Gillum Funeral Home of Jackson from 4PM to 8PM. Funeral services will be held on Tuesday, July 10th, 2018 at 11AM at the funeral home with Pastors Jay Madigan and Janie Karl officiating. Burial will follow at Fairmount Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to: Christ United Methodist Church, 150 Portsmouth St., Jackson, Ohio, 45640 for current and ongoing repairs to the church. Online condolences may be sent to www.lewisgillum.com