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Published: January 20, 2021


With profound sadness, we announce the passing of John DeWitt Richards, Jr., on January 16, 2021 at the age of 86, just as the sun was setting over his beloved Tennessee River.

John was born on July 5, 1934 in Kingston, Pennsylvania to John DeWitt Richards and Rosella Cunningham Richards. After serving in the United States Army, he went on to graduate from the College of William & Mary with a Bachelor's Degree in Chemistry. After 32 years with Reynolds Alloys, John retired, filling his life with golfing and boating. He was a faithful member of Killen Church of Christ for years.

With a kind word for everyone, in addition to his generous heart, John was well known for his wonderful sense of humor. He especially enjoyed opening his cherished home to close friends for picnics and afternoon boating trips. With his dear wife, Jane, their home was always a center of welcome and love to lifelong friends and family. He will be remembered as a devout Christian, and wonderful, loving husband, father and grandfather. The loss of this precious friend will be felt by many who enjoyed the warmth of his company through the years.

He was preceded in death by his parents, his brother, Bob Richards, and sister, Jane Palma. He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Jane Snoddy Richards, daughter, Sharon Richards Cowan (Mike), two grandchildren, Katie Cowan and Caroline Cowan, his sister Kathy Faux, and numerous nieces and nephews.

A private graveside service will be held at Tri-Cities Memorial Gardens on Wednesday, January 20, 2021 with Bro. Stan Dean officiating. Elkins Funeral Home is assisting the family.  Honorary pallbearers will be Rex Keeton, Larry Creel, Jerry Dean, Richard Brackin, Jim Smith, and Bill Schroeder.

The family thanks Dr. Robert Mann and Dr. Sean Rhuland for their expert care of John and wishes to express a tremendous amount of gratitude to Judy Duffey and Judy Cooley who cared for him with the utmost kindness and respect. Special thanks also go to Home Instead and Kindred Home Health Care and Hospice for their compassionate care and support.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital or the American Heart Association.