Charles's Story

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ORONO - Charles Davis Richards, 95, passed away Friday, October 16, 2015 at his home in Orono. He was born May 14, 1920 at the home of his maternal grandparents in Cumberland, Maryland, the son of William Carl Richards, Esq. and Emma Ridgely (Wolfe) Richards. He was married for over sixty years to Kathryn E. (Rollene) Richards who predeceased him.

Charles was a graduate of Wheaton College, Wheaton, Illinois and received his doctoral degree from the University of Michigan. He served in the U.S. Army during World War II in various locations around the Pacific. In 1952, he accepted a professorship at the Botany Department of the University of Maine, Orono where he taught until 1982, retiring with professor emeritus status. He was a noted botanist and a member and president of the Jocelyn Botanical Society of Maine. During his career he was requested by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to investigate the flora of the St. John River Valley at which time he found the Furbish Lousewort, an endangered plant species not recently identified in Maine. After retirement, he spent many years at his cottage on Great Wass Island in the Town of Beals, Maine, cultivating a most extraordinary flower and moss garden which was featured in several prominent magazines including Downeast Magazine and House and Garden. Charles enjoyed traveling with his wife Kathryn to many destinations around the world including Africa, Turkey, Great Britain, Australia and Hawaii.

Charles is survived by his five children and their spouses, Laurence D. Richards and his wife Jane of Richmond Indiana, Irene L. Inman and her husband Kerry of Abington, Pennsylvania, William D. Richards and his wife Donna of Scotia, New York, Donald R. Richards and his wife Laurel of Rockport, Maine and Kenneth R. Richards and his wife Stephanie of Bloomington, Illinois. He is additionally survived by 13 grandchildren and 14 great grandchildren.

No funeral will be held but a a gathering of family and friends will be held next summer to remember him and his legacy. In lieu of flowers the family would encourage gifts in his name be made to the Orono Public Library or the Jonesport Public Library.
Published on  October 22, 2015
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