Passed away at home in Chilliwack after a valiant struggle with Lou Gehrig’s Disease on April 22, 2005. Gerry was born at St. Felix, Tignish PEI, one of eleven children of Hector and Melina Richard.
He began his schooling in St. Felix but also worked in the family sawmill (J H Richard and Son). The family moved to Bloomfield in 1939 and Gerry worked in the mill at Howlan PEI from 1939 — 1942. In 1942 he joined the RCNVR and did convoy duty until October 1943 when he returned to the family business on essential service.
On January 26, 1943 he had the good fortune to wed Obéline and the couple had four children; Joey, Rose Marie, Olive Marie and William Richard. At the time of his death he lived with daughters, Rose Marie and Olive Marie. He was predeceased by wife, Obé, on July 18, 2001; by his father and mother; two brothers, Victor and Bertie Richard; and two sisters, Emily (Elmer) Blanchard and Rita (Pius) Peters.
He is survived by his sisters, Ann (Bob) Fleming, Alice (Preston) Hogan, and Angela Gallant; his brothers, Art (Betty) Richard, Alphonse (Jean) Richard and Joseph Richard; and his four children, their spouses, grand children, great grand children, one great great grandchild, numerous cousins and military, logging and fishing friends. He loved fishing on the Vedder and many other streams and when his health precluded that, he still loved to visit the Vedder and tell fish stories with his angling friends. He also loved music, was a good singer, and was known to have a drink of rum. He played the violin well.
Gerry had a varied and successful career pattern. After WWII, he drove an oil and gas truck for KC Irving Ltd, ran a rotary saw for MF Schurman in Summerside PEI for two years, hauled fruit and lobster in Canada and the United States and, from 1956 until 1977, served with the Royal Canadian Engineers. He attained Mechanic and Heavy Equipment qualifications and retired from the service as a Warrant Officer.
He served in Chilliwack BC, northern Germany and Egypt and was an instructor of Heavy Equipment at the Royal Canadian School of Military Engineering for service and Inuit personnel. After his retirement from the military he worked as a back hoe operator for Purdy Bear Creek and logged for four years with MacMillan Blodell on the Queen Charlotte Islands. He had a small engine repair shop on Watson Road in Sardis for over five years but retired from that and devoted himself to Obé and fishing on the Vedder river.
His violin will not be heard in Chilliwack now but he will be serenading Obé in his new location. The world will be a poorer place.
Funeral Mass will be held at 10:30 am on Thursday, April 28, 2005 from St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Chilliwack with a reception to follow from the Vedder Legion in Vedder Crossing.
Donations in Gerry’s name would be gratefully accepted to the A.L.S. Society.