July 1, 1939 – January 20, 2020
David “Dave” Richards died peacefully on January 20, 2020. Born July 1st, 1939, he is survived by his daughter
Gillian Richards, his brother Brian Richards, and his sister Judy Nolan.
Dave was born and raised in Vernon. He was the eldest grandson of pioneer Rubin Swift who arrived in Vernon in 1889. As a boy, Dave loved exploring the surrounding hills, spending time among them hiking and camping, often with his bother Brian, a fellow Scout. His appreciation for the outdoors, which lasted a lifetime, was learned from his parents Ann and Bob Richards who were both Scout leaders in Vernon. He became an avid canoeist, cross-country skier, cyclist, and hiker, and was a member of the Vernon Naturalist’s Club. With friends, he took many extended bicycle, canoe, backpacking, and cross-country ski trips throughout BC. Dave was also a skilled badminton and tennis player, both of which he enjoyed until the last few years of his life.
After high school, Dave moved to the Lower Mainland to train as a psychiatric nurse. He met his first wife Carol (mother to his daughter Gillian) during this time. Dave eventually switched to a career as a federal meat inspector, which lasted until his retirement in 1996. He moved back to his beloved hometown of Vernon in 1979 where he lived the rest of his life.
For decades, Dave was a proud and hard- working member of the NDP. His political activism, which included work within his union, was rooted in his concerns for social justice, human rights, and environmental issues. Dave was also deeply interested in local history and was among the founding members of the Vernon and District Heritage Society. He spearheaded restoration projects, public awareness, and education of Vernon’s important physical and built history. Among his accomplishments was the stabilization of the old creamery on East Vernon Road, as well as the relocation of Luc Giourard’s cabin back to its original location adjacent to the Schubert Centre at the western end of 30th Avenue. Dave was also a recipient of the Paddy Mackie Heritage Award.
A love of music was another of Dave’s enduring passions. He enjoyed jazz, singing baritone in his community choir, and sang for many years with Vernon’s barbershop chorus the Timbretones. He was one of the founding members of Vernon’s Jazz Club and loved to dance the night away on Saturday jazz nights.
Dave’s family would like to thank all the caring people, including the staff at Noric House, who helped make his life as full and independent as possible these last few years.
A “Celebration of Life” will be held on Sunday, May 31st from 1 pm to 3 pm at the Mackie Lake House: 7804 Kidston Rd, Coldstream, BC. Expressions of sympathy may be offered at www.vernonfuneralhome.com
Vernon Funeral Home
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