Jennie Richards

Jan 12th 1927 - Feb 15th 2013

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With an energy all her own, Jennie Richards enjoyed life filled with family, friends and many wonderful experiences and interests. She was an independent, creative, and energetic spirit.

Jennie's story began on January 12, 1927 in Yale, Michigan. The youngest of two daughters, her father was the proprietor of Hutton’s Hardware Store. Her mother, a homemaker, remained at home with Jennie and her older sister, Doris. Her father was also an accomplished musician, who involved his family in his musical interests, and even created a few homespun records featuring his daughters singing. Jennie experienced childhood as a tomboy, always up for adventure. She especially enjoyed attending camp each summer and skating with her friends in the winter.

Jennie attended public school in Yale. After graduating from high school, she went on to attend Michigan State University, and graduated with a degree in Elementary Education. While at MSU, true to her spirit, when given money to purchase a dress for an upcoming dance, she chose to spend it on skis instead. Even though she absolutely loved to dance, she also loved to ski.

While growing up in Yale, Jennie met a young man named Bill Richards. After his return from the Army, Bill occasionally worked in his grandfather's clothing store in Yale, where he and Jennie met once again. In 1948, they were married in the home of Jennie’s parents and spent their honeymoon skiing Caberfae in Cadillac.

Jennie and Bill began their married life in Lansing where Jennie began her teaching career at Maplewood School. Later, they moved to St. Johns and raised six children: Polly, Lynn, Chris, Jill, Jay, and Jeff.

Jennie returned to education as a teacher's aid when most of her children were grown. For a time, she worked with special education students at the Intermediate School District in St. Johns. As a longtime member of the First Congregational Church of St. Johns, Jennie was active in the church and most recently, served the Baby Pantry and the Friendly Service Committee.

Jennie and Bill were life- long companions and there were many interests they had in common. They enjoyed skiing, dancing, sailing and canoeing. In addition, they shared musical interests, friends, and sports, most notably following the girl’s MSU volleyball games for several years.

Over the years, Jennie enjoyed artistic endeavors such as basket making, flower arranging and playing recorder in a quintet. Her greatest passion was her garden, an interest she began as a child working with her father, in his garden in Yale. Jennie was an avid reader and her friends and family were an very important part of her life. She was an attentive, enthusiastic friend, mother and spouse.

Jennie will be dearly missed.

Jennie D. Richards, age 86, passed away Friday, February 15, 2013 in Lansing, Michigan. Jennie was a loving wife of Bill Richards, Jr.; devoted mother of Polly, Lynn (Tom) Quinn, Chris (Martha), Jill, Jay (Kristin), and Jeff; grandmother of Leslie, Melissa, Kate, Jacob, Alec, and Sammy; great-grandmother of Will, Aulora, and Haley. Jennie was surrounded by a wonderful extended family, including many nieces, nephews, dear friends and neighbors. She was preceded in death by her parents, Clifford and Marjorie, sister Doris, and grandson, Jonathan.

A Memorial service will be held at 1:00 PM Saturday, March 23, 2013 at the First Congregational Church of St. Johns, 100 Maple Street. Her family will receive friends from 11:00 AM to 12:50 PM prior to the service. There will also be a luncheon following the service. Memorial contributions may be made to the First Congregational Church of St. Johns or to a charity of the donor’s choice. To learn more about Jennie, view her Life Story film, share a memory and photo, please visit her personal webpage at Her family is being served by the Osgood Funeral Home-St. Johns.

Jennie Richards