At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
Wounded Warrior Project
PO BOX 758517
Topeka, KS 66675
Battle Creek VA Medical Center
5500 Armstrong Road
Battle Creek, MI 49037
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
All who knew Richard Hall would agree that there was never a dull moment when he was around. He had a quick wit, a rather unique sense of humor, and an insatiable zest for life all rolled into one that made him so much fun to be around. A loving husband and outstanding father, perhaps the role Richard treasured most was that of Poppy to the grandchildren he treasured more than life itself. Life was forever changed when he found his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and it was his faith that carried him through the peaks and valleys along his life’s journey. Although he will be deeply missed, Richard will never be forgotten.
It seems only fitting that Richard’s story began during a time that was as colorful as he was. It was the 1950s when Elvis took the music world by storm, James Dean made young girls swoon on the silver screen, and blue jeans became a staple in the average American’s wardrobe. It was on June 16, 1953, that Richard A. Hall made his grand entrance in Kalamazoo, Michigan. He was the oldest of five children to be raised in the family home in Lawton, joined in his family by his younger sisters, Pam, Laura, Dee, and Sandy. His Mother Gloria claimed he was quite a handful, which makes sense to those who knew Richard. His father Hank was a Van Buren County sheriff and later a painter while his mother was a homemaker and home health aide. He loved being outdoors, riding bikes and tinkering with stuff, but hiding from his mom might have been his favorite! Richard attended local schools, including Lawton High School, where he played football. However, he didn’t complete his education at that time. When he was just 17, Richard enlisted in the Marines. He completed his training in boot camp at Camp Pendleton in San Diego, California, being the only one in his platoon to graduate as a Lance Corporal. He was stationed at Camp LeJeune in North Carolina where he was a motor mechanic. Richard was then deployed to Vietnam in 1971 where he bravely fought in combat alongside his brothers for one year. Although many returned to a judgmental nation his chest still swelled with pride. He proudly served his country for five years and was honorably discharged in 1975 to dedicate his love and devotion to his family.
Not to be forgotten during his years in the service was Richard’s introduction to the woman of his dreams. They met by chance at his Aunt Sandy’s house while he was home on leave from the Marines. Her name was Marilyn Shepard and Richard was immediately smitten with what he described as “the most beautiful woman he had ever seen”. They were one of the few who truly experience love at first sight and were married less than two weeks later on December 2, 1972, in Jacksonville, North Carolina. His beautiful new wife then joined him on base to start their new lives together. It was as a young newlywed that Richard was again deployed having to leave behind the love of his life.
Together Richard and Marilyn were blessed with two children, Chad and Tabatha, and he was a family man first and foremost. He was a fun-loving husband and father who taught his children how to truly live life. Richard ran his house like a Marine when it came to structure and routine as well as in taking care of things inside and outside of the house. He was an active part of his children’s lives and integral part of them becoming the adults whom he was so proud of. Richard was a father to Chad’s friends who were in need of a father figure, too, as the Hall home was the place that everyone seemed to gather. Some of their best memories as a family were made on vacations to the Marine Corp Reunion at Cedar Point, and he saw to it that they rarely missed a family reunion. Richard was always the life of the party, and he loved giving anyone who would come within five feet of him a hard time - especially his Aunt Mary. To support his family, Richard worked as a long haul truck driver at Aquatics (Lasco) Bathware. He enjoyed his work and was like a human GPS who could give you turn by turn directions off the top of his head to anywhere in the United States. Marilyn was primarily a homemaker, although she did go to truck driving school to team alongside her husband for about a year before her health left her unable to continue.
Throughout his life Richard was always on the go, and he was a man who knew what he liked. As a young man, his baby was his green Dodge Charger. He was known to put $100 on the dash, taunting the passenger to try to reach it, but since he nailed the gas pedal no one ever stood a chance and he never lost $1! Richard was meticulous with his yard, and in 1988 he bought 10 acres in Lawton that he cleared by hand. He later bought land in Ripley, West Virginia, that was a five mile trek up a two track road to his property where he planned to retire, living almost completely off the grid. Richard was very mechanical, and he was always teaching his kids, and later his grandkids, how to work on cars, and he also loved driving his Kubota tractor. He loved fishing from an early age, and later in life he looked forward to his annual fishing trips to Canada with his best friend, Paul. During their younger years, Richard and Marilyn took motorcycle trips all over the country no matter the weather, and they celebrated their anniversary at his favorite restaurant, Red Lobster, every year. Richard had a chili recipe that he never shared, and he also loved to grill and make an enormous bonfire. Although they had several dogs over the years, his most treasured companion was his Yorkie, Scooter. Later in life Richard was filled with unspeakable joy to become Poppy to his grandchildren. Whether he was teaching them about nature, giving them history pop quizzes, or showing them how to tinker on cars, he was always teaching them something. Richard could be stern with them when needed, but he was always protective of them as well.
Whether he was joking about being the IRS, making a big pot of chili, or tearing around on his four-wheeler, Richard was the heartbeat of wherever he was. He was the eternal optimist, the best prankster, and a self-proclaimed photography expert. Richard’s family knew to never get him started on politics since he was a strong and outspoken Republican, and he also wasn’t afraid to say, “Bite me!” Life will never be the same without Richard here, but the timeless collection of memories that he leaves behind will be forever cherished by those too numerous to count.
Richard A. Hall, of Lawton, went to be with his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on June 17, 2015. Richard’s family includes his loving wife, Marilyn Hall; 2 children: Chad Hall and Tabatha (Anthony) Hampton; 5 grandchildren: Destinee Hampton, Bailee St. Germaine, Chad and Gillianne Hall and Searrah Machell; 2 step-grandchildren: Karissa Hampton and A.J. Hampton; step-great-grandson, Jeremiah Hampton; mother, Gloria Woodruff; 4 sisters: Pam (Herb) Lesniak, Laura Hall, Dee Raymond, and Sandy VanDyken -Hankins; and many nieces and nephews. Richard was preceded in death by his father, Hank VanDyken. Visit with family and friends on Monday from 5:00 – 8:00 p.m. at the Life Story Funeral Home, Betzler & Thompson, 60900 M-40, Paw Paw; 657-3870 where services will be held Tuesday at 2:00 p.m. Burial will take place at Oak Grove Cemetery, Lawton. Please visit www.lifestorynet.com, where you can archive a favorite memory or photo and sign his online guestbook before coming to the funeral home. Memorial donations may be made to Wounded Warrior Project or Battle Creek VA Medical Center.