Richard Conrad Jager, of Portage, passed away on June 13, 2020, at age 90. He was a much beloved brother, uncle, and friend, and will be missed by all who knew him. Born in 1930, Richard grew up in Detroit, and spent a happy childhood with his sister Phyllis. He loved going to the library, and would return with his bicycle basket full of books; Sherlock Holmes was his favorite. He enjoyed going to the family farm in the summer, fishing with his dad, and road trips in his parents' Chevrolet. He adored music, especially opera. At 18, right out of high school, Richard joined the Gethsemani Trappist Monastary in Kentucky, and studied for 3 years. He then joined the Navy in 1951, serving for 6 years. His goal was to serve on a naval vessel, but the Navy had other plans: he became a mechanic, and later flew reconnaissance planes. His favorite station assignments were Germany and Hawaii. He only sailed on one ship, at the end his military career, which he chose instead of flying. It was while in the Navy that Richard went to his first opera, after which he was hooked. After the military, Richard returned home to Detroit, where he spent time with younger brother Alvin, and his youngest sister, Mary Ann, attended college, and looked for employment. He made his way to Indiana, and finally Chicago, where he lived for the rest of his working life. While studying at the University of Chicago, Richard worked for Marshall Fields, singing in the company choir. Shortly thereafter, he worked in the employment office and built teams for Ford Motor Company in their Chicago plant, where he worked until his retirement. Richard and Chicago were made for each other. He attended Chicago Symphony concerts, theatre, and had season tickets to the Lyric Opera for 50 years. It was in Chicago that Richard met his great friend, Charlie Harrison, and they attended many shows and concerts, both there and in New York City. Richard retired from Ford at age 55, and moved back to Michigan, settling in Portage. With Charlie, he continued his trips to Chicago and New York City, and vacationed in Canada. After Charlie's passing, Richard went on bus trips with the Portage Senior Center, attended shows at the Barn Theatre, and exercised at the Borgess Health Club. It was on a train to Chicago that Richard met Sue Freemire, of Battle Creek, who became his travel and theatre partner, caregiver, and "BFE" for the next 10 years. With Sue, Richard went on train adventures across the country, many to watch Sue's daughter-in-law ice dance in national competitions. He attended Tiger ball games, soccer games, opera, and scores of productions at their beloved Barn Theatre. When they went to an Adele concert in Chicago, Adele saw Richard dancing in the front row, and invited them onstage. They enjoyed birding and breakfast at Bucky's Cafe and Rise N Dine, and watching "Keeping Up Appearances," "Father Brown," and "Poirot." Richard became a beloved member of Sue's family. And he made the best lentil soup. Always a passionate civil and social rights supporter, Richard opposed discrimination, bigotry, and injustice. He was an active voter, an environmentalist who donated to many environmental organizations, and an animal lover. His deck on West Lake was called the "peaceful kingdom" for its variety of birds and wildlife that he fed. A feral cat that Richard named Othercat felt at home there. All were welcome at Richard's Lakeside Diner. Richard believed in "giving back," and for many years was a generous donor to the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Opera Theater, and the Barn Theatre in Augusta. Richard is survived by his brother Alvin (Eileen) Jager, nephews Charles Lewis and Richard E. Jager, nieces Cathy Davis and Sheila Palmer, grandniece Alicia Schooltz, and 6 great-grandnieces and nephews, Sue Freemire and family, Blackcat and Othercat, close friends and neighbors, and many "Barnies." He was preceded in death by his parents Richard A and Anna Mary (Gontowski) Jager, and sisters Phyllis Clendenan and Mary Ann Drouillard. Richard requested that there be no funeral, and any donations be made to the Barn Theatre School in Augusta. Your light will burn bright in our hearts, Richard, as will your kindness. We are all better for having known you.