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Charles H. Richards, 70, of 2721 County Route 47, died Saturday morning at Canton-Potsdam Hospital, Potsdam, where he had been a patient since Nov. 18. Mr. Richards began work at General Motors in 1962, where he worked in various departments, retiring as suggestions coordinator in 2000, after 38 years of service. While at General Motors he was active in the United Auto Workers Union. He was also a self-employed house painter and before his employment with GM worked at the Rialto Theater and the Parkside Lunch in Massena. He also had worked on numerous construction projects, including the Niagara Project and the St. Lawrence Seaway.

Born Aug. 19, 1935, in Norfolk, son of Robert and Ruth Narrow Richards, he attended school in Massena and enlisted in the Army on June 18, 1953. He served with the 508th Airborne Regimental Combat Team and was honorably discharged on June 5, 1956, after serving 13 months in Japan and received the Good Conduct and National Defense medals and the paratroopers glider badge.

He married Grace O. Dashnaw on Sept. 28, 1957, at the First United Methodist Church, Massena, with the Rev. William O. Thomas officiating.

He was a member of the 82nd Airborne Division Association, 508th Airborne Chapter, 82nd Airborne Division, and a past member of the American Legion at Large, based in Albany. He was a former scoutmaster of Troop 12, Norfolk, was an avid New York Yankees baseball fan and Syracuse University sports fan. He enjoyed watching boxing and football and attending his grandchildren's school sports and music activities.

Surviving besides his wife are three sons and a daughter-in-law, Dr. Randy and Lori, Camden, Michael J., Atlanta, Ga., and Stephen A., Massena; a daughter, Diane L. Richards, Sherburne; a sister, Lillian Papandreas, Baltimore, Md.; three brothers and a sister-in-law, Lloyd, Brasher Falls, Raymond, Massena, and Lawrence and Shirley, Syracuse; four grandchildren and a great-grandchild. Four sisters died before him: Ruth M. Lauber on Nov. 20, 2004; Doris K. Savage on Sept. 10, 2000; Evelyn M. Kicklighter on Aug. 20, 1998, and Barbara Ann Richards as an infant. A brother, Robert William, also died before him as a young child.

The funeral will be at 1 p.m. Wednesday at the Donaldson Funeral Home, Massena, with the Rev. James E. Barnes II, pastor of Grace United Methodist Church, officiating. Spring burial with military honors will be in Pine Grove Cemetery, Massena. Calling hours will be 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday at the funeral home. Instead of flowers, donations may be made to local rescue squads and fire departments, Ronald McDonald House, or the Alzheimer's Association of St. Lawrence County.

(Watertown Daily Times, Watertown, NY, 9 Jan 2006, Page D5 - courtesy of Tedd Cocker)

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