Word has been received of the death of Viola Richards, mother of Grace Brethren pastor, Joel Richards, who also serves as president of the Association of Grace Brethren Ministers. Joel is the pastor of the LaLoma Grace Brethren Church in Modesto, Calif. Services will be held Saturday, January 9, 2016, at the LaLoma Grace Brethren Church. Her obituary appears below.
Viola Eleanor Lind Richards was born in Detroit, Mich., on May 14, 1921 of Swedish immigrants, Joel and Ingeborg Lind. She passed away peacefully, surrounded by her children and grandchildren, and entered the rest of her Savior on December 30, 2015.
Viola met and married the joy of her life, William Richards, in 1948, and they moved to California where Bill was called to be a pastor. She served with him until his death in 1970 and continued as a single, working mother to her children who were still in the home. Bill and Viola were blessed with six children.
Viola will be remembered for her commitment to Jesus Christ and her contributions to La Loma Grace Brethren Church, for her delight in her family, for her gift of hospitality, and for her love of games, especially Scrabble. She truly loved visiting her out-of-town family and traveling with them. Her grandchildren have many fond memories of overnight stays in her home, being picked up at school, getting cookies, Pepsi, licorice and ice cream at her house, having her in the stands at their games, and knowing their birthdays would always be remembered.
Viola is preceded in death by her parents, her sister, her husband, and her grandson, Daniel Romero. She is survived by all six of her children: Sharon (Steve) Romero, Joel (Jane Driver), John (Lyn Forte), James, Kathy (Tom) Freitas, and Ruth (Dave) Ramsey. She is also survived by numerous grandchildren and great grandchildren, along with many who consider her their second mom or Grandma Vi.
Visitation will be at Salas Brothers on Friday, January 8, from 4:00 – 8:00 p.m. A graveside service will be held at Lakewood Memorial Park on Saturday, January 9, 2016, at 10:00 a.m. There will be a memorial service to honor and celebrate Viola’s life at La Loma Grace Brethren Church at 1:00 p.m. on the same day.
Two memorials have been set up in Viola’s honor. If you wish you could send one to either La Loma Grace Brethren or Advancing Vibrant Communities. Either gift can be mailed to La Loma Grace at 1315 La Loma Ave. Modesto, CA 95354. Designate your preference please.