Mrs. Richards was born in West Boylston, Mass. in 1925, graduated from its high school in 1944 and was accepted into the Registered Nursing program of the Cadet Corps, graduating in 1947 from the Leominster Hospital School of Nursing. The daughter of Italian immigrants, her childhood was spent helping her parents raise vegetables and working at the family fruit stand in West Boylston. She married Carl Joseph Richards in 1948 in West Boylston and moved to Holyoke, Mass. They moved to Yarmouth in 1954, when Carl was named advertising director for the Freeport-based shoe company, E.E. Taylor Corporation. Mrs. Richards raised her two girls and resumed her nursing career, most of which was spent at the Maine Medical Center. She spent decades volunteering in public school athletic physical and inoculation clinics and was an active member of the Yarmouth Health Council for over 40 years, including serving for a time as its president.
She loved Maine, her family, her neighborhood and the outdoors, especially ocean beaches. In the winter, for her children, she created "snow mountains" in her front yard for sliding, igloos for hiding and snow creatures to ride; she flooded her backyard to make a large skating rink. In the summers she cleaned out the neighborhood brook so the children could watch the pollywogs and water spiders, planting moss along the banks. She loved to pick blueberries and knew secret high bush locations. Until recently, she enjoyed taking walks and riding her bike.
Upon their retirement, Mr. and Mrs. Richards annually wintered in Dunedin, Fla., in a mobile home community they came to love and where she served as a volunteer for Pinellas County Hospice. However, her favorite place was her own backyard in Yarmouth, where she always had a vegetable garden whose bounty she shared with her neighborhood friends of 50 years and a deck on which she enjoyed sunshine and reading.
She was predeceased by her husband, Carl, in 1994, by her parents, Marino and Cesira Morazzini and by her sister, Hilda Natola. She is survived by her daughters, Attorney Nancy Richards-Stower of Scituate, Mass. and Nancy's husband, Rev. Richard Stower and Dr. Debbie R. Cooper, of West Chester, Pa. and her husband, William Cooper; a grandson, Jonathan D. Stower of Concord, Mass. and a brother, Marino Morazzini of West Boylston, Mass.
A private memorial celebration will be held at a later date.
At her request, contributions in her memory may be made to Hospice of Southern Maine, hospiceofsouthermaine.org. Share memories at www.funeralalternatives.net.