Greggory Lewis Richards, 51, of Grandview passed away at home on Thursday, Aug. 23, 2012, after injuries sustained from a tragic heavy machinery accident on Rattle Snake Hill.
He was born April 20, 1961 at Kennewick General Hospital, the oldest child of Bill and Sandy (Spence) Richards.
Gregg grew up in Grandview, at his parents gravel pit.
He loved to work on the equipment with his family.
He was always telling his kids stories of the fun they all had playing and building tunnels and forts.
After graduating from Grandview High School in 1979, Gregg married the love of his life and best friend, Clari Gehrke-Storm, in Yakima on Jan. 31, 1981.Three years later they had their first child Ashley Adair, and.shortly thereafter they moved to California, where they met and made more friends than they could count.
While in California, Gregg became a skilled finish carpenter. He also spent several years working at one of his greatest loves, operating heavy equipment. While in California, Gregg and Clari welcomed their son Lukas Greggory.
They had a lot of fun taking their kids to the beach and Disneyland. Ashley still has happy memories of learning to ride her bike in the long driveway with her dad and sitting around the camp fire in the yard singing songs by The Judds and Garth Brooks with her parents, while baby Luke slept nearby.
In 1990 Gregg moved his family back to Grandview, to live at the old family homestead at the gravel pit. Upon his return to Washington, he started Precision Builders and constructed many beautiful custom homes throughout the Yakima and Columbia valleys.
At home with his family, Gregg loved taking Luke and Ashley on walks around the property, telling them stories of his childhood, picking fruit from the trees and sledding in the winter.
Luke is especially fond of the memories he has with his dad, such as finding an owl's nest and inspecting all of the owl pellets they found down below.
Gregg had the best sense of humor. You could always count on him for a good joke or a witty comment. He loved to joke around with everyone. One of his favorite things to do was to answer the phone pretending you just woke him up, or he was sick. On more than one occasion, he would yell out, "pretend you're asleep!" and whoever was with him had to immediately 'fall' asleep whether driving the car, eating in a restaurant or waiting for friends to come in the door.
Gregg loved to be outside, he loved to go boating, scuba diving, skiing, going to the drag races with Luke. You name it he would try it, and more often than not he'd come home with some kind of injury. You could almost guarantee that at any given time you would see him with a bruise or cut on his bald head. But he never let that stop him.
He always pushed his kids to try new things. His favorite motivating statement was to tell them, "It'll put hair on your chest!"
There were so many things that Gregg loved. He loved seeing his wife Clari drive his trucks, saying how hot she looked in the driver's seat. Gregg loved the hot weather, the hotter the better, but he knew how much Clari loved the cold, so he always said he would have to find the perfect place for them to retire. Somewhere that they could have a nice hot beach for him and cool snowy mountains close by for Clari. But most of all he loved being a member of the Christian Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses. He was baptized in 1980.
Volunteering was his favorite thing to do, whether it was within the congregation, during meetings, in the preaching work or working with the regional building committee building new Kingdom Halls all throughout the state.
He loved to help out in any way that he could. Gregg met and studied the Bible with many people, all of whom he cared for and treated like family. One of the things Gregg loved to share with people was the resurrection hope. (Acts 24:15) All of his family and friends that love him look forward to one day seeing him in the paradise on earth, after the resurrection.(Luke 23:43)
Gregg had so many friends. Everywhere he went he collected them. There was never a person who met Gregg that didn't immediately like him. He was always the first to help anyone. Everyone knew they could call him anytime, for anything, and he would be there. He had a unique ability to sense when someone needed a friend. More than one person could tell stories of being sad or depressed or simply in need of a good venting, and then out of the blue Gregg would call just to see how they were doing. He had the ability to say just the right thing, in just the right way that would leave a person feeling so much better. He was an amazing man; he touched so many people's lives. Some people would even say he was, "Legen......wait for it....dary!!"
Gregg is survived by his wife of 31 years, Clari of Grandview; daughter, Ashley (Felix Jr) Barrera of Sunnyside; son, Lukas Richards of Richland; grandchildren, Xiomara and Felix III (aka Trae); parents, Bill and Sandy Richards of Grandview; brothers, Brent Richards of Lovell, Wyo., David (Michelle) Richards and Aaron (Jill) Richards, all of Prosser; sisters, Billie (Doug) Nance of Spokane, Brenda Richardson of Port Ludlow, Rita (Jeff) Moore of Prosser and Robin (Dave) Ryan of Kennewick; his closest cousin, Tammy (Dirk) Nicks of Fox Island; as well as numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, and close family friends.
The family would like to extend a special thank you to all of the staff of the Kadlec ICU, especially Joy, who made dad's stay as easy and peaceful as possible. A special thank you also, to all those with the Lower Valley Hospice who took special care to make sure dad's final hours at home were as comfortable as possible.
Memorial services will be held Saturday, Sept. 1, 2012, at 2 p.m. in the Silver Bronze room at Red Lion in Pasco.
Please feel free to sign the guest book on-line at www.prosserfuneralhome.com
Prosser Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.