Anne Marie Richard, 90, of Addison
ADDISON — Anne Marie Richard of Addison, Vt., died Aug. 2, 2021, of congestive heart failure. She was 90.
Rie was a lifelong churchwoman who was committed to what she viewed as God’s call for social justice. With her husband, Bill, she helped establish a drug- and alcohol-addiction counseling service in rural Western Pennsylvania and she worked there as a crisis intervention counselor.
Bill was blind. Such a handicap is hard work for the blind person and his family. Rie accepted all that when she married Bill, and she lived his blindness with him until he died in 2017. Bill and Rie worked as a team in his ministry for the Presbyterian Church and in Rie’s work as a counselor.
When she met and married Bill, Rie fell in love with Vermont and Lake Champlain. These, along with her Christian faith, were to supply the backbone of her married and family life. She reveled in the weather and the sunsets, and boating on the lake with her friends and family.
At 17, she was chosen New York State representative to the Girl Scouts’ 1949 Western Hemisphere Encampment. Rie graduated from Wellesley College in 1953 and gained a master’s degree from Columbia University and Union Theological Seminary in 1954. She was active in the American Association of University Women.
Rie was a great cook and baker. During her formative summer employment at migrant camps in New York and Ohio, she gained her first practical experience that ministry often begins with feeding people. She baked bread every week. A favorite maxim was, “Bread is very forgiving.”
Rie believed in fellowship, friendship and conversation. The strength of her many lifelong friendships stood as testimony to her loyalty. She opened her home and offered a good listening ear as well as a heaping of home-cooked food, good stories, and laughter. She loved the family who brought her up. In her final days she regaled visitors with stories of her childhood, sister and relatives.
Her deep faith led her to work as a supply preacher in small country churches and hospital chaplaincy in Middlebury until well into her late 80s.
Rie was predeceased by her husband of 62 years, William Joshua Richard Jr. She is survived by her sister, Jane Roberts; a daughter, Anne Loseff; a son, Chris Richard; three grandchildren, Rachael Nordby, Christian Nordby and Samuel Richard; and two great-grandchildren, Otto and Olympia Nordby. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that a contribution be made to Weybridge Congregational Church in Weybridge, Vt., 05753 or HOPE, 282 Boardman St., Middlebury, VT 05753. An autumn service of remembrance is being planned.◊
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