Obituary for Todd Richards
February 25, 1962 – August 19, 2021
We are so sad to announce the passing of our beloved husband, father, and friend, Todd Richards, who died of prostate cancer, peacefully at home on August 19th surrounded by family and friends. Everyone that knew Todd thought he should write a book about his life, but he preferred to tell it in bits and pieces. Todd’s parents were both addicted to drugs and alcohol. He and his siblings had a very unstable childhood. By the time his mom died, when he was seven, he and his sister Kari had already been separated from their other two siblings. He and Kari were able to stay together through several family caregivers, sometimes suffering abuse and neglect. When Todd was nine, his dad took them to their Aunt Pat and Uncle Lou’s house. They never saw their father again. This was the place he grew to know as home. He and Kari were raised with 4 female cousins, whom they called sisters. They had a good home filled with lots of happy childhood memories. However, as with many children who live through trauma, Todd had a difficult time assimilating into family life. He described it as “not trusting adults”. He began drinking the summer after eighth grade and for the next several years he was in and out of juvenile hall, foster homes, and friend’s homes. When he was fourteen he jumped on a freight train out of Colfax and began his life as a homeless youth. It would be impossible to describe his sixteen years as a homeless person. He traveled all over the U.S. on trains. He had devastating stories of the abuse and trauma he endured, most of which no one will ever be able to understand. He also had the most beautiful stories of how good people can be. Stories of how people’s kindness and care saved his life. When Todd was 30, his sisters talked him into rehab. He went through the Lovett recovery program twice, six months apart, and that is where our story begins. Todd and his wife Kim met in July of 1992. They shared 29 years together. They had 3 daughters, Katie, Casey, and Abby. Later fostering and adopting three sons, Isaiah, Sam, and Jonathon. Todd was an amazing husband and father, always sharing jokes, wisdom, and quality time with his family. If you spent any time around him, it was evident he loved his family dearly. In fact, most people who crossed paths with him got to hear lots and lots about his wife and about each of his kids. Todd made a point to raise his kids to be kind, understanding, compassionate, and forgiving people. He also made a point to instill a strong sense of feminism in us all. Maybe it’s because he grew up with five sisters, but Todd was a feminist before it was cool and acceptable for a man. One of Todd’s greatest traits was his passion. He considered his life after rehab to be a second chance for him and a way to repay back some of the harm that he caused others in his younger years. He spent his years in fatherhood, sharing his passion for cooking, at school fundraisers and the county fair. He also shared his enthusiasm for softball, becoming a girls’ softball coach for many years and even playing a bit himself. He was known quite well for his amazing cheesecakes, and christmas tamales, claiming to have gained his love for cooking from his aunt, and his skill from the Nevada County jail. He spent his entire life fishing with his friends. Each year camping, our favorite experience was taking turns fishing with the “camp dads”, and laughing about everything we hooked that wasn’t a fish, including each other. One of the most amazing things about him was his honesty about his past. He never shied away from a chance to show people that you can’t judge anyone by their past. This honesty is what kept him humble and compassionate towards others. He believed that love was an unconditional force and that the only thing that separates people is how we look at each other. He chose to look at all people at face value apart from society’s labels. He believed in second chances and approached every situation with empathy, perhaps because of his past, but I believe it’s just what was true to his heart. His legacy of his kindness, compassion, and unwavering love is what we would like to pass on to all who took the time to read this and learn, just a little, about the man we all loved so much. Todd’s story was a perfect representation of how a little kindness and compassion can alter someone’s life forever. We hope that his story will remind everyone to be kind to strangers. We know that Todd touched the lives of many people in this community. We are having a celebration of life on Monday September 20th at 5pm at the Condon Park picnic area. All are invited and please bring your favorite memories to share with his family.
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