Nov. 12, 1915 - Sept. 26, 2008
STRATTON-- Mary Esther Richards, 92, formerly of Stratton, died Friday (Sept.26, 2008), at Community Hospital in McCook.
She was born Nov. 12, 1915, near Coffee, Mo., to James Thomas and Edna Ursula (Ellis) O'Dell. In 1924, she moved with her family to Nebraska, living near Beverly, and later, on a farm east of Stratton. She was a graduate of Stratton High School.
She taught school for two years at District 50 south of Stratton, before moving back to Missouri with her family in 1935.
In 1938, she married Willard Dale "Bill" Richards. They settled on a farm north of Stratton, where they raised Hereford cattle, hogs, horses, and other livestock.
She returned to teaching where she taught in the Eden Precinct and Palisade. She attended Normal School, McCook Community College, and later received her teaching degree from Kearney State Teachers College in 1970. She retired in 1983, after more than 29 years of teaching in Dundy County and Hitchcock County schools.
The couple made their retirement home in Stratton.
She was a member of Community United Methodist Church in Stratton, and was active in the United Methodist Women over the years. She also served as a 4-H Leader. She and her husband, also acted in the melodrama during the Stratton Fall Festival for several years.
She was preceded in death by her parents, James and Edna O'Dell; her husband, Willard; brother, James O'Dell; and sister, Velma McQue.
Survivors include her sons, Thomas Richards and wife, Letty and Tim Richards and companion, Joann Walters, all of McCook; six grandchildren; 14 great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
Funeral services will be Wednesday, 11 a.m. (CST) at Community United Methodist Church in Stratton with the Rev. Brian Fong officiating. Interment will follow at Pleasant View Cemetery north of Stratton.
A viewing will be Tuesday from 2 - 6p.m., at the church.
Memorials may be given in her name.
Arrangements are under the direction of Forch Funeral Chapel of Stratton.