Alan Howard Richards, 73, passed away at home in Cottage Grove, OR Tuesday Jan 7, 2020. Just like he lived his life, he fought to the end zone with all his one liners. “Farm house! Right arm! Out of socket!”
He was born in Eugene March 19, 1946 to Stormin’ Norman and Kathleen Daugherty Richards, joining his big brother Mark.
Alan was involved in sports from an early age as an athlete, a coach, and an umpire. He couldn’t wait to be outside, often hosting competitive games in the backyard. Playing ball at Kelly Field was a fond memory for him.
He had long standing records as a running back and a shot putter at Cottage Grove High School and loved and adored his football coach Al Simpson.
Alan also very much enjoyed playing the trombone in the Dixieland Band and the Starlighters.
After graduating high school in 1964, Alan gathered life experiences through his time playing football both at the University of Oregon while in “short term parking” and the Marine Corps where he was also First Chair in the President's Own Marching Band. His football and music careers then came to a close and his life as a husband and dad began.
He was a kind, loving, and gentle dad with a few spoonfuls of discipline.
His legacy continued to build through his kind and generous soul. He was the owner of Alan Richards Enterprises and later Coaches’ Athletics but much more enjoyed his time as coach, mentor, and influencer to future generations. Alan shared his knowledge and donated many hours to “make hard work fun!” Leading by example Alan was a hard worker and is known for his extraordinary lawn care both at home and at the ball fields, generosity, “nebulous” information, and one liners.
As Alan aged and his health declined, he became an avid crossword puzzler and had a ten year solitaire competition with his favorite child. He won.
Humor and tenacity defined Alan. When asked by the hospice nurse if he felt hot, he responded, “I used to be a hot item!” That was Alan! Known to many as a tough and phenomenal athlete, a talented musician, son, brother, uncle, friend, “stupid old guy,” we knew him as the loving, laughing, generous dad and papa who was happiest knowing the love of his life, his “trophy wife,” Leah Patten Richards was there.
Alan is survived by his wife Leah, children Wendy (Bob) Shepard, Matt Richards, Andrea (Mike) Parker, Kendall (Jake) Burnham. His grandchildren Alex Parker, Quinn Parker, Payton Burnham, and Ty Burnham. His brother Mark (Cheryl) Richards as well as nieces, nephews, and cousins. And of course Cash, his favorite labradud.
A Celebration of Life will be held Saturday Jan 25, 2020, 11:00am at First Presbyterian Church, 216 S Third St, Cottage Grove, OR 97424
“If I’m not there start without me!”
We want to thank Dr. Khuram Ameen for his friendship and having Alan’s back. Thank you to Cascade Health Hospice nurses Dale, Holly, and Annie. Your care was amazing, we are extremely grateful. Thank you to cousin Shannon Daugherty for your invaluable advice and to Tami at Smith Lund Mills.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Cottage Grove High School Music/Band Program or Churchill High School Athletics.