Walter Herbert Richards
January 14, 1920 ~ October 23, 2021
Resided in: Bryan, Texas
Walter Herbert Richards aged 101 years, 9 months and 9 days left this world on October 23, 2021. Visitation will be Thursday, October 28, 2021, from 5 to 7 pm at the funeral center. Funeral Service will be 10 am, Friday, October 29, 2021 at the funeral center. Interment with Military Honors by the American Legion Earl Graham Post No 159 will follow in Evergreen Cemetery in the Keith Community. Services are in the care of Callaway-Jones Funeral and Cremation Centers, Bryan-College Station.
He was born in Wheelock, Texas on January 14, 1920 but lived most of his life in the Brazos Valley. He attended elementary school in Steep Hollow as well as on the A&M Campus when Consolidated Schools were located on the college campus. He left school after the 8th grade to help support the family.
At the age of 16, Herbert joined the Civilian Conservation Camp (CCC) and was sent to the Groveton/Livingston area. Due to his age, he was assigned the task of making coffee and keeping the coffee hot all day for the workers. For this he received 25 cents per week and his dad received $12.50 per month.
When he returned to Bryan, he worked spreading gravel. He was paid 15 cents a load for every load he could spread, and he remembers spreading 5 to 6 loads per day. He also delivered groceries for Orr Grocery Store.
In 1939 Herbert was introduced to a young lady who rented a room from his older brother. He said he fell in love with her at first sight and knew that he would marry her. On January 20, 1940 Herbert married Margaret Denton and they were married for 73 years until she relocated to Heaven on January 28, 2013.
Herbert enlisted in the Navy in 1944. He served in the Pacific and made five invasions. He was a radar man and also loaded the guns during battle. He served on the USS Alshain. In December 1946 he returned home after 22 months and 15 days in the Navy.
Herbert was called to the ministry at First Free Will Baptist Church. He and Margaret moved their family which included a son Eugene to Nashville, TN where they attended Free Will Baptist Bible College. He graduated in 1949 and the family moved to Brownwood, Texas where he graduated from Howard Payne College.
The family moved to Iola, Texas in 1956 and Herbert began working at the furniture factory in Bryan. While working there he also pastored the Evergreen Free Will Baptist Church in Keith. In 1957 he began teaching at Iola ISD where he taught everything from 5th grade through high school seniors and even coached girls’ basketball. In 1962 he assumed the pastorate of North Zulch Free Will Baptist Church. During this time he also attended Sam Houston State and received his Master’s Degree in Education.
In 1964 the family relocated to Rockport where he taught 5th grade at Fulton Elementary School. He also pastored Christ Free Will Baptist Church and Zion Free Will Baptist Church in Corpus Christi. In 1980 he and Margaret returned to the Keith area and he resumed the pastorate of Evergreen Free Will Baptist Church and taught at Iola ISD until retirement in 1985.
In 1996 Herbert resigned the Evergreen Church. A week later he was elected pastor at the Bright Light Free Will Baptist Church in College Station. He pastored that church until he retired in 2008. He preached his last sermon at Bright Light when he was 93 years old.
He is preceded in death by his parents Will A. Richards and Mary Jane (Keefer) Richards and 7 siblings. His beloved wife Margaret also preceded him in death as did a great grandson Kai Dean and his beloved grandson Dustin Pierce.
Cherishing his memory is his loving family. Survivors include children Dr. Walter E. Richards (Ruth) of Kingwood, Texas and Marilu McDonald of Bryan. He is also survived by 4 grandchildren- Colby Richards (Jennifer) of Groves, Texas, Megan Dean (Chance) of Pflugerville, Texas, Sarah Jones of Seguin and Morgan (Dustin) Pierce of Bryan. He is survived by 8 great grandchildren Taylar, Korin, Alia, Isabella, Kara, Victoria, Cash, and Bristol. He also had 2 great great grandchildren Tucker and TayLynn. He is also survived by a host of nieces, nephews and friends who will miss his advice and his stories.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to New Hope Free Will Baptist Church in care of Marilu McDonald, 2406 Quail Hollow Drive, Bryan, Texas 77802.
The family would like to thank Traditions Home Health for their many years of caring for him as well as Traditions Hospice. Special thanks to the nurses and staff of St. Joseph Hospital for their loving care during his last few days.
“To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord!”
Interment with Military Honors: October 29, 2021 11:45 am
FM 244 @ CR 172
Keith Community (Iola), Texas 77861