Richard was born on May 31, 1920, at home on the family farm in Sunfield Township, Eaton County, Michigan. Richard succumbed to the debilities of old age on June 18, 2016, at the age of 96. He was preceded in death by his parents, Howard and Grace (Culbert) Black; his wife of 66 years, Helen; sister, Ellen L. Stewart and her husband, Leo; brother, Benard “Bud” and his wife, Irmgard; and brother, Edward. He is survived by sister-in-law Eunice Black and by many nieces, nephews, and friends.
Richard attended the Woodland School where he graduated from the 12th grade. He continued his education for an additional year at Lansing Business University.
Richard was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1942, serving in several posts including 16 months in Greenland in the Air Transport Command 135th AACS Squadron, 765th AAF Base Unit as a Cryptographic Technician and Teletype Operator. He was honorably discharged in 1946 and returned to work at the Oldsmobile Division of General Motors, retiring in 1982 after 41 years. He worked in several departments during his career, with his final assignment in the Tool Design Section of the Production Engineering Department handling clerical duties.
Richard married his wife, Helen, in October of 1946 at the Judson Memorial Baptist Church in Lansing. The couple honeymooned at Niagara Falls. Richard and Helen enjoyed traveling across the United States visiting relatives, and browsing through antique shops in most of the lower 48 states. Helen enjoyed collecting fine glassware, while Richard’s passions included clocks and inkwells. Richard’s hobbies also included woodworking and stained glass.
Richard and Helen were active, long-time members of South Church in Lansing, serving in various capacities including the Sunday School and, after retirement, as a helper and visitor for many senior members of the church. Richard belonged to the GM Lansing Salaried Retirees Club and attended monthly luncheon meetings for many years.
The funeral service will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Wednesday, June 22, 2016, at South Church, 5250 Cornerstone Dr., Lansing, with visitation on Tuesday from 2:00-4:00 p.m. and 6:00-8:00 p.m. at the Estes-Leadley Greater Lansing Chapel. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be sent to South Church or to the R.E. Olds Transportation Museum.