Sunday, December 8, 2019
3:00 PM to 6:00 PM EST
Betzler Life Story Funeral Homes
6080 Stadium Drive
Kalamazoo, MI 49009
Food and drinks will be served.
At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
Dave Richmond was a kind and generous man through and through. A loving husband, supportive dad, and fun-loving Papa, he earned a wealth of abundant memories and special moments with the ones he loved. Dave was known for his optimistic outlook, opinionated personality, and his special way with people. Everyone was made to feel comfortable in his presence. Deeply loved, there is no doubt that his wisdom and guidance will be deeply missed by his many special friends and loved ones.
With the economy still suffering as a result of the Great Depression, and the promise of a newly elected president who pledged to make American lives better, Gardner and Eleanor (Knowlton) Richmond welcomed home their newborn son, David on July 18, 1934, in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Born an only child, the family relocated to the Kalamazoo area where his father modeled a lifetime of hard work and dedication at the Upjohn Company while his mother taught Kindergarten at Woodward Elementary School. Dave was their pride and joy!
Growing up in the Milwood neighborhood, Dave had his fair share of childhood mischief. He earned the nickname, Spider, during his years at St. Joseph Elementary yet never fully divulged how he obtained it! He was a typical adolescent who found great pleasure in taking risks and surviving adventures. Dave loved all sports, yet found football to be his niche during his years at St. Augustine Catholic High School. Dave continued his passion for challenging himself by enlisting with the United States Army just prior to graduation. Stationed in Germany, he was very proud of his two years of service during the Cold War working in the infantry division and helping with explosives. After he was discharged, he used his GI funds to earn a business degree from Western Michigan University. During his years as a Bronco, Dave balanced his time between his studies and his time with the Delta Upsilon fraternity. His love of people and his natural ability to draw himself to others were seen in the many lasting friendships he made during his college days.
Not to be forgotten was the meeting of the woman who would change the course of his life forever, Donna Murphy! Dave was working at a party store in the St. Joseph area and met Donna one night at Babe’s Lounge in Benton Harbor. His curly locks and sense of humor had her interested right from the start, and the rest was history! After a couple of years of dating, the happy couple joined in marriage on March 17, 1961, at St. Joseph Catholic Church in St. Joseph. Eager to start a family, they welcomed home three wonderful children; Jason, Gavin, and Amy in their early years. Dave sought more stable positions to provide for the needs of his growing family. They moved to Indiana for a few years when he accepted a position as an insurance salesman for farming equipment. He later transferred back to Michigan with the State Farm Insurance Agency in Jackson for another four years before landing his lifetime career with John Deere writing insurance contracts for large farming equipment.
As a father, Dave raised each of his children with strong values and strict rules. Although he was seen as the disciplinarian of the family, he was also a good listener always offering his insightful wisdom and advice. He often held expectations of them around the house as well when it came to pitching in and completing chores. He felt it was just a part of being a member of the family and that he shouldn’t have to remind them of what needed to be done. He modeled for them a strong work ethic and a sense of pride in being self-sufficient and independent as they prepared for adulthood. Sadly, he and Donna suffered any parent’s worst nightmare when their oldest son, Jason, was killed by a drunk driver in 1988. They leaned on their faith and the strength for their extended family and friends to see them through their incredible loss.
Dave and Donna held many special interests and were a perfect match for one another! Social by nature, they loved to dance over the years as well as play Bridge. They often had potlucks during their years in Jackson and shared Hobo dinners with neighbors. During their years back in the Milwood neighborhood of Kalamazoo, Dave remained close to many of his friends from his college fraternity. He and Donna continued their love of hosting gatherings and playing Bridge at the Kalamazoo Bridge Center. They never turned down an opportunity to be with people and a typical Friday night was spent at Fletcher’s Pub with friends. Outgoing and kind-hearted, they both enjoyed sharing laughter, drinks, and friendship with many lucky folks over the years.
By the age of sixty, Dave retired from a career he loved. His years at John Deere had earned him a wonderful reputation among the farming community. As a matter of fact, any time he was at the Kalamazoo Bank Street Farmer’s Market he was chatting up a storm with vendors and strangers alike! He and Donna purchased a trailer in South Haven where they enjoyed continuing their traditions of hosting friends for drinks and laughter for twenty years. They enjoyed taking their dingy up the Black River, hanging at the pool, and visiting the American Legion.
When the harsh Michigan winters were approaching, they would take off for Gulf Shores, Alabama. Snowbirds for the past twenty years, they enjoyed countless warm evenings at the beachside bars listening to local music. A big fan of Jimmy Buffet, Bob Seger, and jazz music, it was quite common for him to support the local musicians by purchasing one of their CDs after an evening out! Over the years he had collected countless sweatshirts and t-shirts from all the bars and places they visited. Dave also enjoyed attending the Mardi Gras parties and collecting beads! An avid fan of trivia, Dave enjoyed orchestrating game nights at their condo. He was tough to beat, so often times they would resort to just reading the Trivial Pursuit cards just for fun! Although he was a big fan of Bell’s Best Brown Ale, Miller Light, and Miller Genuine Draft, he never went to bed without his routine of either a Root Beer float or a bowl of ice cream each and every night!
Dave savored his years as Papa. He never could get enough of making his grandchildren giggle and laugh over the years. Watching them mature into adults was his greatest blessing. He often gifted them with practical gifts at Christmas time such as washer fluid or flashlights from the local B & G Discount, but they wouldn’t have it any other way as they knew that each gift represented his steadfast love. He was immensely proud of each of them. Sadly, Dave suffered a massive heart attack on November 16th sending him to the hospital, yet he was able to come home to be with his family. Lucky for him he was also able to watch his Notre Dame Fighting Irish crush the Stanford Cardinals in a 45-24 victory and retain the Legends Trophy! May his loved ones never doubt that amazing love he held for each and every one of them and may his memories be eternal.
David G. “Spider” Richmond, age 85, died peacefully at his home on December 2, 2019. Dave was preceded in death by a son, Jason Richmond, in 1988. Members of his family include his wife of fifty-seven years, Donna; two children: Gavin (Tina) Richmond and Amy (Jimmie) Houston; and three grandchildren: Connor, Sam, and Calista. Cremation will take place. Visit with family and friends while sharing food and drinks on Sunday from 3-6 PM at Betzler Life Story Funeral Home, 6080 Stadium Drive, Kalamazoo (269) 375-2900. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at Monday 11 AM at St. Joseph Church (936 Lake St.). A luncheon will follow in the church hall. Please visit Dave’s personal web page at www.BetzlerLifeStory.com, where you can archive a favorite memory or photo and sign his online guestbook before coming to the funeral home. Memorial contributions may be made to Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan.