Memorials


Dr. Harry Randolph Richards was the son of Gilbert and Eva Belle Amos Richards. He was born in Warren County Kentucky on October 8, 1927 in the community of Riverside, a "suburb" of Richardsville. He enjoyed telling about his childhood near the confluence of Barren and Green Rivers and the adventures on the farm as well as in school.

Randolph graduated from Richardsville high school in 1945 and Western Kentucky University in 1953. In 1954, Randolph earned a master's degree in agronomy at the University of Wisconsin. In 1954 and 1955, Randolph was involved in agriculture education classes at the University of Kentucky and in research work at the Western Kentucky Experiment Substation in Princeton Kentucky.

As Randolph yearned for more education in agriculture, he worked on a doctorate in genetics and plant breeding at Purdue University. He received his doctorate in 1960. Upon leaving the Experiment Substation in 1963, Randolph began teaching agriculture and biology at Western Kentucky University.

In 1966, Randolph started his career as a well-known University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Agriculture Agent for Allen County Kentucky. He immensely enjoyed his thirty-two years serving the south central Kentucky area. His passions were meeting people and sharing the knowledge of farm life and its productivity. These passions became evident when he decided it was time for action.

One such case was in the 1970's as a debate ensued about an official state tree and the Kentucky coffee tree stood at the forefront. He campaigned vigorously to remind officials that pioneers used the tulip popular tree to build cabins and canoes to navigate the streams and that it is a tree of honor for Kentuckians. Today we salute the tulip popular as our state tree.

Another passion Randolph embraced was the world of beekeeping. He was the third generation of the Richards family with the knowledge and enthusiasm of an insect that affects our daily lives in numerous ways. Randolph was instrumental in revitalizing a beekeeping association in Allen County in 1999. He invited three or four new beekeepers to his home and presented the idea to begin meeting monthly. History now recalls some of the adventures as the club buzzed to life and participated in state and county agriculture projects with education and fellowship.

He was always supportive in each endeavor and served as president as well as the sergeant at arms. His monthly report of "What's Blooming" became a highlight in the club and was adopted in other clubs as well. He was a member of and served as an officer in the Nashville, Tennessee Beekeepers Association, Northern Tennessee Beekeepers, Tennessee State Beekeepers, Kentucky State Beekeepers as well as a presenter of educational programs to various clubs. He was honored in 2006 as Kentucky State Beekeeper of the Year and was the sergeant at arms in the Kentucky State Beekeepers when he died in 2013.

Other community organizations Randolph served in included the Scottsville Community American Red Cross Blood Mobile Coordinator (a fourteen plus gallon blood donor), Scottsville United Methodist Church and the Wednesday Morning Breakfast Club

In June 2013, cancer was detected in the upper lobe of his left lung. Because of his youthful health and the containment of cancer, the lung was removed in early July. Recovery brought very promising results. However, as September dawned, Randolph contracted pneumonia in the right lung and passed away suddenly on the morning of September 3, 2013 at the Medical Center of Bowling Green.

Randolph is survived by his wife, Audra Goodrum Richards who he married on July 13, 1996 in Crossville, TN. He is also survived by 3 sons: Barry Richards of Cross Plains, TN (the fourth generation bee keeper of the Richards family), Douglas Richards of Lexington KY, Robert F Richards of Goshen KY; 2 daughters: Elaine Friesen and Virginia Stokes, both of Louisville, KY; 1 step son: Rodney Owens of Scottsville, KY; and 2 step daughters: Lisa Smith of Tompkinsville, KY and Jeanette Temple of Scottsville, KY. His sister Loretta Hix of Leesville, SC, 20 grandchildren, and 2 great grandchildren also survive him. Two infant siblings, 2 brothers: Gerald and Linus Richards, and 3 sisters Gwendolyn Elkin,Opal Runner, and Hester Grogan proceeded him in death.

In honor of Randolph, the family selected a casket of tulip popular wood. It was accented with red roses and agricultural products to exemplify his walk in life. Funeral service was at Strode Funeral Home in Scottsville, KY on September 7, 2013. Reverend Daniel Smith of Scottsville United Methodist Church officiated and recalled his childhood memories and the community involvement of Randolph's life. Allen County Memorial Gardens is Randolph's final resting place.