Charles (Charlie) Otto Richards

Bolton Landing, New York – Charles (Charlie) Otto Richards, 92, passed away at home with his family by his side on Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021.

Born at home in Granville, New York, on May 31, 1929, he was the son of the late Caroline Young Richards and Charles Richards, “Mr. Baseball of Granville.”

A graduate of Granville High School in 1946, he participated in football and baseball but was a star athlete in track and field under Coach Sam Eppolito. In college, he continued to compete in the shot put and discus with great success. As a senior at Cortland in 1951, he earned first place in the New York State Collegiate Track and Field Championships in both events.

Charlie graduated from Cortland State College in 1951 with a BS in health and physical education. He had dreams of Olympic competitions, but with the draft imminent and teaching positions scarce, he served in the U.S. Army from 1951 to 1954. Basic training at Scofield Barracks in Hawaii was the prelude to three years in the Korean War in the 45th Infantry Division. He earned a Combat Infantry badge and a UN Service medal. At the time of his passing, he had been a life member of the American Legion.

After his discharge, he taught health and driver education in the Granville area while earning his MS in counseling and administration at the Albany Teacher’s College. A high school guidance counselor for 24 years, he was highly regarded in high schools in Berne Knox, Cobleskill and Guilderland, retiring from there in 1984.

Charlie and his wife Anita moved from Altamont, New York, to Bolton Landing, New York, in 1985. As retirees, for 30 years they operated Hilltop Cottage Bed and Breakfast in their home. Anita had grown up there in the caretaker residence, as her father had been the estate’s caretaker for the Sembrich Museum and a large manor house.

The Richards joined the Marcella Sembrich Memorial Association, where Charlie served on the board of directors from 1994 to 2019, for several years as treasurer and as secretary. Charlie also served on the board of trustees of the Bolton Free Library, was a trustee and treasurer of the Emmanuel United Methodist Church and together with Anita delivered Meals on Wheels once a week for 27 years in Bolton Landing and environs.

As a senior citizen for as many years, he was an avid member of the Monday Bridge group. His enjoyments were cross-country skiing, following his favorite football teams on TV and classical music concerts in the area, especially the summer events at the Sembrich Museum for more than 30 years. As close friends of Richard Wargo, composer and program director of the Sembrich Museum, Charlie and Anita attended performances of his operas in New York City, Cooperstown, Scranton, Philadelphia and Milwaukee.

Together the Richards enjoyed travel as Road Scholars over the years, exploring and learning about England, Wales, Ireland, Italy, France, Switzerland, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Israel and Palestine. Visiting relatives of Anita’s parents in both West Germany and East Germany during and after the years of the Berlin Wall were unique travel experiences.

In addition to his parents, Charlie was predeceased by a stillborn son. Charlie’s brother Frank succumbed to meningitis as a high school senior in 1931.

He is survived by his wife Anita of Bolton Landing, daughter Ann Leslee Richards of Mechanicville and son Robert Andrew Richards of Warren,New Hampshire; grandchildren Richard Charles Vadney, Adam Anthony Weber, Robert Andrew Richards II and Charles Anthony Richards; and great-grandchildren Andrew and Raelynne Vadney and Joseph Weber.

We would like to give our appreciation and gratitude to the Bolton EMS and the people from hospice and our home health care ladies, who made Charlie’s last days peaceful and comfortable.

Friends were invited to attend the Hour of Remembrance that was held on Saturday, Sept. 25, at 11 a.m. at the Emmanuel United Methodist Church at 17 Stewart Ave. in Bolton Landing that was followed by the funeral service at noon. Afterwards friends attended the Celebration of Life picnic lunch at the home of Anita and Charlie Richards, 4825 Lake Shore Dr., Bolton Landing.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Granville Little League, Inc., 82 Church St., Granville, NY 12832; Marcella Sembrich Memorial Association, PO Box 417, Bolton Landing, NY 12814; or Bolton Branch of American Legion Post 961, PO Box 795, Bolton Landing, NY 12814

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