Mary Elizabeth "Betty" Richards


Mary Elizabeth “Betty” Richards, age 89, of Marion, IL passed away at 9:00 p.m. on Thursday, March 21, 2013, in Angel Acres of Marion.

She was born on Wednesday, August 22, 1923 in Murphysboro, the daughter of Roy and Nell (Breeden) Will.

Betty was united in marriage to Thomas Monroe Richards, Jr. on Thursday, January 3, 1946, at Centenary Methodist Church in Murphysboro. Her husband was later called into the ministry and together they served the Lord in many communities of Southern Illinois. Together they shared the next 61 years of marriage until his death on September 10, 2007. To this union they were blessed with four children, Michael, Thomas III, Linda and James.

She graduated from Murphysboro Township High School with great secretarial skills. She was employed at Anna State Hospital for many years as well as other places. Upon her retirement, Betty was working for the Environmental Protection Agency in Marion.

Betty was a member of Aldersgate United Methodist Church of Marion, and faithfully attended the church’s “Tuesday Morning Bible Study” until her health declined.

Betty and Rev. Tom enjoyed 20 years of retirement together traveling as snowbirds, fishing at Reelfoot Lake, attending church camps and filling in for churches that needed short-term pastoral care. One of their greatest joys was spending time with all their family. She was a special loving, devoted wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother and friend.

She is survived by her daughter and son-in-law; Linda and Mick Daugherty of Dahlgren; three sons and daughters-in-law; Michael and Darlene Richards of Centralia, Thomas III and Jenny Richards of Herrin, and James and Joann Richards of Goreville; six grandchildren, Darla Miller and her husband, Brian and Holly Davis and her husband, Andy all of Centralia, Angela Darnell and her husband, Kent of McCleansboro, Eric Daugherty and his wife Jessica of Bluford, Courtney Garner of Anna, and Seth Richards of Carbondale, and one step grandson David Gooch of Groveland, Fla.; nine great-grandchildren, Kaleb and Kolby Darnell, Madison and Riley Miller, Grant Davis, Wyatt and Emma Daugherty, Presli and Grayson Garner; brother and sister-in-law, Richard and Rosemary Will of Murphysboro; three sisters-in-law, Elsie DeVardo and her husband, Tom of Marion, Shirley Oetjen and her husband, Marvin of Carterville, and Beulah Ferguson of Domotte, Ind.; brother-in-law, Homer Richards and wife, Ruthann of Murphysboro, several nephews and nieces and many friends.

Betty was preceded in death by her parents, husband; infant son, William Edward Richards; daughter-in-law, Pamela Richards; two brothers, Roy “Bus” Will and Pete Will.
Arrangements for Mary Elizabeth “Betty” Richards have been entrusted to Wilson-McReynolds Funeral Home, 900 N. Court St., Marion. The funeral service will be at 11:00 a.m., Tuesday, March 26, 2013, at Aldersgate United Methodist Church, 1201 N. Fair St., Marion, with Rev. Tim Ozment presiding.

Interment will follow next to her husband in Pleasant Grove Memorial Park of Murphysboro.

The visitation for the family and friends will be from 5-8 p.m. Monday, March 25, at the funeral home.

Visitation will resume at the church after 10 a.m. Tuesday morning and continue until the time of the service.

For those who prefer, memorial contributions may be made to either “Aldersgate United Methodist Church”, “Hospice of Southern Illinois” or the organization of donor’s choice. Memorial contribution envelopes will be available at the funeral home and the church or may be mailed in care of Wilson-McReynolds Funeral Home, P.O. Box 370, Marion, IL 62959.

For additional information or to leave an online condolence or memory, visit or call 618-993-2131.