Karen E. Richard (1944-2013)

MONTPELIER — Karen E. Richard, 68, of Montpelier and formerly of Alvordton, Ohio, died Monday, Jan. 28, 2013, at Advanced Specialty Hospital of Toledo.

She was born April 22, 1944, to William R. and Irene C. (Mielnicki) Midtgard in Detroit. She married John L. Richard on July 6, 1963, at Sacred Heart Church in Hillsdale, Mich., and he survives.

Also surviving are her mother; son, Edmund (and wife, Laura) Richard of Fort Wayne, Ind.; two brothers, Dr. David (and wife, Dr. Jane) Hager Sr. of Norfolk, Va., and William (Gail) Midtgard of Sun Valley, Nev; and numerous nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her father.

Karen graduated from Camden-Frontier (Mich.) High School in 1962 and the Fort Wayne (Ind.) Business College.

She served as executive director of the Williams County Department of Aging from 1985 until her retirement in 1999. Karen was instrumental in implementing numerous programs that continue to serve the senior citizens of Williams County. In 1995 she helped bring the senior program under county and federal guidelines and was a driving force in starting Senior Day at the Williams County Fair, where roughly 2,000 meals are served. She worked tirelessly for the passage of the first county tax levy for the Department of Aging and its programs for needy seniors.

She initiated the Sportsman’s Dinner and Auction, which raised thousands of dollars for seniors. Her work with WBNO radio’s Blizzard Auction resulted in the Department of Aging twice being the recipient of the auction’s proceeds. She also was instrumental in starting the Older Adult Task Force, which is still in effect, and began the county’s first computer lab for seniors as well as most of the county’s current senior dining sites.

As executive director of the Department of Aging, Karen worked tirelessly to ensure seniors received assistance, no matter the time of day or day of the week. She also believed in honoring her workers and volunteers for their efforts. After her retirement and while fighting her own health problems, Karen continued to send cards and notes to seniors for birthdays or for encouragement during their own difficult times.

Karen served as clerk for the village of Alvordton and in 2000 was named grand marshall of the Montpelier Bean Days parade.

Visitation will be Friday, Feb. 1, 2013, from 4-8 p.m. at Thompson Funeral Home, 204 E. Main St., Montpelier.

Funeral Mass will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013, at Sacred Heart Church, 220 S. East Ave., Montpelier, with the Revs. Fred Duschl and Jim Halleron officiating.

Memorials may be made to Fackler Monument Co., 411 W. Main St., Montpelier, OH 43543 to offset the cost of a headstone.

Private interment will be at Camden Cemetery, Camden, Mich.

Arrangements are by Thompson Funeral Home.

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