Bobby Joe Richards, 75, was born April 5, 1938 in Bristol, Va., to Allie Louise (Shoecraft) and Clarence William Richards. He lived on the Tennessee side of Bristol and attended Bristol Tennessee High School until April, 1955 when he joined the United States Air Force and went off to see the world.
He served 21 years as a USAF Air Traffic Controller and retired at Tinker AFB, Oklahoma on June 1, 1976, where he had been assigned to the Air Traffic Control Division of the Communications Computer Programming Center since 1972. He served at numerous state side Air Force installations and overseas in Iceland (1958), Philippines (1963-1966) and the Republic of Vietnam (1968-Tet Offensive). After retirement, he made his home in the Oklahoma City area and in May 1978 married Elizabeth ‘Beth’ Pitesa of Hueytown, Ala..
Bobby owned and operated several businesses before selling all of them and retiring in 2003. After retirement, he dedicated his life to making the landscape into a beautiful flowerbed. He planted anything and everything that made the surroundings more desirable to look at. He loved gardening with a passion found only in the eyes of God. He was a graduate of the Oklahoma State University Extension Service Master Gardener Program, class of 2006. He took great pride in giving advice to other gardeners to help them beautify the countryside.
Bobby was a member of the First United Methodist Church in Guthrie, Okla.
Bobby was the oldest of four children and was preceded in death by his parents.
He is survived by his wife of 35 years, Elizabeth ‘Beth’ Pitesa; son Robert Gregory of Moore, Okla.; daughter, Pamela Louise Lowe and her husband Tom of Oklahoma City, Okla.; sister Verna Gail Thomas and husband Hartsel (Shorty), of Bristol, Tenn; sister Mary Jane Chowning and her husband Guy of Toledo, Ohio; brother Randall Lee of Houston, Texas; grandchildren Brice Andrew Cook, Schuyler Danielle Cook and Alyssa Ann Duncan, great-grandchildren Ethan Nathaniel Cook, Elijah Jerome Williams and Charlotte Casey Duncan and many nieces and nephews. Bobby had many friends on FaceBook that he communicated with daily. He will be greatly missed by all.
Funeral services were 3 p.m., Friday, November 1, 2013 at Baggerley Funeral Home Chapel in Edmond, officiated by Rev. Mike DeMoss, pastor of First United Methodist Church in Guthrie. Interment will be at a later date in East Tennessee State Veterans Cemetery at Knoxville, Tenn. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the church’s building restoration fund or the American Cancer Society.