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General  Thomas C. Richards

Obituary for General Thomas C. Richards

February 13, 1930 - August 9, 2020
San Antonio, Texas | Age 90


General Thomas C. Richards, age 90, passed in the comfort of his home on Sunday, August 9, 2020 in San Antonio, Texas. Born on February 13, 1930 in San Diego, California, to parents, Ezra Carl Rackley and Mary Frances Bond.

Thomas was raised within a military family and was used to traveling during his youth. He attended Hampton High School in 1948 in Virginia. His military career began with the United States Army infantry immediately following high school. Whilst serving in the Korean War, he was wounded and during his recovery, obtained his GED. Once recovered, he attended and graduated from the ROTC Program at Virginia Tech University, earned his wings and was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Air Force. He was also co-captain of the football team and graduated with a bachelor's in Business Administration. Many years later while attending the dedication ceremony of a Korean War Monument in Hampton Virginia, General Richards was surprisingly awarded his H.S. Diploma from the Governor of Virginia.

He returned from Vietnam in 1968 and was assigned to the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado. During his time in the military he served in countless locations including the U.S., Vietnam, Thailand, Laos, and many others. Thomas was dedicated to serving his country and being a beacon of leadership in every assignment he received. Shortly after returning to Colorado, Thomas met his wife, Meredyth. They shared many years, traveling all over the world together.

His final assignment was as Deputy Commander in Chief of U.S. European Command in Stuttgart-Vaihingen, West Germany. He was promoted to four-star general on December 1, 1986 and retired on September 30, 1989. After his retirement, President George W. Bush passed a bill requesting General Thomas to serve as the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration in 1992.

General Thomas C. Richards was a decorated pilot with over 4700 hours. His awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, Silver Star with oak leaf cluster, Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster, Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star Medal with "V" device and oak leaf cluster, Purple Heart with oak leaf cluster, Meritorious Service Medal and Air Medal with 17 oak leaf clusters. He is rated as a senior parachutist and earned the Combat Infantry Badge.

He was preceded in death by his parents and son, Edward. Thomas is survived by his wife of 50 years, Meredyth E. Richards; children, David Steinbrunner (Teresa), Kathy Carr (Skip), Wendy McDemott (Brian), Diane Sherman (Doug), and Tom Richards (Summer); his grandchildren, Seth Barkley, Morgan Barrow, Ryan Steinbrunner, Wes Charmical, Jason Barron, Matthew Barron, Corey Barron, Kate McDermott, Allie McDermott, Don McDermott, Tyler Richards, Austin Richards, T.C. Richards; and 10 great grandchildren.

As COVID-19 allows it, General Thomas C. Richards will be laid to rest at a later date at the Air Force Academy Cemetery in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Gifts may be made to his scholarship in the Corps of Cadets at Virginia Tech.

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Porter Loring Mortuary

1101 McCullough Avenue
San Antonio, TX 78212
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