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Obituary: Stanley I. Richards, 78, of Reston, Dies

Stanley I. Richards, age 78, of Reston, died at INOVA Fairfax Hospital on Tuesday, July 29 after a brief illness. Mr. Richards was born on May 29, 1936 in Washington D.C. He was the firstborn son of the late Henry I. Richards and Helen Wheeler Richards. He is survived by his wife Jacqueline Bower Berger Richards, his stepchildren Courtney (Richard) Powell, Gregory (Olivia) Berger, Christopher (Deanna) Berger, Joseph (Thea) Berger, his step grandchildren, Austin Rakes, Trevor Rakes, Cecelia Berger, Preston Berger, Seth Berger. He is also survived by his sister Margaret (Alfred) Hayes of Fort Collins, Colo., his brothers, Harold (Katherine) Richards of Purcellville, Va, George (Gretchen) Richards of Austin, Texas, his many nieces and nephews and his former wife Lilla McCutchen Richards of McLean.

Mr. Richards attended Arlington County elementary schools, graduating from Washington-Lee High School in 1954. After attending Purdue University he transferred to Oberlin College and graduated in 1958 with a BA in Economics. After two years working for Martin Marietta in Littleton, Colo. in Ground Support Equipment Manufacturing he entered The Littauer School (now Kennedy) at Harvard University graduating with a MPA in 1962. Mr. Richards worked at the US Department of Agriculture Management Services and was a Contracting Officer when he left in 1967 to join the family business. The Richards Corporation was a Designer & Manufacturer of Imagery Interpretations Equipment of the US and Western Intelligence Agencies. Light Tables, Film Handling Equipment and Microscope Mounts. The Richards Corporation was the dominant supplier of this equipment from the 1950’s to the early 1990’s. The Richards Corporation was established by his father in 1946. An example of the equipment, a Light Table is on display at the Smithsonian American History Museum in Washington, D.C. With the collapse of the USSR, there was no longer any need for this intelligence equipment. Mr. Richards guided the family business in the purchase of a small manufacturer of Galley Inserts Equipment for Corporate Aircraft. The company was moved to Virginia and continues to manufacturer Microwaves and Coffee Brewers for Corporate Aircraft. Mr. Richards served in many capacities through the last 50 years, President, Vice President, CEO, and Chairman until the company was sold in 2008 and he retired.

Mr. Richards was a long time resident of McLean, Va., and gave his time freely to civic and community affairs having served as member of the Board and President of the following. The McLean Orchestra, McLean Rotary, McLean Business & Professional Association (now Chamber), President of the McLean Community Center, and the Woodside Association. He was appointed to serve on the Board of Trustees of the Science Museum of Virginia in Richmond by three consecutive Governors for a term of fourteen years. Mr. Richards served Oberlin College as Class Agent for many years and led his Class of 1958 in the Capital Campaign in its 25th and 50th reunion years.

Stan loved flying (he received his license at seventeen), tennis, ballroom dancing, and visiting family and friends over good food and wine. His family and friends knew of his enjoyment of a classic gin martini.

Mr. Richards was an active member of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Fairfax. A memorial service in his honor is planned for 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 20, 2709 Hunter Mill Rd, Oakton, VA. The Reverend Laura Norton-Ludwig will preside.

The family requests the gifts to honor Mr. Richards’ memory be sent to Our Daily Bread, 4080 Chain Bridge Rd, #2, Fairfax, VA.