Charles Ligon Richards, 97, of Newcastle, died at home on July 28.
Charley was born on June 30, 1920 in Coronado, Cal. where his father was serving with the Pacific Fleet. He was the second son of the late Rear Admiral Frederick Gore and Mary (Ligon) Richards of Newcastle. In the 1920s and 1930s, the family traveled the globe with Admiral Richards, as he was stationed at ports of call around the world. As a result, Charley attended seven different secondary schools – including the Episcopal High School in Alexandria, Va. After serving in the U.S. Navy during WWII, he graduated from Stevens Institute of Technology in 1947 with a degree in mechanical engineering. Upon graduation, he joined Combustion Engineering in New York City. On Oct. 6, 1951 he married Philena Fobes Locke and started a family soon thereafter. In 1960, Combustion moved to Windsor, Conn. and Charley lived with his family in Glastonbury for 22 years.
Charley’s career at Combustion gave him the opportunity to travel extensively throughout the U.S. and the world. In 1967, he became a member of the US-USSR Power Generation Commission. Although he travelled quite a bit in the Soviet Union, his most memorable experience took place the very first time he left Moscow in 1968 on a Pan American jet amidst the tense political times. When the plane lifted off the runway, everyone on board cheered with relief.
Retiring in June 1982 as vice president of engineering, he and Fifi (Philena) built a home in Newcastle next to their Kavanagh house. Over the next 30 years, Charley developed deeper ties to his beloved Maine community. He joined and served on the board of Skidompha Library, Miles Memorial Hospital, Damariscotta Lake Association, the CLC YMCA, and for nine years served as a director of Wawenock Golf Club where he enjoyed playing golf from 1931-2016. He also served on the Newcastle Board of Appeals for a term. He began attending St. Andrew’s Church as a young boy, where he later served on the vestry. Charley was a twice-senior warden and was an usher at the 8 a.m. service every Sunday until October of 2016.
Charley was predeceased by his parents, Fred and Mary; brothers, Frederick Gore Richards Jr., and John Thorpe Lawrence Richards; wife, Fifi; son, David Ligon Richards; and daughter, Philena Fobes Richards.
He is survived by daughters, Karin Locke Richards and husband Richard Ernest Stutchbury of Avalon Beach, Australia, and Pamela King Richards and husband E. Thomas Connolly of Portland; and grandchildren, Kirra Locke Richards Stutchbury, Molly Mia Richards Stutchbury, Kyle Richards-Connolly, and Sophia Connolly Richards. He will be missed by many.
A memorial service will be held at 3:30 p.m., Wed., Aug. 9 at St. Andrew’s Church.
The family suggest in lieu of flowers donations may be made to St. Andrew’s Church; Miles Memorial Hospital (LincolnHealth); Wawenock Golf Club; or a charity of your choice.
He will be buried in the family plot in Glidden Street Cemetery in Newcastle at a later date.