Clare County Review & Marion Press

Obituary: Barbara Ann Richards

Barbara Ann Richards, age 80, of Harrison passed away surrounded by family on Friday, November 4, 2022, at the Woodland Hospice House in Mt Pleasant.
Barbara was born on December 16, 1941, in Bay City, daughter of Clarence and Beatrice (Voss) Molyneaux. She married the love of her life, Donald Richards on August 24, 1963, at Zion Lutheran Church in Bay City. Barbara earned her bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University and moved to Harrison in 1963 to teach English and journalism at Harrison Community High School. She began working at Mid Michigan Community College in 1984, first as a part time instructor and then as special projects coordinator. She eventually moved to an administrative position in charge of public relations until her retirement in 2002. While employed at Mid, she earned her master’s degree from CMU in education administration.
Barbara always had the community’s interests at heart and was active in several local organizations. She was a member of the Harrison District Library board for 41 years and currently served as president. She was responsible for taking the lead in the reorganization to a district library in 2008. She served on the Clare Gladwin RESD School Board and had been president for the past 11 years. Barbara was a founding member of the Harrison Area Business and Professionals Women’s Association and served on the MMI board of directors for many years. She was also a founding member of St. Luke Lutheran Church in Harrison.
When it came to raising money for students, Barbara was an absolute force. Whenever she asked for support, people were willing to give. Barbara was the creator of the MMCC Fall Festival and BBQ and A Northern Tradition at Jay’s Sporting Goods, two events that have raised $2.5 million for student scholarships. She was a key contributor to the current library project, being responsible for securing many of the large donations to transform the Surrey House into the new home for the library. For many years, she led the fundraising for the HWA scholarship fund, and in 2016 she privately raised enough money to buy new uniforms and instruments for the HHS Marching Band.
Above everything, Barbara delighted in the accomplishments of her children and grandchildren, spending many hours supporting their growth and cheering them on in their respective events. She loved being on the water, boating and swimming at both Sage and Higgins Lakes and was a life guard and synchronized swimmer when she was young. She loved football and spent many Saturday afternoons first watching CMU and eventually at Spartan Stadium rooting for her favorite teams. She was an expert knitter who created many baby blankets for family and friends and always had a good book ready by her side. Barbara loved her dogs, her convertible VW Bug and her signature red nails.
Barbara is survived by her husband of 59 years, Donald; children, Patrick Richards and wife Laurie of Mt. Pleasant, Michigan and Annlyn McKenzie and husband Dale of Whitehall Michigan; grandchildren Emily Richards (Jacob Harkrader), Elizabeth Richards and Ethan McKenzie (Lyndsey Jeffries); brother Terry Molyneaux and wife Molly, sister Joyce Schumann and husband James, plus many nieces, nephews and extended family members. Barbara was preceded in death by her parents.
Funeral services for Barbara will be held at St. Luke Lutheran Church in Harrison on Saturday, November 19, 2022, at 11 a.m. with Pastor Timothy Sheridan officiating. A luncheon will follow the service in the Reflections Reception Center at Clark-Stocking Funeral Chapel. The family will receive friends at Clark-Stocking Funeral Chapel in Harrison on Friday, November 18, from 2 p.m. until 8 p.m. Visitation will continue at the church On November 19 from 10 a.m. until the time of the service. Memorial contributions may be made to the Harrison District Library or the Imagination Library at the Clare-Gladwin RESD. Envelopes will be available at the funeral chapel and the church.
You may view Barbara’s obituary online or send a condolence to the family at

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