Scouting, travel fed man's love of outdoors
Robert "Beezy" Richard loved the outdoors, whether it involved Scouting, taking camping trips with his family, or going to Pittsburgh Pirates games.
"He was a big Pirates fan and he took me to their last game at Forbes Field -- I still have the ticket and program," said his daughter, Leslie Hewitt. "We would take him to games even when he was in his wheelchair."
Mr. Richard, formerly of Wilkinsburg and Penn Hills, died Saturday, Nov. 13, 2004, in the Veterans Affairs hospital, Aspinwall. He was 75.
Hewitt also fondly recalled taking cross-country camping trips with her father, a former assistant Scoutmaster, including a three-week jaunt to Wyoming and back.
"My dad was into seeing our country and the natural beauty we had right here," Hewitt recalled. "He didn't want the tourist traps -- he wanted to be off the beaten path."
Mr. Richard was born Aug. 23, 1929, in Wilmerding, to James S. and Ruth (Barnes) Richard. Shortly after graduating from Wilkinsburg High School in 1947, he enlisted in the U.S. Army and was stationed in Korea in 1948-49. He then joined the reserves and was called back to active duty at the outbreak of the Korean War, serving 15 months in Germany and attaining the rank of staff sergeant.
He earned a degree in metallurgical engineering from the University of Pittsburgh and worked in the research center on the Oakland campus testing bomb deployment hooks on warplanes. He then worked for 17 years at the U.S. Steel research center in Monroeville.
With his brother, James Richard, he had been active in the Boy Scouts, attaining the rank of Eagle Scout.
"He worked on staff for the Scouts at Camp Twin Echo in Ligonier in 1945 and 1946," said James Richard, now the assistant treasurer for the Greater Pittsburgh Council of the Boy Scouts of America. "Then he was the assistant Scoutmaster at our old Troop 22 at the South Avenue United Methodist Church in Wilkinsburg for about 10 years."
He was a member of that church, as well as Trinity Tower United Methodist Church in Penn Hills.
"No one called him 'Bob,' except his mother," Hewitt said. "Even his grandkids called him 'Beezy.' One of the things I'm going to miss most is his great sense of humor."
Mr. Richard is survived by a son, Paul Richard, of Portland, Ore.; a daughter, Leslie Hewitt, of North Huntingdon; a brother, James Richard, of Wilkinsburg; three grandchildren; and his former wife, Lois (Fritz) Richard Bush, of Delmont, whom he married at Heinz Chapel in 1955.
Calling hours will be today from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. at the Wolfe Memorial Inc. Forest Hills Chapel, 3604 Greensburg Pike, Forest Hills. Services will be at 10 a.m. Tuesday at the funeral home, with burial to follow in Mates-Linhart Cemetery, Wilkins.
Contributions may be made to the Boy Scouts of America, Flag Plaza, 1275 Bedford Ave., Pittsburgh, PA, 15219.