Joseph "Joe" Gene Paul Gerard Richard, of Lynchburg, Va., passed away peacefully at Lynchburg General Hospital on Saturday, March 21, 2020, with his wife by his side. He was 85. Mr. Richard was born on January 31, 1935, to the late Albert and Edmee Richard in Mexico, Maine. Joe was a veteran of the Air Force and moved his family to Lynchburg in 1973 to attend the Liberty Bible Institute. While in Lynchburg, he worked as a welder for the Aerofin Corporation and because of his expertise in welding, he was called upon to represent Aerofin in places like France, Puerto Rico and Saudia Arabia. Joe loved to play the harmonica and used his talents to minister in nursing homes and Elim Home. He is survived by the love of his life and wife of 61 years, Sandra; four children, Mike and Jane Richard of Searsmont, Maine, Mark and Kris Richard of Lynchburg, Va., Maureen and Randy Mason of Pella, Iowa, and Marty and Claudia Richard of Belmont, Maine; plus special extended family, Danny Inge and Barbara and Jeff Mullins. In addition, he was blessed with 18 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. He was a loving husband and father, adoring grandfather, and most of all, passionate follower of Jesus. He gave his life to Christ in 1966 and fell more and more in love his Savior every day. He never met a stranger, loved people, and used every opportunity to share his faith. The family would like to extend a special thank you to all the medical professionals who have taken such good care of Joe during the past few two years. Due to the COVID19 virus, the family will be holding a small, private celebration of his life on Wednesday, March 25, 2020. For details on how you can view this service, please call 434-592-4400. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to ELIM HOME, a place for men who are battling drug and alcohol addiction. Their address is P. O. Box 69, Madison Heights, VA 24572. Arrangements are being handled by Updike Funeral Home & Cremation Service, Bedford.

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