Wanda O. Richards

September 6, 1923 - September 23, 2013

COOPERSTOWN - Wanda Olmstead Richards, a native of Cooperstown who served for over 40 years as a guide and interpreter at The Farmers' Museum, passed away peacefully Monday morning, September 23, 2013, at Otsego Manor. She was 90.

Born September 6, 1923, Wanda was proud to have been the second baby born in the then newly re-opened Mary Imogene Bassett Hospital in Cooperstown. She was one of six children of Walter E. Olmstead, Sr. and Mildred née Butler Olmstead. Raised in the Village of Cooperstown, Wanda graduated with the Cooperstown High School Class of 1941.

On March 28, 1942, she married William George Richards, also a Cooperstown native, in Baltimore, Maryland.

For 44 and a half years, Wanda served as a guide and interpreter at The Farmers' Museum in Cooperstown. Beginning as a guide in Bump Tavern, she later moved to Todd's General Store. She also worked in The Print Shop where she became proficient in operating the antique printing presses. She truly enjoyed her many years at the museum.  

Of the Episcopal faith, Wanda was a long-time and faithful member of Christ Church in Cooperstown where she was an active member of the Altar Guild. Wanda was also a member of the Silver Sirens, The Native Daughters of Cooperstown, and The Otsego Chapter of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution. She was very civic minded and was active with the local blood bank, served as a volunteer at the Mary Imogene Bassett Hospital, and was a member of the VFW Auxiliary Unit 7128 in Cooperstown. In her leisure, she enjoyed taking their Pembroke Welsh Corgis, Oona and Paige, for walks around the village, as well as taking walks by herself, sometimes five miles in one day.

Wanda is survived by her two daughters and sons-in-law, Lynn Meredith Richards Jones and David Jones of Cooperstown, and Elisabeth Richards Jerson and Robert Jerson of Springfield Center; three grandsons, Dr. Matthew William Richards Jones and his wife, Cora Jones, Jeremy Louis Clark Jones and his wife, Dr. Katherine Jones, and Michael Robert Richards Jerson; four great grandchildren, Phoebe Lynn Emerson Jones, Isabella Grace Richards Jones, William David Maxwell Jones, and Molly Foard Jones; a brother-in-law, Edmund Pike, of Albany; a sister-in-law, JoAnn Olmstead of Binghamton; and several nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her husband of 59 years, William George Richards, who died July 28, 2001; three brothers, Walter E. Olmstead, Jr., Leonard H. "Dick" Olmstead, and Robert V. Olmstead; and two sisters, Jean Olmstead Pike and Joan Elizabeth Olmstead Larsen.

Wanda's family wishes to express their deep appreciation and gratitude to everyone at Otsego Manor for the excellent care and kind and compassionate services rendered to Wanda during her residency there.  

The Office of the Burial of the Dead with Holy Eucharist (Rite II) will be offered at 11 o'clock in the morning on Tuesday, October 1, 2013, at Christ Church in Cooperstown with Fr. Mark Aaron Michael, Rector, officiating.  

The Service of Committal will follow at the Columbarium Wall in Christ Church-yard, where Wanda will be entombed with her husband, Will.   

Arrangements are under the care and guidance of the Connell, Dow & Deysenroth Funeral Home in Cooperstown.

If you would like to send condolences to the family, send an email to Connell, Dow & Deysenroth. We will forward your comments to the family. If you would like to send flowers in memory of the deceased, contact Mohican Flowers, or call them at (607) 547-8822.