Thomas Arthur Richard Obituary, Sadly A Beloved Soul Has Passed Away At 93

On Tuesday, January 2, 2024, Thomas Arthur Richard, 93, quietly departed from this life following a protracted fight with Alzheimer’s disease. On Thanksgiving Day in 1930, Carl Frederick and Gladys (Hays) Richard welcomed him and his twin brother Terry into the world in Fond Du Lac, Wisconsin.

Tom was raised in Dodge County on the Hays family farm. In high school, he enlisted in the Wisconsin Army National Guard, where he served for the following 14 years. In 1949, he received his diploma from Oconomowoc High School. Tom worked multiple jobs to pay for education.

He worked as a tractor mechanic in addition to the National Guard, but most significantly, he was a waiter in the cafeteria of the Elizabeth Waters dorm, where he met Carol Kealey of Janesville, Wisconsin, the joy of his life and wife of 65 years.

Tom earned three degrees from the University of Wisconsin: a bachelor’s degree in soil sciences in 1954, a master’s degree in soil sciences in 1957, and a doctorate in soil sciences and statistics in 1965. His knowledge in soil sciences indicated that he had received training in several scientific fields. Working on the infamous Ed Gein case as a chemist at the state crime lab was his first professional employment.

After a while, he quit the crime lab and worked for a year at Corning Glass Works in New York, where he contributed to the creation of Correll dinnerware. Tom went back to Wisconsin to resume his career as a professor at the University of Wisconsin and as an occupational health specialist at the State Division of Health.

Ultimately, he was “confiscated” by the newly established Occupational Safety and Health Administration of the federal Department of Labor, where he worked as an industrial hygienist, studying industrial sites around the nation to safeguard workers and becoming an expert in subterranean tunnels.

Tom was a licensed professional mechanic, builder, farmer, landscaper, and engineer. Every spring, he collected gallons of maple syrup. Tom adored animals, especially his dogs, and farms and tractors. He enjoyed taking on a lot of different undertakings.