William K. Richards
William K. Richards, Jr. passed away peacefully in his sleep the afternoon of June 24, 2019, after a long and courageous battle with Lewy Body Dementia. His wife, Monreva, and his son, Troy, were by his side. He was a loving and loyal family man. In addition to Monreva ("Monnie") and Troy, he is survived by his daughter-in-law, Bridget, his grandchildren, Chloe, Sam and Mimi, and two faithful dogs, Belle and Doc.
W.K. (or, "Bill"or "Rich,"depending on when and where you met him) was born in Raleigh, N.C. on October 13, 1941 to W.K. and LaRue Coley Richards. He was a story teller his entire life, and was always quick with a funny one-liner. Growing up in Raleigh and on his grandfather's farm near Dortches, N.C., his stories always had him outdoors and rambunctious. In high school, Bill played football, basketball, and baseball, and loved doo-wop and rock & roll. After high school, he served honorably in the Air Force, including a tour in Morocco, before being stationed at Goodfellow Air Force Base in San Angelo, TX in 1961.
It was in San Angelo that he met Monnie Smith. They eloped and were married in November 1962. In 1963, their only child, Troy, was born, and the young family grew up together happily.
Following the Air Force, Bill started a career with Orkin Exterminating, which led to a transfer back to his home in Raleigh, N.C. Throughout the 1970s until 1987, he earned many awards, and was promoted several times, becoming a turnaround specialist who fixed under-performing regions.
In the early 1970s, Bill found his calling when he started collecting turn-of-the-century whiskey bottles and jugs, vintage advertising signs, and Trail-ways and Winchester memorabilia. He became an expert in whatever he collected, immersing himself in research to increase his knowledge.
One of the proudest days of his life came in 1987 when he and Monnie opened Oakwood Antique Mall in Raleigh. He built a new career around his passion and knowledge of antiques and collecting, and his reputation as a fair dealer. The mall took on his personality, too. It was family-friendly, and full of quality merchandise, free advice and laughter. Many of Bill's best friends were made through collecting, horse trading, and telling stories while sitting in the barber chairs behind the counter.
The lure of grandchildren in Texas led Bill and Monnie to sell Oakwood Antique Mall in 2003. They retired to Granbury, TX, where they loved life on the lake. Bill continued collecting, now spurs and bits, and Western antiques. But, more importantly, they were close to family and active in the lives of their grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that you spend time with your family and friends. Tell a story. Share a laugh. Rescue a dog. Watch a sunset. If so inclined, the family requests donations to find a cure for Lewy Body Dementia at https://www.lbda.org/donate.
As he wished, Bill has been cremated. He now rests in a 100 year old North Carolina whiskey jug. A lakeside celebration of life ceremony for family and friends is scheduled at their home in Granbury, TX on Saturday, August 17 at 11:00am.