Richards, Blanche Lester

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Blanche Lester Richards, 100, of Radford, passed away Thursday, September 13, 2012 at Wheatland Hills Retirement Center where she had lived for the past 10 years. Blanche was born March 5, 1912, and was the daughter of the late Floyd and Bettie Lester. She was a cherished wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother who will be deeply missed by her family and special friends.

Miss Blanche will be remembered for her sweet smile and gentle, loving personality. She was an excellent cook and homemaker who always welcomed everyone into her home with love. She was a southern lady in every way, enduring many hardships in her life but always facing them with faith and her trust in God. She was a “steel magnolia” in every sense of the word with a beautiful spirit.

Miss Blanche was preceded in death by her parents; an infant son, Arthur Jackson Richards; and her beloved husband of 64 years, Rudolph Richards. Also, preceding her were her sisters, Ruby Lester Huddle and Mable Lester Furrow and her brother, Guy Lester.

Miss Blanche is survived by her daughter and son-in-law, Teresa and George Harkrader of Radford; a granddaughter, Amanda Harkrader Sigmon and her husband Neil of Christiansburg; a grandson, Todd Jackson Harkrader, his wife Vivien, and a great-granddaughter Hannah Grace Harkrader of Washington, D.C. She is also survived by special nieces, nephews, and cousins who loved her deeply.

The family wishes to extend a special thank you to the wonderful, loving staff of Wheatland Hills in Radford who have cared for Miss Blanche for the past 10 years. Also, the family would like to extend a special thank you to the staff of Carilion Hospice for their compassion and kindness during Miss Blanche’s final days.

Funeral services will be held Sunday, September 16, 2012 at 1:30 pm at the Mullins Funeral Home with Rev. Bobby Sutphin officiating. Interment will follow in West View Cemetery in Radford. The family will receive friends from 5:00 pm until 7:00 pm on Saturday at the Mullins Funeral Home in Radford.

Miss Blanche loved this country and the American flag. She especially loved to see the flags flying on the Fourth of July. In lieu of flowers please consider making a donation, in her memory to: Wounded Warrior Project, P.O. Box 758517, Topeka, Kansas 66675 or at

The Richards family is in the care of Mullins Funeral Home & Crematory in Radford.