Earl “Buzz” Richards Jr. passed away peacefully with his daughter at his side on Sunday, June 30, 2019, at Allina Hospital in Blaine, Minnesota, following complications from a small bowel obstruction. Buzz was 89.
He was born March 28, 1930, in Waukegan, Illinois. He was a graduate of Zion Benton High School and he joined the Army and served in the Korean War, receiving a Bronze Star. He was the owner of the Highway Lunch Restaurant in Zion, Illinois, for many years. He traveled to Georgia, South Carolina and West Virginia working as a carpenter, building coal power plants. He also worked as a finish carpenter on the Zion Nuclear Plant. His next endeavor was moving to Blair, Wisconsin, where he bought the Longhorn Bar which he owned for several years.
He retired to Hayward in the late 1980s. He was an avid outdoorsman. He enjoyed musky and crappie fishing, deer and bear hunting. His biggest enjoyment came from trapping, especially beaver and raccoon. He was on “call” for the Round Lake and Spider Lake Townships to trap nuisance beaver. Many land owners also reached out to him for help in trapping nuisance beavers and raccoons. He took great pride in his tanning skills and received several letters of excellence for his Beaver pelts that brought high dollar by the North American Fur Association.
In his later years he enjoyed the company of his daughter Rhonda, going to fish fry, happy hour and boating around the area lakes he knew so well. In later August 2018, he relocated to Minnesota, where he lived with his daughter, who was also his caregiver. They had lots of good times and made long, lasting memories. He will be greatly missed.
Buzz was preceded in death by his mother, Melba Kuntz; stepmom, Florence “Peg” Richards; sisters, Pauline Burke and June Tappa; and father, Earl Richards Sr.
He is survived by his son, Dwight Richards of Zion, Illinois; daughter, Rhonda Richards Dickson of Mounds View, Minnesota; son Russell (Deb) Richards of Powers Lake, Wisconsin; four grandchildren, Kristen Richards Hentchel of Bristol, Wisconsin, Nicholas Richards of Kenosha, Jes (Mark) Richards of Janesville and Cathie Richards of Burlington, Wisconsin; three great-grandchildren, Kaden, Liam and Amelia Hentchel of Bristol; and several nieces and nephews and many friends.
A Celebration of Life will be held at one of his favorite “watering holes,” The Twin Lake Tap from 4 to 7 p.m. Saturday Aug. 10. Buffet style refreshments will be available. Please stop by and share a story about my dad.