Sydney Elaine Richards, 89, of Potosi, Mo., departed this life and joined her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ Tuesday, June 28, 2005. She passed away at Fountainbleau Lodge in Cape Girardeau.
She was born Jan. 27, 1916, in Caledonia, Mo., daughter of John Leroy and Celia Ann Nelson Patterson. She and Edward Thomas Richards were married Oct. 19, 1934. He died July 24, 1974.
She was saved and became a member of Breton Creek Baptist Church of Potosi in her early life, and later became a member of First Baptist Church of Potosi where she was active in Sunday school, choir and vacation Bible school many years.
Mrs. Richards devoted her early married life to being a homemaker and mother in rural Missouri, caring for her children while her husband was in the Army during World War II.
A wonderful conversationalist, she delighted family and friends with many stories of the trials and tribulations of the depression and war years. Those stories included weekly six-mile trips in a horse and wagon to Potosi to sell butter, eggs, and produce from her garden and bringing home 100-pound blocks of ice for the icebox and oil for the lamps.
Having learned to sew at an early age on a treadle sewing machine, she enjoyed sewing for her family and others for many years. After moving to Potosi in 1949, she became a full-time seamstress and took great pride in the gowns she created for weddings, proms and beauty contests. For a number of years she worked as a fancy stitcher at Brown Shoe Co. until health problems forced her early retirement. Fountainbleau Lodge became her new home in 1999, but she continued to sew for several more years.
Loving survivors include a daughter, Penelope Sue (Paul Curtis) DeClue of Potosi; a son, Gerald (Dolores) Richards of Cape Girardeau; a brother, Edward (Mary) Patterson of St. Charles, Mo.; two granddaughters, Nanette DeClue of Potosi, Paulette DeClue and husband Brian Bilderback of Potosi; a grandson, Thomas (Melissa) Richards of Cape Girardeau; two great-granddaughters, Ashley Bilderback of Potosi, Abigail (Abby) Richards of Cape Girardeau; two great-grandsons, Stephen Bilderback of Potosi, and William "Will" Richards of Cape Girardeau. She is also survived by a host of nieces and nephews and numerous friends at her church in Potosi and among the residents and staff at Fountainbleau Lodge.
She was preceded in death by her husband of almost 40 years, and her parents. Also preceding her was a beloved granddaughter, Amy Elaine DeClue; two sisters, Anna Mae (Dale) Washburn and Alma (Paul) Hanson; and a brother, George Francis (Ira) Patterson.
Friends may call at Moore Funeral Home in Potosi from 4 to 8 p.m. today, and after 9 a.m. Friday.
The funeral will be at 10:30 a.m. Friday at the funeral home, with Leonard Compton and Jeff Richards officiating. Burial will be in New Masonic Cemetery at Potosi.
Expressions of sympathy may take the form of contributions to the building program at First Baptist Church of Potosi.