The Port Arthur News
PORT ARTHUR —
Joseph Wallace Richard, Jr., 86, of Port Arthur, Texas, passed away peacefully, surrounded by family, on the morning of Thursday, July 25, 2013. A native of Church Point, Louisiana, Joseph was born on October 29, 1926, to Dora (Labbe’) and Wallace Richard.
Joseph grew up on a farm in Cajun country and was reared by his devoted and loving father and step-mother, Margaret (Venable) Richard, after his mother, Dora, died when he was a young boy. Joseph brought his deep Cajun roots to Port Arthur when he was 18 years old. After working at the shipyard in Orange, Texas, he later changed jobs and worked 41 years at the Texaco Refinery in Port Arthur. As a World War II Veteran, Joseph proudly served in the U.S. Merchant Marines aboard the S.S. Little Butte and S.S. Georgia, traveling overseas to various ports of call.
While in Louisiana, he attended school at Our Lady of the Sacred Heart in Church Point and was a graduate of Sunset High School in Sunset. In Texas, he attended Lamar State College (now Lamar University).
On November 28, 1948, Joseph married Fotine (Frances) Loukas and they were happily married for almost 60 years. Together they reared three children, John Wallace, Dora Kay, and Julie. Joseph was a devoted and loving husband and father.
Throughout his life, Joseph’s faith was his anchor. In 1951, he became a charter member of St. Joseph Catholic Church in Port Arthur. Through his years of dedicated service, Joseph served as Finance Chairman and was a member of the Holy Name Society. For St. Joseph Mardi Gras Krewe of Aurora, Joseph served as Director. He also served as Committee Chairman of the Three Rivers Council, Boy Scout Troop 63.
Family and friends meant everything to Joseph and he loved them dearly. Known to some as “Uncle June”, “Uncle Rich”, “Theo Rich”, “Rich”, “Joe”, or “T-Boy”, Joseph was someone respected and who could be counted on for support, advice or decision-making, knowing it would be fair and equitable.
Joseph had a keen financial acumen and willingly offered his assistance to family and friends during tax season. He was a very sociable, selfless, polite, kind-hearted and genuinely caring and compassionate person. He never met a stranger.
Joseph was especially proud of his French heritage and spoke the language fluently. He was familiar with Greek language phrases through his wife, who spoke fluent Greek. Through the years, Joseph honed his culinary skills influenced greatly by his wife. Every chance to cook for others was a joy, whether it is for family, friends, at “the plant”, or for charitable projects.
In 2010, Joseph was one honored by the Texas Real Estate Commission as a licensee who held his TREC broker license for 50 consecutive years. He also held a real estate broker license in the state of Louisiana for many years.
The offices Joseph held include: Treasurer of Mardi Gras of Southeast Texas, President of the Sabine Neches Coating Society; Vice President of PANAC, Port Arthur Neighborhood Action Council, President of ICOP, Neighborhood Watch Association for Park Place Manor and Secretary-Treasurer of Optimist Little League.
Membership to various clubs and associations for Joseph included: Knights of Columbus, Santa Maria Council No. 1304, Lamar State College Alumni Association in Port Arthur, Weed and Seed, Port Arthur, Texas, Tri-Agency Police Academy Alumni Association, NACE (National Association of Corrosion Engineers), IMI (International Maintenance Institute).
Joseph is survived by one son and two daughters: John Wallace Richard and wife Moira of Conroe, Texas; Dora Kay Breaux of Nederland, Texas and Julie Jones and husband Jerry of Austin, Texas; eight grandchildren, Rachel Sweeten of Port Arthur, Texas and husband, Jon, stationed in Seoul, South Korea (USAF), Joe Richard of Houston, Texas; Christopher Breaux of Seoul, South Korea; Eleni Breaux and John Breaux of San Marcos, Texas; David Jones, Kevin Jones and Ryan Jones of Austin, Texas; and two great- grandchildren, Addison Sweeten and Emilyn Sweeten of Port Arthur, Texas; one sister, Mary Thibodeaux and late husband Oray of Sunset, Louisiana, one brother, Charles Richard and wife, Fay of Lafayette, Louisiana and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, and other relatives.
The family of Joseph Richard thanks the staff at Christus Hospital-St. Mary in Port Arthur and Cypress Glen East Nursing Home and Rehab in Port Arthur for their compassionate care. A sincere and special thank you goes to Caregiver, Jerrie Wilson, for her exceptional care and dedicated service to “Mr. Richard” for over the last four years.
Friends are cordially invited to a visitation with the family from 4:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. on Sunday, July 28, 2013, with a Rosary service beginning at 5:00 p.m. at Clayton Thompson Funeral Home, 5200 39th Street, Groves, Texas. Funeral services will begin at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, July 29, 2013, at St. Joseph Catholic Church, 4600 Procter Street, Port Arthur, Texas, where the Rev. D. Stephen McCrate will officiate. Joseph’s six grandsons will serve as Pallbearers. Interment will follow at Greenlawn Memorial Park, 3900 Twin City Hwy., Groves, Texas. Immediately following the interment, all are invited to join the family for a Meal of Mercy to be held in Cody Hall at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Port Arthur.
Donations may be made to St. Joseph Catholic Church, 4600 Proctor Street, Port Arthur, Texas 77642.