Fred Richards

Fred Richards, age 94, passed away peacefully September 20, 2023, in Safford.  He was born in Joseph City, Arizona to Frank Richards and Elma Bigler and had one younger sister Mary.  He graduated from Thatcher High School in 1947, the Gila Junior College (now EAC) in 1949, and attended Arizona State College (now ASU) where he met his eternal companion Maurine Hansen and had their first kiss after he lost a nickel bet.  They were married in the Arizona Temple June 11, 1952, and moved to Safford as their permanent home where they raised their seven children.

He was active in church his entire life, often serving as the Ward Clerk in the first Bishopric of the Safford Second Ward.  Above all, he was a dedicated missionary serving a full-time mission from 1949 until 1951 in the Central States Mission and serving with his wife in the Virginia Richmond mission in 1998.  Fred placed many Books of Mormon and handed out many pass-along cards.  Nothing brought him more joy than sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Fred was an adept handyman and built a large addition to his home and helped build several other homes.  He was a bookkeeper and parts manager for Goodman Motors in Safford for nearly 35 years, later working for Bingham Oil and Mack’s Auto Supply. Fred taught his children to work hard and to be honest productive members of the community.  He is loved by many and will be greatly missed.

Fred is survived by: his seven children, Alan, Keith (Rhonda), Gary, Marcia Hardison (Kenny), Marvin (Linda), David (Annette), and Carol Miller (Steven), 32 grandchildren, 72 great-grandchildren, and 5 great-great-grandchildren. Fred was reunited with his beloved sweetheart, Maurine, who passed away in September 2020; and two daughters-in-law, Edith Richards and Tammy Richards.

Funeral services for Fred will be conducted Saturday morning, September 30, 2023, at 10:00 a.m., at the Safford Twentieth Street Chapel of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints by Bishop Paul Badger of the Safford Second Ward. Concluding services will follow in the Central Cemetery.

The family will receive friends Saturday morning, September 30, 2023, from 9:00 a.m. until 9:45 a.m., at the Safford Twentieth Street Chapel Relief Society Room of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Online condolences may be offered at

Arrangements are entrusted to Vining Funeral Home.