ForeverMissed
Stories

Share a special moment from Richard's life.

Learning the work by doing the work

Shared by Tim O'Brien on February 28, 2021
After spending some hours visiting classrooms and taking notes with participants in an Instructional Rounds Institute at a local HS, Richard and I met with the group of about 40 to debrief their observations. Participants frequently had questions for Richard and I began to drift away from Richard towards the side of the room – not knowing how or who to be when everyone was so clearly intent on hearing from Richard. Soon enough though, Richard disappeared from the room entirely for a few minutes, leaving me in charge of the process. When small groups were discussing with each other again Richard quietly returned and, determined to either not be a distraction and/or build my facilitation skills, seated himself among the participants and in the corner. I facilitated the rest of the day by myself wondering how I was doing and what I was missing while Richard sat among the teachers and participants listening to their conversations. While managing the process and conversation I would try to catch Richard’s gaze in the group. He looked at me and just nodded. So I just kept going. I remember hoping Richard would indeed jump in because it seemed inevitable that I was missing something. These folks had come from across the country and around the world. The whole time I was facilitating I felt bad for all the participants who obviously wanted more of Richard F. Elmore and less of Tim, the doctoral student who set up the projector. I didn’t know how to, and probably didn’t want to, ask for direct feedback then so when it was over I just hoped Richard would volunteer it. Instead, he wanted to talk about what he heard the participants say and wanted to plan the subsequent sessions we would have back on campus. 

This was my first experience “learning the work by doing the work” with Richard and the beginning of the most important mentorship in my career. I had the honor of being Richard’s advisee, teaching assistant and colleague at HGSE for 6 years. While I was his advisee, Richard rarely had advice. But he did have an abundance of attention. He would listen to me ramble and succinctly summarize what I said in a way that helped me understand myself. Then he would begin to tell a story about a recent trip or talk or school he had just visited and that was his cue for “You’re all set. You’ve got this. Keep going.” Years after graduating, Richard I met last fall to discuss a bedeviling paper. The attention and care was so wonderful – I didn’t want our discussion to end.

Thank you Richard for supporting me, challenging me and including me in your work. I never felt able to sufficiently expressing my gratitude. I will do everything I can to make my students feel the way you made feel – capable and full of potential.   

How a Chapter Became the Book

Shared by Prakash Nair on February 23, 2021
About four years ago, my colleague Roni and I decided to write a book about learning and school design. Naturally, we wanted Richard to contribute. Knowing his busy schedule I asked if he could write a 1,000 or 2,000 word chapter on the subject for inclusion in the book. He said yes immediately but I didn't hear from him for several weeks. I was sure he would have some great ideas and so we waited patiently until he sent in his contribution of more than 20,000 words! We immediately realized that this was writing gold. Instead of making it a chapter in the book, we decided to give it the importance it deserved as its own standalone Part Two. We extracted many of the ideas he presented and incorporated them into our Part One as well. I still go back and reread what he wrote and everytime I come away with some new gem! For those of you who are interested, here is a link to the e-book (the Kindle and hard copy editions are available at Amazon): 

LEARING BY DESIGN
Live | Play | Engage | Create
https://tinyurl.com/4vnywhsj

Go straight to Part II -- The Challenges of Learning and Design. Fascinating stuff!! 

Truly Grateful Personally and Professionally

Shared by Prakash Nair on February 23, 2021
I am still in shock after learning about Richard's passing just yesterday. I have not fully come to terms with it yet. The world has lost a great soul. I have lost a good friend and mentor. My only comfort is that his imprint is inherent everything I do as an education architect. His wisdom and advice have guided my work for more than 10 years. Hundreds of schools and thousands of children have benefited as a result. For myself and for all of them, thank you!

From an initial challenge to deep respect and appreciation

Shared by Lee Teitel on February 13, 2021
When I started to teach at HGSE in 1999, I came with a chip on my shoulder about how schools of education—especially places like Harvard—were too theoretical, too research-oriented, and too disconnected to the needs and realities of schools. That year there was a series of monthly informal meetings where faculty members would describe their research on school and system improvement, and that is where I met Richard. He was sharing something that was cutting-edge and fascinating – I don’t exactly remember -- maybe the precursor to the internal coherence work. I was new, and an adjunct faculty at that, so normally I would stay quiet.  But I summoned up my nerve to ask how his research connected to schools and if the schools actually used it and found it helpful.  Richard didn’t appear to see the chip on my shoulder or the challenge in my voice.  He matter-of-factly described the scope and depth of the work he was doing in Boston middle schools – he had just come from a school that afternoon—as well as the impacts of it and what he was learning from it. The response impressed and humbled me. I saw a faculty member could be a brilliant thinker, researcher and writer and still roll up his sleeves to work with teachers, administrators, and students on what learning could and should look like. Richard was and is a powerful inspiration for me.

I started to get to know Richard a few years later as he was developing what became the Instructional Rounds practice with Liz City, Sarah Fiarman, and the principals in Cambridge. He, Liz, and I started to meet monthly in an empty Gutman classroom, sharing what we were each finding out about the roles that networks played in individual and organization learning in schools. I loved those sessions – loved the chance to learn from Richard and Liz and to see a model for what could and should be taking place in a school of education— learning together in what we called “random acts of collegial learning,” without being part of a formal project.  As his Instructional Rounds work grew with superintendents in Connecticut, Richard invited me to join him as a cofacilitator.  The next ten years, when we traveled and worked together and wrote the Instructional Rounds book with Liz and Sarah, provided a powerful formative experience that profoundly shapes my work and thinking today. And they were joyful years as well, like when the four of us we drove in the wrong direction in Iowa for about 100 miles deep in conversation about the future of education, with none of us paying attention to where we were actually going.  Some of my favorite memories of Richard are when we were working together in Connecticut, with the superintendents. On the drive down, we would plan our workshop, but on the way back it was all about life, our families, the trajectory of our careers, Harvard. He was endlessly interested in so many things.  I treasure those times.

I will miss him and send my love to Kirsten and family, and to the many friends and colleagues who will as well.

Shared by zoila aguilar on February 13, 2021
Richard Elmore.
Hombre que fué una luz en el camino de la Relación Tutora en México, cuando muchos no entendían o no creían en ésta metodología, Richard con gran humildad,. Aceptó ser tutorado por una niña y allí comprendió la importancia de vivenciar, antes de concluir.
Richard es y será querido y recordado en México por todos los que luchamos por hacer de las escuelas, lugares donde todos podemos aprender y enseñar.
Gracias, gracias, gracias por tu luz, humildad, sapiencia. Gran ser humano.

One of the lights

Shared by Kenneth Klau on February 12, 2021
I was blessed to know Richard as a graduate student at HSGE and beyond. We were similarly skeptical about the role of state and federal policy in reforming schools, and we bonded over the lessons raised by Project Follow Through (the subject of his 1976 doctoral thesis, which I read cover to cover).

Having previously worked at a charter school management company, my perspective was not always popular with classmates. He entertained it anyway, probably because he knew it made for a lively lecture. He invited diverse viewpoints as long as you were ready to have them challenged. I never prepared harder for a class than I did for his.

Some might say he became more cynical about the institutional structure of schooling as time went on. I argue he was only modeling the sort of courageous self-reflection he urged from all of his students and in his visits to schools. One of his favorite expressions, at least with me, was “painting the elephant” - when any deliberative body (government, schools, practitioners, etc.) tries to solve a problem without confronting the root cause.

As a master’s degree student, I was only at Harvard for one year. Fortunately, we managed to keep in touch over the years. His office door was always open when I wanted to discuss my life path or have my theories about improving public education entertained. Somewhere along the line he preferred that I call him “Richard” instead of “Professor Elmore.” And while I appreciated the gesture, he will always remain to me, first and foremost, a teacher.

Rich

Shared by Cole Lanier on February 12, 2021
It's hard to know how to start a post about my man Rich. When you lose someone you love, your time with them plays in your mind like a film reel, out of order and out of your control. Memories you hadn't spent time with for many years come back to you at a pace all their own. They have been coming in waves since I heard he was going to die.
I remember vividly when I met Rich for the first time. I was 13, and it was at a too-fancy-for-the-strip-mall Chinese restaurant where we were going to be introduced to my mother's new partner. I remember eating sesame chicken and hearing about the Harvard GSE. He was obviously an important guy, but friendly and interested in the four of us.
I remember walking through the Dubai airport almost a decade later, Rich cranky at his family for what I'm sure was a very good reason. Him trying to find our gate, a quarter mile ahead of us while my siblings, mother and I followed like guilty ducklings.
I remember helping him replace his windshield wiper blades in the driveway, telling him that sometimes stuff doesn't really fit well, and you have to muscle it together.
I remember him showing us the open market in Seattle, where he had spent so much time and a place that evoked in him the vitality of a city he loved.
I remember him telling me that is was "good" to put chicken bones in the garbage disposal and thinking "there is no way that's true."
I remember him trying out a recipe for white bean pizza, and the smile he got when he had knocked one out of the park.
And finally I remember being able to host him in a home of my own this Christmas, finally being able to repay him for the 17 years he had fed me and made sure I was comfortable. My last memory of Rich that sticks in my mind is making a fire in the hearth for him, and sitting while he explained his recent readings on how painting with oil was different than acrylics; that contrast mattered so much, and that some paintings come alive in a dimmer light.
Rich was a wonderful man, and a wonderful friend. He was walking into a lion's den that day when he met with four teenagers, angry about their parents divorce, and he managed to carry it with the grace, wisdom, and attention he brought to everything he did. Most people knew him as a fascinating professor, a diligent and inspiring colleague, but I knew him as Rich. A man you quietly snuck around while he was making his breakfast, and who loved to talk with you well after dinner was over. I will miss him very much.

Grateful and Sad

Shared by Harriette Rasmussen on February 11, 2021
My heart has hurt so much since I heard of Richard's death last night and my head has been filled with the razor sharp memories and impact his spirit and intellect had on my life.  I am so grateful to see these photos of the past few years - he looks happy and fulfilled. I need not share impact on my understanding of education systems and leadership - that would be no surprise to anyone who worked, or studied with him.  But I never eat crab cakes without remembering that these were (at that time anyway) his speciality and how he loved to experiment with ingredients. I often look at my now grown son and remember Kirsten and Richard looking at his infant self during an HISL reception (Richard and I being the same age and both with grown children) and wondering.... and Kirsten saying "well, the night is still young!"  My most precious memory, though is when Kirsten surprised him at GSE. To this day I have never seen such joy on anyone's face as his when he hugged her.  Etched forever.  

A Life Changing Encounter

Shared by Jal Mehta on February 11, 2021
When I came to the Ed School straight off a Ph.D. in sociology, I had the immense good fortune to get an office right next door to Richard Elmore. Learning with Richard was like getting a second education: The wealth of what he knew about K-12 education was unmatched, with the possible exception of his teacher, David Cohen. Richard didn't mentor in the sense of offering advice, but he let me tag along on visits to schools, and gradually I learned to understand what it was I was seeing, and how the small could be a microcosm of the problems in the larger system. 

Early at my time at the GSE, I can remember when there would be a debate among seemingly knowledgeable folks, everyone else was so distanced from what they were actually talking about, their ideas rife with assumptions from schools they had been in long ago, or ideological shibboleths. And then Richard would say, well, maybe in theory, but going by what i saw in school last Friday, this is how it is actually playing out in practice. And I thought: That's the guy I want to be like! I can't teach in an ed school without spending regular time in schools -- and much of the rest of my work has followed from there.

I remember visiting a New Orleans school with him as part of The Futures of School Reform project. Everyone in the project was in theory an "expert," but Richard was at another level. As we took the bus to the school (which he had never visited), Richard walked up and down the aisle of the bus, and told us "this is what the school is going to look like, this is what the tasks will look like, this is what you are going to think is strong, this is what you are going to think is weak" and, sure enough, it was like he could predict the future. That deep knowledge of practice is something to which we all should aspire. 

As many of you know, towards the end of his career he became much more pessimistic about the fate of schooling as an institution. But I think that was driven in part by his absolute faith in young people and what they could do. Learning is not schooling, and schooling is often not the best place for learning. As my work evolved, I gradually began to see the power of that perspective, and it animates much of my interest in remaking the "grammar" of schooling. As usual, he was ahead of the curve.
 
I found my eyes welling up last night as I was doing the dishes. Richard is literally irreplaceable, but he has left behind a long legacy of provocative ideas, and a powerful model of what it means to live as an engaged professor.

Richard: A Beginner's Mind.

Shared by Santiago Rincon-Gallardo on February 11, 2021
I will never forget the day when, in an unlikely visit to a remote, single room school in rural Mexico, Richard Elmore accepted an invitation from Maricruz, a 13 year old girl, to engage in a tutoring session of geometry. Here's how Richard remembered this encounter: “As a learner, with Maricruz as my tutor, I found myself in an unusual situation. It was clear that I was engaged with someone who had mastered a practice. She was not bashful about stopping me when I moved from one step of the problem to another to ask for a clarification of why I made the decision I had made. Her manner was polite, respectful, but not overly impressed by my knowledge of geometry and ever-vigilant for weak logic and ambiguous terminology. Her questions were clear and highly-focused. She did not share my enthusiasm for having gotten the “right” answer. She was more interested in what I didn’t know, or couldn’t readily recover from my prior knowledge. More importantly, she didn’t “teach” me a method for solving the problem, she coached me through a process of thinking about the problem, and diagnosed a critical weakness in my background knowledge. I felt that I was in the hands of an expert.”

Richard went on to say “Since my return from Mexico, I have thought many times about my geometry lesson with María Cruz. I am currently spending at least two, sometimes three, days a week visiting classrooms in American schools as part of my work on school improvement. […] Maricruz is my constant companion in these classrooms these days.[...]—her confidence and poise as a tutor, her wry commentary on my shaky grasp of the origins of pi, her relationships with her tutors and the other eleven students in her school, her strong voice, her level gaze and eye contact when she speaks to adults, her quiet courage and joy as a learner. I also think about the proud parents assembled in the dusty front yard of a tiny two-room school in the middle of nowhere, with pickup trucks and horses tethered nearby, listening to one of their children speak as an expert about a complex math problem, with pride and a bit of incomprehension that this could be happening to their child.”

Upon his return to Boston, I got a short email from Kirsten, his wife, whom I didn't know at the time but has since become a cherished friend. In her email, she said something along the lines of: Richard showed me pictures of his trip to Mexico with tears rolling down his cheeks.

Since then, Richard became one of the most amazing allies and critical friends to our efforts to liberate learning across Mexican public schools, generously sparing time and mind to help us think more deeply about our work. He was the first to qualify the Learning Community Project (or Tutorial Networks, Redes de Tutoría) as a social movement, an insight that provoked in me something I can only describe as intellectual awakening: it immediately crystalized and integrated in my mind several ideas that had until then - as I was in the midst of my doctoral studies - felt scattered, disorganized, and unclear. It was a definitive moment that continues to influence to this day the ways I think, live and work as an educator, scholar, and organizer.

The poet Naomi Shihab Nye once said "People don't pass away./ They die/ and then they stay." There are many ways in which Richard will stay with me for the rest of my life. I will forever remember his sharp intellect, his generous heart, his contagious laughter, his profound respect for young people, and his wise impatience with the ways in which schooling stifles - whether intentionally or not - their natural curiosity, their innate capacity to learn, and their joy as holders of a beginner's mind. 

I love you, Richard.

A loving spirit

Shared by Antonia Rudenstine on February 11, 2021
When I first came to know Richard he was called Dick, and honestly, sometimes he lived up to his name. In 1996 my new friend, Kirsten, and I enrolled in the first of several classes. We tussled with him around ideas. He had very strongly held ideas. Kirsten wrote poetic weekly briefs that described her beautiful perspective that learning is soul-work. I chafed at being told to write on-demand, and worked through my ideas in drawings, mind maps, and an assortment of other pieces, that Richard finally gave up on trying to figure out how to assess. We gave him a hard time. We loved the intellectual push and pull. AND, as one of my doctoral committee members, I almost did violence to him as I tried to get him to sit down and read my drafts so that I could graduate before I was so old I would have to retire. I did not always find Richard to be an easy person, but he was so very easy to love. 

In our communal life, Richard was Richie. A dear, introspective, creative soul. A lover of jazz and poetry. A daily writer of Haiku's. A deep learner. A creator of meals that blended flavors in daring and inspired ways. Sunday dinner with family was the highlight of his week. He loved to be outside--I would often come out my back door to sit on our deck and he would be relaxed in the late afternoon sun, listening to NPR, roasting a chicken on the grill. When it was time to shovel the driveway, he was among the first to head out to start up the snow blower; prickly if we ran the motor too hard when it was our turn; uncomplaining though he felt the cold so profoundly. 

In January, Kirsten, Luca, Richard and I spent a weekend on Cape Cod--one of Kirsten and Richard's favorite places to be in nature, by water, and in the light of the sun. The hours we were together brought the full spectrum of Richard: he cooked, helped bathe the little dogs in the kitchen sink, lounged in bed reading on his phone. He ate a Swedish breakfast savoring it over two hours, while reading almost every article in the paper. He drew and wrote, we walked and chatted. In the evening, we watched a Melissa McCarthy movie. He laughed so hard (as did we all), that tears ran down his face. His humor was beautiful. His smile and the glint in his eye, his belly laugh and his little chortle, his jokes and his pleasure in the absurd. 

One of the greatest gifts of my life is how much Richie loved my daughter, Luca. He delighted in her. He appreciated her as a full human. He was there, with Kirsten and Lily, on the day Luca and I came home from the hospital--of course with an enormous meal in hand. He's been there throughout the milestones of her life. Most recently, he helped her join the most amazing program to finish out high school, eagerly engaging with her about the work she was undertaking. Luca has found her passion and path through this gift from Richard-- just as she developed her love of inventive cooking from him, shared his love of art, and grew to love jazz. He inspired her, in his understated but deeply passionate way. This is one of the most profound gifts of Richard's presence in my life. 

One of the things that Richard hated in life was his birthday. He never felt a desire to celebrate this day, and we all tried to honor this, though celebrating life on birthdays is a special thing in Kirsten's family. We never remembered how old he was, and most of the time he was cagey about the actual day in March. A few years ago, he and I were talking about how much the Spring Equinox meant to us both. For us, the winter was hard: the cold and dark of New England dampened our mood and energy, encouraging us to overload on bread, mashed potatoes, and pasta. Though spring rarely comes to Boston before May, for Richie, Kirsten and I, the Spring Equinox was a moment of hope and an awakening of new life. And so, we have celebrated Richie on this day. 

by Senryu in the 18th century. (Part of a book of Japanese Death Poems)
Bitter winds of winter--
but later, river willow,
open up your buds.

May we all light a candle for this dear soul this March. 

In the quiet way that was so much a part of his later life, Richie has been here, observing, loving, exploring the inner landscape of his soul, and participating in the vibrant, full lives of his wife, children, grandchildren and dear friends, in enduring ways that are forever meaningful to us all.


Liderazgo Escolar en Chile

Shared by Ricardo Faundez on February 11, 2021
Mi nombre es Ricardo Faúndez. Conocí al dr. Elmore en un seminario en Santiago de Chile, donde expuso los secretos del universo. Su pensamiento y datos que aportaron en la investigación, de la cual soy un admirador, produjeron en mí un cambio en la manera de pensar, en la forma de ver cómo gestionar una escuela. El concepto de Núcleo Pedagógico ya tiene para mi su posición clara en lo que ejecuto a diario. Siempre recordaré sus enseñanzas. Gr

My dear friend

Shared by Erika Bjerström on February 11, 2021
Richard,

how little we know. A fee weeks ago I was a guest in your’s and Kirsten’s lively home . I had worked to cover the US presidential inauguration. Since I have antibodies we decided to dare my visit before I went back to Sweden. You had sent one of your precise and loving emails asking me to be careful as a representative of the media and avoid possible outburts of violence. As always we discussed politics, climate change, education, how our children and friends have dealt with the pandemic. You asked me what I wanted for dinner and prepared yet another delicious meal, while doing a long Skype conference with Chile! You shared new ideas on future work projects. You and Kirsten spoke of travelling to Japan, a country I have grown to love. And then! Illness. Darkness. Death. You are gone, with the words of Kahlil Gibran” 
”For what is it to die but to stand naked in the wind and to melt into the sun?
And what is to cease breathing, but to free the breath from its restless tides, that it may rise and expand and seek God unencumbered?
Only when you drink from the river of silence shall you indeed sing. 
And when you have reached the mountain top, then you shall begin to climb. 
And when the earth shall claim your limbs, then shall you truly dance”
I wilö miss you so much , miss a caring and complex and always interesting man, married to my best friend, a present and caring father figure ,and cherish all the times we have spent together, in Sweden, in the US and elsewhere. 
Thank you. 

Fiercely dedicated, belly laughing, encouraging mentor

Shared by Dean Blase on February 10, 2021
Richard never held back his enormous enthusiasm for what he called "the work."  In my case, this meant helping me refine many (wayyy) out of the box ideas to bring humane, student-centered, fun learning back to classrooms and even districts.  He was always ready with big questions and a twinkle in his eye when I'd try to muddle through those big ideas.  When my family first arrived in Cambridge and my daughter was aching with alarming bouts of homesickness, he helped me find a therapist and asked after her regularly.  As my thesis advisor, he pretty much left me alone to investigate what I could about STEM partnerships in Cambridge, and when I presented him with an elaborate game to thank him for the trust and autonomy he'd given, he lit right up, saying, "You have no idea how much the kids at home will love this!"  It was this love of life, finding the joy behind what could easily bring us all down, and remembering that home is really the best place to be much of the time, that I carried with me into my post-EdLD roles.  Thank you Richard - your sparkle has lit many hearts far away from Boston.  My deepest condolences to his big family - he loved to see you laugh & play.

A Colleague who understood the work of schools

Shared by Linda Nathan on February 10, 2021
Although I never studied directly with Richard Elmore when I was a doctoral student. I came to HGSE in the late 80s- early 90s to work with Vito Perrone. I knew that, in some ways, they spoke similar languages. As a school leader, I was always drawn to the ways in which Elmore understood us practitioners.... and how he helped us think differently and more creatively. Now, in my work co-leading the Perrone-Sizer Institute for Creative Leadership, I'm proud to say that we "teach Elmore" to all our emerging creative leaders.

I reached out to him in June to talk about some of the ideas bouncing around in my head-- disgruntled ideas, even angry ideas.... Why are we still talking about schooling instead of learning?  How has this industry become so much about compliance and so little about creating a democracy? I wanted his help in thinking through some of my ideas... He immediately, and generously wrote back that yes we should do that after the summer. But summer turned into Fall and I didn't reschedule a time to talk. Now, sadly,  I hear that I will not have a conversation with him. But I will hold on to his last email to me with ferociousness. And, I pledge to carry on fighting for learning and not schooling. Thank you for all you have contributed to so many of us and the institutions we were able to build. I send deepest sympathy to your family. 
Shared by Houman Harouni on February 10, 2021
The first time I sat down with Richard was a couple of years after I had finished my doctoral work at Harvard. He sat down with me, in fact--came over to my table at a cafe and asked how I was and what I was working on. As a student I never took a class with him, never really even talked to him. Out of a misplaced frustration with the education business, I had taken the huge influence he wielded in the field as a sign of conformism and, so, rejected him. Someone handed him a critique of his ideas that I had written, a scathing piece of polemic. "I loved what you wrote," he told me after the usual pleasantries. I tried to explain that my mind had changed and I was embarrassed of the young know-it-all who had said those things. "That'd be a real shame," he replied. There was in him no defense against critique, no will to censor, no hunger for control. He had never rejected me, his student in absentia, just as he had worked his entire adult life to create a vision of schooling that welcomed everyone, equally, into a passionate exploration of life. We became friends, spent time at his house and mine, with the magnificent Kirsten Olson, his wife, whom he loved like a bird loves the open air, leading us both in conversation.

Once, after a few drinks, I pointed out to him that his name, years after his official retirement, still appeared in an annual list of top ten most influential educationalists. "I told the guys who run that racket to leave me out of it," he said. "I told them to put some young person's name in there instead, or someone who cares about lists. I've been out of that game for a long time now." Petty games irked his vast, high-minded humility.

Into that greater game, dear old teacher, to which you dedicated your life, into that game your life, your work and your words continue to flow. One can find you there.

Richard's Generosity

Shared by Henry Lanier on February 10, 2021
I am incredibly grateful to Richard for his unbelievable generosity towards me and my siblings. Richard took on the four of us and my mother as his family. He had a comfortable life in Cambridge with a condo, furniture and art catered to his liking. He had privacy and independence to live his life as he wished. He traded all this in to help raise 4 surly adolescents in a Victorian house in Brookline with all of the meals, chaos and noise that it entailed. Richard accepted this change with a gracious spirit and love for all of us. This kindness extended into our adult lives. Anyone who was lucky enough to receive a dinner invitation to my mother and Richard's house was treated to an extraordinary culinary experience. Richard showed his affection for people through his cooking. This was his love language. 

My girlfriend and I had the opportunity to visit him in hospice a few hours before he passed. He was not conscious and breathing heavily. I put my hand on his and thanked him for everything he had done for us. I am indebted to him for his generous spirit. Thank you Richard. You will be missed. 
Henry Lanier
(Richard's Stepson) 

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