January 23, 2022

William Victor Richards: October 15, 1928 – March 5, 2010



William Victor Richards: October 15, 1928 – March 5, 2010

Vic and Jeanine spent many vacations at their time share in Maui. This photo was taken in 2003.

Long-time Topanga resident William Victor Richards died on Friday, March 5, 2010, at the Kaiser Permanente Hospital in Woodland Hills of pneumonia and complications of Parkinson’s disease. Richards, who had been rushed to the hospital by paramedics late on Wednesday, March 3, was surrounded by his wife Jeanine and loved ones the night before he expired.

Richards, known to his friends as “Vic,” was born in Coronado, California, on October 15, 1928, the eldest of a family of three boys and a girl. He and his brother Tom were at Pearl Harbor, where his father, a Navy pilot, was stationed when the islands were attacked by Japanese fighter-bombers on December 7, 1941.

Richards, a life-long athlete, was drafted into the Army during the Korean War, but never saw action. He was in Japan, slated to ship out to Korea, when he was tapped by superiors to play on his division’s football team.

After returning to California, he attended UCLA, receiving the first of several degrees, and embarked on a 39-year teaching career, 31 of which were spent teaching government and economics at Santa Monica High School where he retired in 1994.

He married Jeanine in 1963, and soon thereafter bought a half-acre in Topanga’s Post Office tract where they built their home of 46 years. Both before and after his retirement from teaching, Richards, who received the Topanga Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year Award in 1977, was active in numerous Topanga organizations, serving as an officer of many of them. Among others, Richards served as president of the Town Council (making him “Honorary Mayor of Topanga”) and the Topanga Chamber of Commerce, treasurer of the Town Council, the Community House Improvement Committee, the Topanga Christian Science Church, and T-CEP.

Richards is survived by his wife Jeanine, his brothers Tom and John, his sister Vicky Richards Higgins, and his nieces Laurel Krein and Linda Genewich and their families.

A memorial service and celebration of Richards’s life will be held at the Community House on Sunday, May 2, from 2 to 4 p.m. The event will be potluck and residents are invited to share stories and photos of Richards’s life. n

Editor’s Note: The Topanga Messenger will honor Richards in a future issue following his memorial gathering. Those wishing to include tributes and remembrances of Richards should submit them to editor@topangamessenger.com on or before noon, Monday, May 10.

In Memoriam

Stacy Sledge, president of the Topanga Town Council, announced the following tributes made in honor of Vic Richards:

• On March 9th, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors made an Adjournment Motion in Vic Richards' memory.

• The Town Council created a condolence page for Vic and Jeanine at:

my-condolence.com, where Topangans can “light a candle” for Vic.

• At the March 11 Town Council meeting, there was a special memorial candle-lighting ceremony celebrating Vic's contributions to Topanga. Many residents and County representatives shared stories of their memories of him.

The Town Council is accepting memorial donations that will be used for a permanent dedication site in Vic's honor and for a Canyon-wide memorial celebration of Vic's life. Make checks payable to: Topanga Town Council, Vic Richards Memorial, P. O. Box 1085, Topanga, CA 90290.