Born in Kenosha, WI, August 29, 1925, to William and Stella Richter, Arthur Richter completed his earthly pilgrimage and was called to his true home after 92 years on March 18, 2018 in Westminster, CA.
No stranger to sacrifice and suffering, Art survived the Great Depression, his years as a WWII Naval fighter pilot and reservist and numerous health anomalies. Having attained the Eagle Scout rank in the Boy Scouts of America, he left home right after high school graduation at 17 years old when he was accepted into the Naval pilot training program in Florida.
Industrious from a very young age, he was hired to pick off potato bugs from the neighboring farmer's crops; delivered the local paper, Kenosha News, on his bicycle, door to door even in the harshest winters; and recalled his happy years washing dishes at a local restaurant.
From a one room schoolhouse in the country to undergraduate studies at Purdue on the G.I. Bill and attaining a Master of Science degree from Cal Tech in 1952 in Aeronautical Engineering, Art had a lifelong love of learning.
On July 4, 1949, Art married his beloved wife, Agnes Laca, in a double wedding ceremony at St. George Catholic Church in Kenosha along with her sister, Alma, and best buddy, Bill Lindl. Agnes and Art celebrated 54 years of marriage before Agnes preceded him in death in 2003. After their initial relocation to Los Angeles for graduate studies, they remained in California for the rest of their lives.
With a penchant for new technology, Art helped design the first computer for his employer which required an entire room to house it in! He purchased the very first handheld calculator and IBM personal computer as soon as they were available on the market.
Retired at 55 and on to a new adventure as a real estate broker, he left his work on the Apollo space craft, Saturn 5 rocket design and the military C-17 aircraft projects to put his love of real estate into action. Backpacking for 50 miles on an annual trek until he was 70 years old, and flying his own airplane (Cessna 172) until he was 84, Art kept himself active for most of his life.
Most importantly, Art came into the Catholic Church after 33 years of marriage and was a very devoted daily Mass parishioner at St. Anne's Catholic Church in Seal Beach. Reading lector, ushering at Masses and holding numerous positions in their Knights of Columbus council, Art was a recognized and highly valued member of their community right up until his passing.
Preceded in death by his parents and four siblings, Elton, Virginia Leach, William and Charles, he is survived by his last living sibling, Shirley Blasi (Gene) in Kenosha, WI, and his six children, Richard (Maria), Ronald (Sherrie), Randall (Gladys), Rodger (Alicia), Roxann Larson (Marc) and Rebecca Richter; numerous grandchildren, great grandchildren, nieces and nephews who were all loved and cherished by Art and will miss him.
Art's undying generosity, belief in helping others in so many ways with finances, loans, housing, vehicles and gifts, as well as sponsoring 20+ Vietnamese refugee relatives so that they could have a chance at a new life seeking the freedom found in the American dream in the 1970s, Art's legacy of love for God, family and country will live on in those who were so blessed to have known him.
Visitation and Rosary Prayer Service was held on Friday, March 23 at Heritage-Dilday Memorial Service. Funeral Mass was held on Saturday, March 24 at St. Anne's Catholic Church, followed by graveside services with full military honors at Good Shepherd Catholic Cemetery, Huntington Beach, CA.
Published in Orange County Register on March 25, 2018