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Hanna Richards

Hanna Richards

Hanna Marie Van Dyke Reynolds Richards was born on Oct. 9, 1924 and slipped away from us on Nov. 21, 2009, surrounded by the love of her family.

Hanna was raised in Lewistown, Pa., the daughter of Hanna Marie and Benjamin Van Dyke. She graduated from Thomas Jefferson School of Nursing in Philadelphia in October 1945. In December 1945 she married John Ross Reynolds, a medical student at Thomas Jefferson Medical School. In 1954, Hanna and Jack and three young daughters - one so tiny she travelled in a wicker laundry basket - moved west from Pennsylvania to The Dalles, Ore. In 1956, Hanna and Jack and four daughters moved to Ashland, Ore. Their fifth daughter was born here.

Hanna was an active member of the United Church of Christ and the Tudor Guild, and host to endless parties, sleepovers and "My mom will make cookies!" for her daughters. She was a coordinator of the local chapter of American Field Service, helping many Ashland High School students study abroad, and welcoming Lilette Tumbagahan from The Philippines into our family for a year. And although she was not a farm girl, Mama became a dedicated and persevering 4-H mother. She may have declined to milk cows, but she loaded many stubborn steers and sheep into trailers, hauling them from one end of the county to the other behind the family station wagon. She spent endless hours in the summer heat of a decade of Jackson County 4-H fairs, keeping her competitor daughters in clean white shirts, green clip-on ties, and encouraging hugs. Mama scooped so much ice cream for 4-H booth milk shakes that she had tennis elbow most Augusts. But she was always our elegant mama, no matter the dust and heat.

Hanna and Jack divorced in 1970. Hanna married Harry Slade Richards in 1972 and moved with her Harry and youngest daughter Sarah to Santa Rosa, California in 1973. When Mama retired from nursing in 1986, she and Harry moved to Arizona. Mama was a dedicated member of the First Presbyterian Church in Lake Havasu City, serving as deacon, member of the Session, and Stephen Minister. When Harry died in 1999, Mama returned to Ashland to be a dynamic part of the lives of her daughters and grandchildren. Her participation in the First Presbyterian Church in Ashland was very important to her, and she enjoyed renewing old friendships and making new friends in Ashland.

Hanna's survivors include her five daughters and their families, and a list of friends too long to print. Her daughters are Meredith Reynolds, Hanna Jean Reynolds Moseley (Steve Moseley, who died in 1995), Ellen Reynolds Wopat (husband Richard, children Katie, Ross and Maggie), Priscilla Reynolds Saul (husband Rick, son Jake Crutcher), and Sarah Reynolds Challman (husband Shady, daughter Phoebe, and Crosby the wonder dog who was Mama's very dear friend).

We thank Asante Medical Center Hospice for sending Scott to be Mama's nurse, and we are so grateful to the people who surrounded Mama with love throughout her life. Haven't we all been lucky to be part of Hanna's world?

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 28, at the First Presbyterian Church, located at the corner of Siskiyou and Walker in Ashland. Memorial contributions can be made to Asante Hospice, networkers.org, or Heifer International.

Hanna Richards