Ernie Joseph Richard, a man of many “hats”, touched the lives of countless people during his lifetime. Born on August 17, 1939, in Gardner, he proudly served as a Medic in the United States Air Force from 1957-1961, alongside his future brother-in-law Raymond Girouard. Ernie's dedication to and love of his country reflected the values he held dear.
After his time in the Air Force, Ernie pursued a career as a skilled Machinist at Simplex Time Recorder Company and other companies. He took great pride in his work, known for his precision and craftsmanship. During this time, he also graduated from Fitchburg High School in 1969.
Ernie was a man deeply involved in his community. He was a member of the Simplex Drum & Bugle Corps and served as a Eucharistic Minister at Sacred Heart parish. Additionally, he actively participated in organizations such as the Knights of Columbus, the American Legion, and as President of the Gardner High School Hockey Boosters Club.
A lover of the outdoors, Ernie enjoyed fishing, particularly ice fishing, and engaged in activities like motorcycle riding, auto racing, and spending time at the Gardner Pistol Club with his best friend and brother, Roger. He was known for his humor, always ready with jokes and pranks that brought laughter to those around him.
Ernie's heart for volunteering led him to offer his time at the Veterans Center, the Senior Center, Heywood Hospital, and working the polls during elections.
Family meant everything to Ernie. He cherished moments with his daughter-in-law, Tracie Bush, and granddaughters Erickson and Kennedy, especially watching them excel in Field Hockey. As a devoted father, he shared a special bond with his son, Brian, actively supporting him in sports and life. His guidance, wisdom, and kindness left a lasting impact on his son, extending far beyond the sports arena.
Ernie's love story with Juliette (Julie) L. (Girouard) Richard spanned an incredible 63 years. Their devotion and commitment to each other were an inspiration to all who knew them. Their love laid the foundation for a beautiful family, filled with warmth and cherished memories and their love will continue to live on, guiding and inspiring us to love deeply, just as they did.
Ernie's departure has left a void in the hearts of many who cherished him deeply, foremost among them his beloved wife, Julie, his devoted son, Brian, and caring daughter-in-law, Tracie. In addition, he is fondly remembered by his granddaughters, Erickson and Kennedy Richard, who were a source of great joy to him.
Ernie's family network extended far and wide, encompassing his dear brother, Roger, and sister-in-law, Donna, as well as his sister-in-law, Arlene (Jay) Girouard. The bond between Ernie and his god-daughter and niece, Rhonda Richard, was a special one, and he held a place of affection in the hearts of his nephews, Roger Richard Jr., Scott Richard, Jeffrey Girouard, and his niece, Michelle Girouard.
While his absence is deeply felt, it brings comfort to know that Ernie has found eternal peace and tranquility in the loving embrace of The Holy Father. Reunited with his parents, Joseph and M. Judith (Edith) Richard, and his brother-in-law, Raymond Girouard, and his beloved dog, Shadow, Ernie's spirit is at rest.
May the memories of Ernie's love and kindness be a source of solace for those who loved him and a testament to the beautiful life he lived.
Forever in our hearts, Ernie Joseph Richard will be dearly missed but never forgotten.
The family would like to thank the entire staff at The Gardner Rehabilitation & Nursing Center for everything they did for Ernie, especially the staff on East Two and his dear care providers; Kathy, Mary, Leslie, Heidi, Stacie, Cheryl and Girard.
Calling hours will be held Friday, August 11, 2023 from 10:00 AM-12:00 PM at Mack Family Funeral Home, 105 Central Street, Gardner, MA.
A Funeral service will be held on Friday, August 11, 2023 at 12:00 PM, at Mack Family Funeral Home, 105 Central Street, Gardner, MA.
A Burial with military honors will follow at 1:00 PM at the Massachusetts Veteran's Memorial Cemetery, 111 Glenallen Street, Winchendon, MA.
To leave an online condolence, please visit www.mackfamilyfh.com.
Arrangements will be handled by The Mack Family Funeral Home and dear friend Kevin Mack.