Donald Eugene Richards, a lifelong resident of California, passed away on September 25, 2021 at Los Robles Hospital in Thousand Oaks, California. Born in Los Angeles, California on March 27, 1929. Raised by a single mother, Pearl Matheson Yost, who taught him to be thrifty and self-sufficient. For most of his life, until he left for the Marines, he and his mother lived in boarding houses. They had one room and his mother cooked on a hot plate. Boiled potatoes and carrots were main stay items on the menu. He had a friend, Rick Voorhies, who often came and spent the night with them. I asked why he would come just to sleep on the floor. Don said it was better than what he had at home. I never heard the rest of the story, but I thought Pearl must have been very generous to share the little they had. With his mother’s permission, Don joined the Marines at the age of 17. His friend Rick joined at the same time. He was assigned to the typing pool, although he did achieve the level of Rifle Sharp Shooter while in Basic Training. Rick was assigned to be the lifeguard at the Officer Wives pool. They spent their entire enlistment in San Francisco, CA. After the service Don worked hard to pay for his college education while raising a family at the same time. He and his wife, Cora, became interested in raising and breeding and showing Boxer dogs. They did this for several years and produced 2 Champion dogs, Perry and Lottie. He enjoyed fishing, though he never ate the fish! He earned his Bachelor’s degree from Cal State Northridge (CSUN). He became a CPA while working as the comptroller at Nordskog Industries, a company that produced airplane galleys. He later joined a small CPA firm and soon became a partner. In 1981 he opened his own practice with his daughter Lori as partner. They were partners for over 6 years. Many of their clients were stuntmen. During this time Don began golfing and participated in several Stuntmen's Association Golf Tournaments. Sons Reas and Michael and daughter Lori were able to join him in many golf games. Sharing this time with him made many lasting memories. He married Jeannette (Ballestero) Lieja in 1990. They lived in Sherman Oaks, just blocks from his office, for several years. They later moved to Camarrillo and he moved his office to Calabasas, CA. Don loved his work and prided himself in always being honest and showing integrity in all his choices, as well as in the advice he gave to his clients. He was proud to say that 4 of his daughters followed him in becoming professional bookkeepers, accountants and 1 CPA. His wife Jeannette encouraged him to travel and they had many wonderful experiences. When at home you could always find him watching some kind of sports on TV. He gained his love of sports from his mother. Like his mother, family knew not to call or visit if there was a game on! During the time they were married, Jeannette became a grandmother for the first time. This of course meant Don gained another grandson. From the time he was born, Hunter was often at their home, so grew up knowing Don as his grandpa. Jeannette passed away in 2012. Don continued to work until the age of 85 when he sold his business. Don had four daughters with his first wife Cora Jean Milich. He gained another son and daughter when he married Jeannette. Don has 13 grandchildren from this blended family, 16 great-grandchildren and 1 great-great- grandchild. One daughter, 4 grandchildren, 10 great-grandchildren and his great-great grandson all live in Utah. 1 grandson and 5 grandchildren live in Idaho. One granddaughter lives in New Mexico. One granddaughter and one great-grandson live in Illinois. The remaining children and grand children live in various areas of California. They all continue to carry on the ethic of being able to achieve anything you want if you are willing to work for it. Don led a full life and was proud of his accomplishments and his family. He was loved and will be missed.

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Per his wishes, Don was cremated by the Neptune Society and his ashes were scattered into the Pacific Ocean off the California coast.

Life Story Info

Author

Debbie Allen

Post Date

Oct 05, 2021

Personal Info

Age

92
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Don was a kind and upstanding gentleman. It was an honor to have known him🕊🪶

tricia howell , castaic, CA, US Oct 05, 2021

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