Lavida H. “Vi” Richards

Lavida H. “Vi” Richards

August 15, 1922- January 24, 2024

Lavida H. “Vi” Richards, 101+, of Sweet Home passed away January 24, 2024 in Lebanon. She was born near Chariton, Iowa, on August 15, 1922, the youngest of eight children born to H. Taylor and Myrtle (Nussbaum) Oxenreider. She grew up on a farm in Lacona, Iowa, and attended high school in Chariton, Iowa.

In 1940, Lavida married Noel Richards. They had their first daughter, Barbara, before moving west. They moved from their farm to Oregon seeking a more prosperous life. Noel found work in the timber industry where he became a timber faller. Their daughters, Sharon and Shirley, were born in Oregon. In a span of four years, they now had three daughters. In the late 1940’s, they moved back to Iowa, where they lived on the Richards’ family farm. Their first son, Steve, was born in Iowa.

Even though Lavida grew up on a farm, country life wasn’t for her. Again, the family returned to Oregon and settled in the Sweet Home area. She loved the small city life and considered Sweet Home “her town.”

The Richards family continued to grow, adding daughter Linda, and a son, Mike. Lavida always wanted a large family and their family was now complete with six children.

For many years, Lavida spent her time being a mom and grandma. She looked after many of her grandchildren while their parents worked or went to school and never asked for anything in return.

After more than 30 years together, Lavida and Noel were divorced but remained friends until his passing in 1986.

Besides being a stay-at-home mom, Lavida sold Stanley Home Products and worked in the cannery and the restaurant business. She enjoyed being around people and volunteered at the Gleaners and at the Senior Center serving lunch. At the age of 90, she was given an award at the Sweet Home Chamber of Commerce banquet for her many years of volunteering.