Marilyn Latchaw Richards
Marilyn was born in Gibsonburg, Ohio (Toledo). Although she was born with a profound hearing loss, she was able to navigate the complexities that it presented throughout her 92 years of life.
She attended several deaf “oral” schools but it was when she arrived at Florida School for the Deaf and Blind (FSDB) that her world truly opened up. She learned ASL (American Sign Language) and was finally able to communicate with others like her. She remained friends with her classmates throughout the rest of her life. It was at FSDB that Marilyn met the love of her life, Bill (William Richards, 05/02/1926-05/06/2015). Bill’s jokes and teasing attracted Marilyn, a beautiful blue-eyed brunette. She never stopped laughing (to the point of crying) at Bill’s antics.
Marilyn and Bill decided to continue their life together after leaving FSDB. Marilyn’s father, who was a doctor, insisted that Bill have a proper place for his daughter to live before agreeing to the marriage. Bill went back to his hometown of Fort Pierce and Marilyn went back to her family in NH. Bill used his money that he earned from working at East Coast Lumber each week to build a home in White City for his soon to be bride, Marilyn. He learned his trade as a carpenter at FSDB. Using his skills, he built a small modest home. Once the home was built, Marilyn and Bill received her dad’s blessing and they were married in Somersworth, NH on 10/07/1950. Marilyn always called the home that Bill built for her, her “Home Sweet Home”. She loved antiques and filled her home with many of her finds.
Marilyn was a homemaker extraordinaire and a woman of many talents. She loved all things nature, especially gardening. She had a God given talent for Oil and Acrylic painting which she learned at the Fort Pierce Moose Club and Indian River Community College. She later worked at IRCC and RCA (WPB) as a key punch operator. She also loved selling Avon which helped her meet others in the neighborhood.
Marilyn and Bill raised 2 children, (Beth and Terry) on a farm full of quite the menagerie of animals. Some showed up and decided to stay. Marilyn was quite fond of cats and would take care of any that showed up at her door. Her home was not only welcoming to animals but to people as well; ‘deaf or hearing’. Marilyn had a passion for ASL and would share that with anyone who wanted to learn ‘her’ language. Her beautiful hands became an instrument for God. She taught several people sign language. Many went on to become interpreters for the deaf at churches, schools, and in the community.
Marilyn and Bill attended Treasure Coast Christian Deaf Church where they were able to participate in worship through sign language. After church, they often drove to their favorite place in Fort Pierce, the South Jetty.
There are so many fond memories of Marilyn and she will be missed by her loved ones, especially by her daughter Beth. Beth became her constant companion and caregiver for 7 years. It is with sad hearts that we say goodbye to her, but we rejoice that her body has been made whole and she can HEAR the angels sing! We will miss your sweet, sweet smile but we rejoice that you are reunited with your husband Bill and your beloved son Terry.
Husband-William (Bill) Richards (deceased), Son-Terry Latchaw Richards (deceased), Sister-Chonnie Coates (deceased), Brother-Bob Latchaw (deceased), Brothers-Kenny Latchaw (Kathy), Reed Latchaw, Grandson- Evan Kelly Russell (Kearstin) and 2 great grand-daughters (Elliott and Grace), Several nieces and nephews
If you are so led, in lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to one of these organizations in memory of Marilyn.
Humane Society of St. Lucie County
Operation Cat Snip
Dogs and Cats Forever
Treasure Coast Hospice