Willa June Richey

Willa June Richey

Willa June Richey


Willa June (Oliphant) Richey, 92 of Lexington Park, MD, peacefully joined our Lord and Savior on Saturday, February 24, 2024, surrounded by loved ones at home. A private burial will be held in Downingtown, PA, and then a community-wide Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, May 11, at Patuxent Presbyterian Church in California, MD.

Willa was born May 11, 1931, in Anamosa, IA. She was the tenth of twelve children of Cecil Glen Oliphant and Sarah Lucinda (Betzer) Oliphant. Willa was a devoted wife, mother, grandmother, and great grandmother. Willa married her first and only love, James (Jim) D. Richey, on July 3, 1954. One week later, they moved to the East Coast, and their adventures began. They raised three children together. They moved several times between Maryland and New Jersey, as Jim first worked as a Mechanical Design Engineer for the NASA Space program and then as a Mechanical Engineer for AT&T/Bell Labs. Willa enjoyed being a homemaker and mother and attending social activities with Jim. She was active in her church, Bible studies and prayer groups. She enjoyed playing bridge, writing short stories and poetry, sewing, quilting, walking, political discussions, and playing the piano and organ. After the children had grown, she worked as an Executive Secretary at Construction Management Associates, keeping all the team on task. At the same time, she also attended the local community college-County College of Morris- and completed her associate degree in business. Later, after Jim retired from AT&T, they moved to Pennsylvania so that Jim could assist his brother with his mechanical engineering skills. There, Willa worked again as an Executive Secretary with Weston Solutions. After Jim passed away, Willa and her young granddaughter, Krystle, moved to Iowa, in order to spend time with her beloved sisters and extended family members. In 2009, Willa moved back to Maryland to be with family. Willa always opened her home to friends, family and anyone who needed refreshment, prayer and to hear the Word of God. She had a very humble, joyful spirit and people were drawn to her and her ready smile. Even in her years of decline, she accepted her circumstances with grace and courage. She has been and will continue to be an inspiration to many.

Survivors include her daughters Susan Lisa (Sheller) of Tennessee, Anne Marie (Smith) of Maryland, and her granddaughter, Krystle Lynn (Rivera) of Iowa. Survivors also include grandchildren Stanley, Ashley, Emily and Joshua; great-grandchildren Alivia, Kashmira, Ra’ Monte, and Serenity; brother Robert Oliphant of Wyoming; and many nieces, nephews and cousins.

Willa was preceded in death by her beloved husband, Jim; her son, Jimmy; her parents; and her siblings: Mike, Alger, Glen, Wayne, Darrel, Ronnie, DeVee Ashlock, Romona Hartley, Alice Frazer, and Mayola Pollet.

The family would like to extend a special thanks to her many loving caregivers over the past 8 years, St. Mary’s Hospice, and to the body of Christ at Patuxent Presbyterian Church, for all the loving care, attention and encouragement shown to Willa and family. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Redeemer Broadcasting in memory of Willa at www.redeemerbroadcasting.org or www.maugergivnish.com.

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