A gathering honoring and remembering the life of Wallace "Wally" Ridgway Richman, Jr. will be held at the Hayhurst Funeral Home, 1660 South Elm Place, Broken Arrow, OK 74012, (918-258-9623) on Wednesday, July 10, 2019, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Wally passed away at the age of 80 on June 28, 2019 in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma.
Wally was born in Houston, Texas, on January 21, 1939, and was the first child of Wallace Ridgway Richman, Sr. and Lucy Talley Richman.
Wally's father was in the oil business, and that meant numerous moves to different parts of the United States and the world. As a child and throughout adulthood, Wally always approached each move with a sense of adventure and a determination to enjoy and to make the most of each new locale.
Wally spent his first eight years in Baytown, Texas before the family, increased by a new sister, moved to Summit, New Jersey. Wally's favorite possession from those years was his snow sled. After all, snow was a novelty to a young boy from the Gulf Coast of Texas.
After six years in New Jersey, the real adventures began with the move to Durban, South Africa. It was in South Africa that Wally learned how to play golf, a hobby he pursued with vigor up until his mid-seventies. He got close to par on several occasions, or at least that was what he said!
Mumbai (Bombay), India, was next. Wally was sent off to a boarding school up in the mountains of northern India because the American/English schools in Mumbai at that time did not go up to high school. He tried to pretend that it was so difficult being separated from his family but in reality, he was having the time of his life.
Then back to the United States for a six month stay in San Antonio before moving to Abadan, Iran. And again, it was boarding school as the oil company schools only went through the sixth grade in Abadan.
Off Wally went to Beirut, Lebanon, the "Paris of the Middle East" where he attended and graduated from the American Community School ("ACS"). Here Wally thrived and made lifelong friends he kept up with via visits, reunions, telephone calls, letters and social media until his passing. He also developed his passion for jazz at ACS.
That summer for three (long or short depending on whom you asked) months, Wally, his sister and parents drove a 1956 Ford station wagon from Beirut up through Turkey, Yugoslavia (as it was known then), down to Italy and through the rest of Europe. Wally was in charge of getting the daily newspaper, The New York Herald Tribune and from that point on, Wally always had to have his daily newspapers and he became a lifelong, voracious reader.
Then Wally, probably very happy that that summer was over (!), went off to Texas A&M University and graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree. Before Wally began his career in earnest, he was drafted into the United States Army and served most of his time in Germany.
After that, it took Wally a couple of years to discover that he enjoyed and had a talent for the propane business. That business also meant numerous moves: Texas, Missouri, Kansas, Michigan, California and Tulsa, Oklahoma. Wally's favorite place was Tulsa and he always said that would be where he would retire. He always felt "at home" in Tulsa and he treasured and enjoyed the wonderful friends that he had made over the years.
Those friends formed an incredible support system for Wally during his illness and were instrumental in making his final couple of years quite pleasant. His family will always be grateful for their kindnesses.
Wally is survived by his beloved daughter, Cynthia Lambert, and her husband, Randy; and his grandchildren, Hayden and Chandler; and by his sister, Louise Richman, whom he loved to tease and her husband, Dennis Griffith. Wally's cat, Clarence, also survives him and just like the rest of us misses him terribly.
Radio programs were another important part of Wally's life. He especially enjoyed Public Radio Tulsa and should anyone desire to make a memorial in his name that address is: Public Radio Tulsa, 800 South Tucker Drive, Tulsa, OK 74104. Thank you!