Family and friends mourn the death of Ronald Charles 'Pard' Richards who passed peacefully on Dec. 3, 2018. He was 96. The son of Charles and Matilda Richards, Pard, a nickname he acquired because he was his dad's partner, was born in Silver Plume, Colorado, in 1922. Pard was an original teamster helping his dad run teams of large draft horses hauling logs or ore from the Colorado hillsides. Shortly after high school Pard joined the Army Air Corp and traveled the United States learning aircraft engine and airframe maintenance.
After a short stint of working construction in Texas, Pard and his best friend, Bill Williams, traveled to Alaska. After a few months they landed in Flat where they learned to "skin cat," prospect for gold, run dogs on a trapline and cut cordwood for the town. They lived in Flat for three years before returning to Fairbanks. Pard worked on the Richardson Highway and the Eielson power plant before starting work with the Alder Creek Mining Company north of Fairbanks. It was there that he met Isabel Eagan Hubbard. They were married in 1952 and raised four children.
Pard had an extensive career as a long-haul truck driver, making countless trips to Anchorage, Valdez and the Canadian border. In the late 1960s he was part of a small group of original "Ice Road" truckers. They traveled north towards Prudhoe Bay following large bulldozers because there was no road. He hauled freight many times to the North Slope both before and after the road was built. After Pard retired in 1980, he and Isabel traveled around the United States in their RV visiting family and friends.
Pard enjoyed fishing, photography, telling a story and hearing a good joke. He was preceded in death by his parents, three sisters, and Isabel who died in 2000. He is survived by his children, Jerry Hubbard (Shirley Patton), Ginny (Hubbard) Shafer, Mary (Hubbard) Weymiller (Jim), and Tom Richards (Debbie) and numerous grandchildren and great grandchildren. At the time of his passing he was the longest-term resident at the Pioneers' Home. Pard's family extend their gracious thanks to the staff of the Pioneers' Home. He loved the care and friendship he received all of the years he lived there. In lieu of flowers the family asks a donation be made to the Pioneers' Home Foundation, 2221 Eagan Ave., Fairbanks, Alaska 99701. A Pioneers of Alaska service will be held in the Spring.