Celebrating the Life of Barry Albert Richards Sr.
Barry “Barrington” Albert Richards Sr. was born at Victoria Jubilee Hospital, in Kingston, Jamaica on December 28, 1950. He was born to Albert “Farmie” Richards and Edith “Aunt Di” Caroline Richards (Mais). He grew up in the high hills of Red Light District, Irish Town, in the Parish of Saint Andrew. He was the son of two longtime farmers, who were well-known and respected throughout the community for their loving spirit and generosity.
He received his formal education in Jamaica, WI, and graduated from Jamaica College, also known as “JC” after which he worked at the Ministry of Health in Kingston. He migrated to the US in 1972 and made his home in NYC, the dream of all young Jamaicans at that time.
In February 1976, Barry joined the United States Air Force and served as a Meteorologist and Battlefield Weather Forecaster. During his years on active duty, Barry rose in ranks, achieving Staff Sergeant status as well as receiving an array of awards and accolades for his weather forecasting accuracy and foresight.
He served all over the world starting with Texas, Hawaii, then to Florida and eventually to England and Germany. After 18 years of traveling the world within the Air Force, Barry honorably retired in 1994 from Ramstein Air Base in Germany, one of the largest military bases in the world. This concluded the end of his military career, spent mostly balancing the fine art between the weather patterns and air traffic control.
Barry earned an array of military awards and decorations during his service including, but not limited to, the National Defense Service Medal with 5 Oak Leaf clusters, Air Force Combat Readiness Medal with 2 devices, Air Force Overseas Long Tour Ribbon with 4 Oak Leaf clusters, Air Force Longevity Service Award Ribbon with 3 Oak leaf clusters, NCO Professional Military Education Graduate Ribbon, Air Force Commendation Medal, Air Force Achievement Medal, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with 2 Oak Leaf clusters, Air Force Organization Excellence Award, the Air Force Good Conduct Award, and an Air Force Training Ribbon.
Upon retiring from the military, Barry settled with his family in Coral Springs, FL. Thereafter, he worked for the National Weather Service in Miami, FL as a Weather Forecaster. In 1996, he joined the City of Coral Springs, Department of Parks and Recreation, and successfully worked his way up to a managerial position.
In 2007, Barry played a pivotal role in the City of Coral Springs becoming the first local or state government to earn the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, the nation’s highest Presidential Honor for performance excellence. He was individually honored with this prestigious award for his outstanding contributions.
Barry was gifted with many skills and was a true visionary. He used his many skills to begin a business, called the “The Weatherman,” that provided irrigation services within South Florida. He often exercised his talents in the areas of carpentry, tiling and crafts for friends and family members. At home, he cultivated his own backyard farm, planting dozens of tropical fruit trees and hundreds of perennial plants.
He retired from the City of Coral Springs in 2015 but continued his love for land stewardship as well as other passions and his pursuit to enjoy life. Barry was a renaissance man; he traveled the world, and loved the land, the sky and the sea. He was charming and funny, with a contagious laugh. He loved life, having a good time and enjoyed every moment in his “grumpy” way. To say it best, he was a hard worker, who also knew how to enjoy every aspect of life, whether he was gardening, playing jazz and reggae music, reading, fishing, playing/watching soccer, taking photographs or making his famous BBQ in the backyard. He was a skilled fisherman and renowned gardener (a man of the soil), frequently being acknowledged for having the “Best Yard.”
Through the looking glass, we’ve come to the end of this chapter for Barry “Barrington” Albert Richards Sr., a man that was as skilled as he was complex. The words stated in this obituary aren’t the sum of the man but a glimpse into the person he was and the things he loved. Barry was preceded in death by his twin brother who passed at birth, son Darrel Richards, who was laid to rest at Calverton National Cemetery, mother Edith Caroline Richards, father Albert Richards, twin brothers Guy and Lance Richards, and his sister Mary Chambers.
He will be sadly missed by his ex-wife and friend Millicent; children Tracee-Anne, Keisha, Fiona, Benjamin, Barry Jr., and twins Allison and Ashley; twelve (12) grand-children; three (3) great-grand-children; brother Robert Nelson; in-laws; nieces; nephews; cousins; and his Miami crew as well as a host of friends.
Despite the ups, downs, joys, and pains of life, Barry loved his family and he will not be forgotten. As Pops would say, as a warm goodbye or a “see you later”……… Hasta La Vista, Baby!
In lieu of flowers, the family kindly requests that you consider donating to any of the following organizations that were important to Barry and his family:
– St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital: https://fundraising.stjude.org/site/TR/DIY/DIY?px=7854746&pg=personal&fr_id=134330
– Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network: https://bcan.org/get-involved/ways-to-give/donate/
– Wounded Warriors Family Support: https://donate.wwfs.org/?campaign=338234
Please add “in honor of Barry Richards” in the notes section of your donation.
Veterans Legacy Memorial (VLM)
Please visit Barry’s Veteran’s Legacy Memorial profile page after February 10, 2023 to leave a tribute, upload photos, and to see his final resting place.
Private burial will be at South Florida National Cemetery located at 6501 FL-7, Lake Worth, FL 33449.