Jewell R. Richards

November 26, 2021

Jewell Ray Richards, 83, a former Michigantown, IN. resident, died November 26, 2021 in East Lansing, MI.  He was born July 4, 1938 in Michigantown to Cyrus Joseph & June Della (Cox) Richards.  He married Georgia Benge on August 25, 1957 in the Country Chapel Church, Michigantown, IN.

Jewell was a 1956 graduate of Michigantown High School.  After graduation and marriage, he and his wife resided in the Frankfort area for several years where he attended Purdue University, worked at Alcoa and started his family.  Jewell embarked on an insurance career with Safeco Insurance, SECURA Insurance Co, ASU Group and eventually retiring from State Auto Insurance Co.   Jewell’s career relocated the family to South Bend, IN for 8 years before transferring to Williamston, MI where he resided for 40 years prior to retirement and moving to Winter Haven, FL.  Faith and the church community was always important to Jewell and his family.  He was actively engaged in the church throughout his life wherever the family resided.

Visitation and Services

A Celebration of Life is planned for 6 p.m. December 17, 2021 at Williamston Free Methodist Church, 4400 N. Williamston Rd., Williamston, MI 48895. For services in Indiana, visitation will be 10-11 a.m. December 27, 2021 at Goodwin Funeral Home, 200 S. Main St., Frankfort, IN 46041. Funeral services will follow at 11 a.m. at the funeral home. Burial will be in Whiteman Cemetery, Michigantown IN. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be to Country Chapel Church, Williamston Free Methodist Church or the American Heart Association.

Survived by:

Jewell and Georgia were married for 64 years. He is survived by his wife Georgia and four sons, John (Julia) Richards of Carmel, IN, Paul (Debbie) Richards of Haslett, MI, Mark (Melanie) Richards of Charlotte, MI and Stephen (Maryanne) Richards of Carmel, IN. Also surviving are six grandchildren, Mary (Scott), Seth, Austin (Ashlee), Alyssa (Justin), Spencer and Clay; three great-grandchildren Georgia, James and Bexley.

Preceded by:

He was preceded in death by his parents and five brothers, Maurice, Doyal, William, James and Joseph Lee.


Leave your Condolences

20 Condolences for “Jewell R. Richards”

  1. Laurenda Whitcomb November 29, 2021 at 3:58 pm

    Dear Richards Family,
    So very sorry to hear of Jewell’s passing. He was a good man and a great friend and classmate. He will be sorely missed. May the good Lord wrap his arms around Georgia and be with all of you.
    Tom & Laurenda Whitcomb

  2. Chris & Suellen Corwin Myers November 29, 2021 at 6:08 pm

    Dear Georgia and family,
    Jewell and Georgia lived out their faith in practical ways which served as a great example of Christian living to us when we were young people. Our Heavenly Father will comfort your family as Jewell awaits the return of Jesus and resurrection.
    (Chris’ grandmother was Jenny Alice Benge, a sister to Luther Benge)

  3. Michelle Hyne Marquette November 29, 2021 at 6:18 pm

    Dear Richards Family,
    I am so sorry. I remember many conversations with Jewell. He was a kind person. My prayers are with you.
    God Bless.
    Michelle Hyne Marquette

  4. David R. Jensen November 29, 2021 at 6:31 pm

    To Georgia and all the Richard’s family:

    I was hired by Home Mutual Ins. in January of 1974 and transferred from my home town of Appleton, WI to Haslett, MI in July of 1974. I met Jewell a year or two later when he became my boss in the East Lansing office. He was a terrific boss and mentor as well as a very good friend. Jewell loved the Lord and his family above all else. I have many wonderful memories of Jewell and his family. While I am sad he is no longer with us on in this life, I know he is now home in heaven, and sees his Lord and Savior, Jesus, face to face. My prayer is that God would comfort Georgia and his family during this time of sadness. Jewell was a very special person to me and I will cherish my memories of him until I see him again in paradise.

    My deepest condolences for your loss.

  5. Tom & Sonja Davis November 29, 2021 at 7:02 pm

    A great friend and our loss is heavens gain.

  6. Jeff Davis November 29, 2021 at 7:23 pm

    Georgia and the Richards family
    Jewell was a great friend and co-worker at ASU and “the retiree crew” with State Auto in the 90’s through 2016. I was very fortunate in September to take my cycle to Lansing from the U.P. and have a great visit with him. We had a lot to talk about the old times. I will miss him very much. My thoughts and prayers are with.
    Jewell, Georgia and the entire Richards family.
    Jeff D

  7. Sandra Sparks November 29, 2021 at 9:56 pm

    Georgia and Family, My prayers are with you at this very painful time of loss. Uncle Jewell was such a wonderful person and will be missed by all. It helps to know he is in heaven with Grandpa and Grandma and all of his brothers. Sandy Sparks

  8. Janice Richards November 30, 2021 at 12:07 am

    I wish I had words…..I don’t, except a fine man from a strong family of love and strength. I love you Uncle Jewell.
    To the my cousins and Aunt Georgia….my heart is with you all.

  9. Carolyn Carlisle Martin November 30, 2021 at 10:50 am

    So sorry to hear of your loss. What a fine gentlemen Jewell will always be remembered in my mind. Heaven has gained a Jewell. Praying for God’s comfort to each of you.

  10. Phil & Gloria Crum November 30, 2021 at 6:19 pm

    So sorry to hear of Jewell’s passing. With sincere sympathies.

  11. Jarretta Richards Chaffin December 1, 2021 at 1:32 am

    Sad to have to say goodbye to Uncle Jewell. I have so many fond memories of course. He and Aunt Georgia stopped in Georgia once on their way back to Michigan. We all met ate at a barbecue place and ate dinner. He was a lot like dad, he was always laughing. Uncle Jewell emailed with me frequently when he was able and kept me up to date on everyone. Dad spoke often of the Christian values Uncle Jewell had and how in all the years of sales, he showed those values. Dad had a lot respect for his younger brother. We were all so blessed when he spoke at Dads services. What an awesome brother, uncle, father, husband, he was. We will all miss him. I am lifting up prayers of comfort for you all in the coming days. Sending love and hugs!

  12. Michael Large December 2, 2021 at 12:26 am

    Paul, I am so sorry of your loss. My prayers for you and your family.

  13. Narda Murphy December 3, 2021 at 5:59 am

    Dear Georgia and family,
    I am so sorry to hear of Jewell’s passing. May your joyful memories bring you peace. Jewell will be remembered by the Murphy’s as a wonderful neighbor and friend.

  14. Sharon Vitek December 4, 2021 at 9:30 am

    Dear Georgia and family,
    I am so sorry to hear of Jewels passing. I had the good fortune of having him as my boss at Secura Insurance. He was such a good person.

  15. Dixie Huffer December 5, 2021 at 8:07 pm

    So very sorry to hear of Jewell’s passing!! Have great memories of time spent with Georgia growing up as neighbors. Norm and Jewell were freshman roommates at Purdue and Jewell stood up with Norm at our wedding! Prayers for Georgia and sons. Great memories of times spent at Camp Mack and visits here in Florid.

  16. Steve & MaryBeth Pifer December 6, 2021 at 9:53 am

    We were “blessed” to have known Jewell for many years…

    I first met Jewell when he was at Secura and our team did work for/with Jewell’s claims teams. Through many years I had the opportunity to observe not only a good customer… but a man that was so highly respected by not only his team, but also by anyone in our great insurance industry.
    We attended Jewell’s retirement from Secura and it wasn’t long before we had a phone call from Jewell asking “do you guys have anything an old claims guy could do for you”? I asked Jewell if he had lost all of his golf balls and drown all the night crawlers fishing up north… he laughed.

    The next day he came to the office and he never left… he brought to us his years of experience, his business acumen and a wonderful sense of humor… and that laugh! Ultimately Jewell joined our ASU Team full time and I had many wonderful trips across the U.S. with Jewell sharing many, many experiences through our work.

    Ultimately I moved to another company… and don’t you know… a few of my old team members followed… and Jewell was one of them. At State Auto we again traveled the country on many occasions chasing tornados, hurricanes and other calamities and Jewell was always the calm/cool claims Team Lead that helped so many customers in their time of need.

    Even when Jewell and Georgia moved to FL I would always visit them before conducting business in FL… oftentimes Jewell would have a golf day set up for us… many times including his FL buddies. We ALWAYS would take Georgia out to dinner… just the three of us and we had so many great meals/times together.

    Through the latter years Jewell and Georgia moved back to the Lansing area and MaryBeth and I visited them often at their apartment… Jewell and I would grab lunch almost weekly at the “Applebee’s” near their apartment.

    As is the case with all of us at some point in our lives… age brings health issues… I can recall finally getting to meet all the boys… albeit in Jewell’s hospital room at Sparrow Hospital. The boys were everything Jewell had described to me about them through the many years… all great “son’s” and Debbie was there as well!

    More health issues followed through COVID and when Jewell went to a rehab facility… I couldn’t visit him in person so I would stand outside his facilities room and we would talk on our cell phones through the window. It wasn’t perfect but it kept us in touch.

    Finally Jewell’s family was successful in getting him back to Timber Ridge and with the love of his life… Georgia. Mary Beth and I visited them often… once they were moved into different rooms I seldom missed my Thursday afternoon visits with Jewell.

    I will share one last story that really says it all about Jewell and Georgia… one Thursday I arrived towards the end of the lunch hour… there was a gentleman sitting on a stool in the dining area, playing a guitar and singing to the residents of Jewell’s building. I looked across the room and there were Jewell and Georgia in their wheelchairs sitting next to each other, holding hands, listening to the gentleman play and sing. Georgia’s foot tapping to the beat of the music and Jewell smiling from ear to ear. I wandered over, gave them both a big hug (mask on) and stood behind them watching two people so deeply in love enjoy their time together.

    Jewell was the type of man that all guys should aspire to… loved God, loved Georgia, loved his boys/daughters-in-law’s, grandchildren and always took the high road and ALWAYS did what was right.

    I always called Jewell the “Big Brother” that I never had… and he called me his “Little Brother”…. MaryBeth and I can never thank the Lord enough for bringing Jewell, Georgia and their family in to our lives.

    I never finished a phone call or visit with Jewell without telling him “I love you Big Brother”… and his response was always the same “I love you Little Brother”….

    Jewell… I know we will see each other again down the road… until then… “I love you Big Brother”… Steve & MaryBeth Pifer

  17. Bob, Mary, and Blake Richards December 6, 2021 at 11:29 pm

    Aunt Georgia and Family,
    We were so saddened to hear of Uncle Jewell’s passing. Bob and I have been reminiscing of great times we shared with Uncle Jewell and Aunt Georgia. Bob always said his Uncles were unique in their own way and loved them so much. With each Uncle came special Aunts to love and a wonderful group of cousins to grow up with. I share his sentiments, when we married, it was such a blessing to be part of the Richards family. I loved visiting Uncle Jewell and Aunt Georgia in Michigan, laughing and listening to them tell their family stories. So much love and prayers to Aunt Georgia and family.

  18. BRUCE E JONES December 8, 2021 at 9:01 am

    Dear Richards Family,
    I first met Jewell when he worked at the SECURA claims office above the Michigan National Bank in East Lansing in 1978. As a remote employee for the loss control department, he always went out of the way to make me feel part of the SECURA family, a real gentleman and hospitable in so many ways. We shared working meals, road trips and a few airplane flights together. If you knew Jewell, you knew he loved his wife Georgia and his family. He loved talking about his years with the Boy Scouts. I recall one event when we were out of state, where some of the other young men suggested we go out and do a little drinking and partying. Jewell was more interested in going to SEARS and look at Craftsman tools I think we ended up at SEARS. He was a good man. May you be blessed in your grief and recall the good times you shared together.

  19. Diana Lynn Janini December 17, 2021 at 3:06 pm

    To: Georgia and all of the Richards family
    I have memories of 64 years ago with Uncle Jewell and Aunt Georgia on their wedding, I told Uncle Jewell that he would have to have a step ladder to kiss her at their wedding, he laughed and said “Annie, don’t worry I will be able to kiss her”. My fondest memory of recent times is when Ned and I visited Uncle Jewell and Aunt Georgia and sat and watched video’s of their life together, and it was a beautiful, beautiful video, full of Love, laugher and memories. Aunt Georgia I am very sad of your loss, and I will always keep those memories alive.
    Ned & Diane (Richards) Janini

  20. Darlene McCain Collins December 22, 2021 at 4:49 pm

    I just happened to come across Jewell’s obituary, and oh what memories of good ole THS. My condolences to Georgia and their family. Darlene McCain Collins, ’57

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