Rich was preceded in death by his wife of 47 years, Anita C. Bayer Kerkling in 2012 and his sister Margaret M. Lytle in 2003. He is survived by his daughters, Shirley Orme, Kerrie Radoor and Kelley Vogel along with their spouses; 12 grandchildren; and 22 great-grandchildren.
Rich graduated from Unionville High School in Indiana in 1942 at the age of 17. In 1943, while attending Purdue University, he was drafted into the U.S. Marine Corps to serve his country in World War II. After graduating from a two week boot camp at MCAS, Miramar, he then attended further training in North Carolina for radar electronics. He was then assigned to the 2nd Marine Airwing and shipped out to be based in Hawaii. He was then deployed to Japan. Rich was honorably discharged on June 7, 1946.At the end of World War II, Rich began attending Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, majoring in agriculture. After graduating in 1950, Rich settled in Mariposa where he bought a ranch in the Indian Peak area, raising Black Angus cattle and hogs.
On Feb. 13, 1965 he married Anita Corrine Bayer Bryant. Shortly thereafter he opened a branch of Bryant Realty in Mariposa, operating it for about 35 years until he retired from real estate. Rich and Anita also owned and operated Anita’s Antiques in Mariposa for 20-plus years. In 1970 they moved from the ranch to be closer to their work, and built a home in the Mormon Bar area of Mariposa.
Rich and Anita were members of the Christian Science Society of Mariposa for many years. Rich enjoyed landscaping, gardening, gold panning, cutting firewood and anything to do with the outdoors. He also loved to refinish antique furniture and produced some beautiful pieces that were sold in the antique shop.
He and Anita built many trails with natural granite steps around their property, and also added many varieties of trees and shrubs to the native surroundings. Their children enjoyed a country upbringing with animals and nature.
A church service will be held at the Mariposa Christian Science Church on Fourth Street in Mariposa on Saturday, Jan. 6, 2018 at 10 a.m., and a memorial service will follow at the Bootjack Stompers Hall starting at 11 a.m.