Welmon Richard, Jr. was born to Welmon Richard and his wife, Ethel Taylor Richard on May 14, 1934 at John Sealy Hospital in Galveston, Texas. He was their firstborn son and he was showered in love by all the family, especially great-grandmother who was affectionately called Mama Parhams. Two years later Welmon became a Big Brother to his little brother, Eugene Joseph Richard. Life seemed complete for this young family. However, tragedy struck when this young father, Welmon Richard, Sr. died from complications to pneumonia at 19 years of age.
Two years later his mother met and married John I. Cooper who would raise the boys and love them as if they were his natural sons. He would teach them about their birth father because he and Welmon had been best friends as children. Unfortunately, Welmon Jr's baby brother, Eugene, was stricken with an unknown illness and died at 2 ½ years old. The family moved to Virginia for a while because his father was stationed at the army camp.
In 1946 the family was stationed in San Antonio Texas at Fort Sam Houston, while living on the post Welmon, Jr. was introduced to the sport of golf, by the Commanding General's son. They would play frequently on the post. He enjoyed this sport for decades. Welmon attended the local schools including Phyllis Wheatley High School. During his senior year he entered the Marine Corp and was stationed at Randolph for Basic Training. He was sent to Korea. When he returned home from the Korean war, he spent time with his family.
He was now Big Brother to his little sister Beverly Joyce, his baby brother Ralph Edward and baby sister Frances Elaine. He also was starting a family of his own. In 1954 his firstborn son was born, Ronald Dexter. The baby's mother, Eula Allen, died from a brain hemorrhage shortly after his birth. In 1955, Welmon married Delores McDonald and to this union two sons were born, Welmon Richard, III and Eugene J. Richard.
After he was honorably discharged from the military, Welmon went to Barber College. He became the first Black barber to work at Lackland AFB. Welmon worked at several shops and later opened up his own shop on North New Braunsfels Ave, in San Antonio. He hired young barbers, both male and female, to give them a start in their career. One of the high points for Welmon was when a customer walked threw his door, asking for a haircut and when he looked up, it was World Heavyweight Boxing Campion Evander Holyfield. It was the talk of the neighborhood for months!
In 1994 Richard met the love of his life, Gloria Whigham. They were devoted to each other up to the end. She will always remain a part of our family.
Welmon was a “People Person”. He had a warm personality that people naturally was drawn to. From early childhood Welmon’s parents endeavored to impress on all of their children the two greatest commands of the Bible: FIRST THE LOVE of JEHOVAH GOD AND HIS SON, JESUS CHRIST, SECOND LOVE OF NEIGHBOR-FOLLOWED BY THE GOLDEN RULE.
Welmon was preceded in death by his mother, Ethel R. Cooper, his fathers, Welmon Richard Sr, and John I. Cooper, his brothers, Eugene Joseph Richard, and Ralph Edward Cooper. He leaves behind his family to mourn his passing, wife-Gloria Wigham; sons, Ronald D. Allen, Welmon Richard, III, Eugene J. Richard; sisters, Beverly J Johnson(Thomas-spouse), Frances Elaine Randle; niece, Sarah Gaiter(Lamaar-spouse); nephews, Jason Hill, John Cooper, Daniel Cooper, Richard Cooper, grandchildren and family and friends.
The Family wish to express their deep appreciation to all who have extended love and condolences in their time of grief.
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