Richard Melvin Springer, 90, of Milton, Florida, formerly of Newburgh, Indiana, went home to be with his Lord and Savior on September 19, 2022. He was born April 15, 1932, in Evansville, Indiana, to the late Bess and Otto Springer. Richard was the first one in his family to attend college and not just one time, but many times. It seemed to his wife and children that he was perpetually in school receiving degrees in Chemistry (Evansville College), Physics (Ohio State U.), Systems Analysis, and Accounting (Bentley College). Education was important to Richard. He appreciated the opportunities it gave him and was always there to encourage and help his children with homework and their educations.
Richard helped usher in the use of computers for communications by the Air Force while working for the “Little Pentagon” in Virginia. Richard had tours of duty in many interesting places including Japan, Ascension Island, and Fletcher’s Ice Island (a/k/a Ice Island T3) north of Alaska. His last assignment was director of computer operations at Hanscom AFB. Richard retired from the Air Force as a Lt. Col. after 22 years of service to the country he loved. He continued his love of electronics throughout his life with his iPhone always riding on his belt and his laptop always open in his office.
After retiring from the Air Force, Richard began his second career in the private sector working first for Combined Insurance and later for Shawsheen Technical High School, always something involving computers. During his ten years as director of data processing at Shawsheen, Richard guided the school through several computer system upgrades to keep the school moving forward in the early computer age. He retired from Shawsheen in 1994. But he certainly, did not retire from life.
Retirement began the real adventure for Richard and his beloved wife, Cora. After talking for years about buying a motor home, and of course not surprising to his family, many years of dad researching the best motor home, they finally bought it and started traveling. Richard and Cora spent many happy years traveling in their RV to Central Florida, Indiana, and Massachusetts to visit family and friends. They were always ready for a hot game of Train Dominos or Aggravation wherever they went; and they could never pass up a little fruit and vegetable stand.
Richard’s children will tell you he was a strict disciplinarian, probably from his German and military background. His two eldest daughters, Terrie and Sherry, can tell you about the “white glove” inspections of their room on Saturday mornings. They will tell you how he mellowed, though, when Penne and Randy came along 12 and 15 years later-not that Penne and Randy see it the same way. One thing all the children can agree on is that dad was always there to help if they needed it; and they never once in their lives heard a cuss word from their father no matter how angry he was. Richard’s commitment to his family, education, and his profession were secondary to dedication to his Lord. After finding a personal relationship with the Lord through a missionary in Japan, Richard’s life was changed. When Richard returned with his family to the states, he continued to send money to help support the missionary in Japan. Years later while Richard and his family were traveling cross country to California, in the West at a little gas station he heard someone call his name. It was the daughter of the missionary from Japan who was traveling from California to the East. She told him how the money he had sent to her father helped sustain his ministry and how much she appreciated what he had done. Richard’s excitement for the Lord led him to teach Sunday School for many years. His family would find him studying his well- worn and personally annotated Bible and preparing for the Sunday lesson whether he was teaching or just participating. He loved gospel music and attended gospel concerts until Covid took him down four months ago. The gospel music he liked the best he referred to as “peppy” music-no room for sadness in life.
The last four months of his life were difficult. But Richard never lost his sense of humor and good nature. Even though his physical and mental state declined, he remained concerned for his family. The last coherent statement he made, after weeks of incoherence, was to ask his eldest daughter whether she was okay walking to the car by herself. Four hours later, Richard slipped away to be raised again without pain and with Cora, his beloved wife of 63 years. The family celebrates their father’s life and the gifts of faith, character, honor, and dedication he left his children and grandchildren.
Richard, an only child, is survived by his children, Terrie Didier, Sherry (Mike) Wren, Penne (Kenny) Fuller, and Randy (Kristen, deceased) Springer; his grandchildren, Angela (Scott) O’Halloran, Chris (Tierney) Didier, Joshua Wren, Luke (Becca) Wren, Jonathan Fuller, Victoria Fuller, Jeffrey Springer, Brian Springer, and Megan Springer; his great-grandchildren, Liam, Cullen, and Ella Rose O’Halloran, Morgan and Logan Didier.
Richard’s family would like to thank all the wonderful medical providers who helped their dad the last four months at Santa Rosa Medical Center, Select Specialty Hospital, Encompass Rehabilitation Hospital, DeLuna Rehabilitation, and West Florida Hospital. Your caring and concern made a very difficult time a little easier. A special thank you to Rob at DeLuna and Dr. Walker at West Florida for taking the time to explain what was happening and for your caring and support.
Funeral services will be at Lewis Funeral Home in Milton, 6405 Highway 90 W. Milton Florida 32570, on Saturday, October 1,2022 visitation at 3:00pm and the service at 4:00pm, with burial later in Indianapolis, Indiana, next to his wife for eternity. The family respectfully requests instead of flowers, memorial donations in Richard’s name be made to the Alzheimer’s Association or other organization seeking a cure for this terrible disease.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Richard, please visit our floral store.
Published by Lewis Funeral Home – Milton Chapel on Sep. 23, 2022.