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Longtime Missouri lawmaker Ron Richard passes away at 75

Longtime Missouri lawmaker Ron Richard has passed away at the age of 75.

The Parsons, Kansas native graduated from McAuley High School in 1965 and received a bachelor of arts from Missouri Southern State University in 1969 and a master of arts from Missouri State University in 1971.

Richard first started his political career with the city of Joplin, becoming mayor from 1994-1998.

His time in the State Legislature began in 2002 when he joined the House of Representatives. He served eight years in the House before being voted into the state Senate in 2010, President Pro Tempore from 2015 – 2018.

He was also most recently named to the MSSU Board of Governors and to the Connect2Culture Board of Directors in Joplin and as Co-Chair of the Missouri Bicentennial Commission

Missouri Southern State University released this statement:

“Senator Ron Richard dedicated his life to public service and is one of the university’s most distinguished graduates,” said Dr. Dean Van Galen, president of Missouri Southern State University. “In recognition of his public service, including serving in leadership roles in the Missouri House and Senate, in 2016 he was awarded the university’s inaugural Richard M. Webster Medallion. Ron Richard was a life-long champion of the university and leaves a tremendous legacy at Missouri Southern.”

Missouri Governor Mike Parson said this on Facebook:

“Missouri has lost a strong leader and dedicated public servant with the passing of Ron Richard. Ron was one of few great men to have served as both President of the Missouri Senate and Speaker of the Missouri House during his public service career. He continued serving Joplin and southwest Missouri long after his tenure in state government and will be remembered for his years of committed leadership. Teresa and I are keeping Patty and Ron’s entire family in our prayers.”

Richard leaves behind his wife Patty and two children.

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