Historian, writer, and longtime Woodside resident Gilbert Richards died peacefully at home on Dec. 22 at the age of 96. Mr. Richards authored two books, including one that depicted the colorful history of the Woodside area, and wrote a column for the Almanac – then, the Country Almanac – during the newspaper's early days.
A fourth-generation Californian, Mr. Richards was a graduate of Hastings Law School. But he never got the chance to take the bar exam because, immediately after the United States entered World War II, he joined the Army Air Corp, his family says.
Mr. Richards was also an accomplished equestrian and an artist, his family says, but his real passion was California history. His two books are "Crossroads," which focuses on the people and events that shaped Woodside and Portola Valley; and "Historic Sites of the California Mother Lode."
He enjoyed traveling the world with his wife of 50 years, Sally, and wrote about, painted, and sketched many scenes from those excursions, according to his family.
In addition to his wife, Sally Walker Richards, Mr. Richards is survived by a brother, Scott Ennis, Jr.; stepdaughter and stepson Linda Hooper and Perry Hooper; and a number of grandchildren, nephews and a niece.
A more complete obituary will be published in next week's Almanac.