Woodside resident, historian Gil Richards dies

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.


Like this comment
Posted by Leslie Stepp
a resident of Woodside: Skywood/Skylonda
on Dec 30, 2010 at 8:16 am

What a sad day for the history of Woodside. Any kid growing up in Woodside when I was a kid had the crossroads book in their home. Gil Richards and his work efforts willbe missed.

Like this comment
Posted by Colleen Schoneveld
a resident of another community
on Jan 1, 2011 at 1:56 pm

My Uncle Gil was very dear to me.
Our Christmas afternoon always held the short trip from Menlo Park to Sally and Gil's house. He died Dec. 22nd... 96 years and 9 months old.
He was still very handsome.
Aunt Sally and Uncle Gil came to visit my young family a few weeks after my first son was born, in Holland. Gil and Sally were living for a while in France...for more writing and drawing.
One of our favorite family recipes is still call "Uncle Gil's" because I made it for the first time when they came to Holland.
I would like to amend this article a bit. Uncle Gil has 4 nephews and TWO nieces.
I will miss Uncle Gil.

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