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DEAN DUDLEY ‘TUTT’ RICHARDS JR.

Dean Dudley “Tutt” Richards Jr., 90, Baldwin City, died peacefully Jan. 22, 2013, at the Baldwin Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center in the arms of family. 

A funeral service is planned for 10 a.m. Friday, Jan. 25, 2013, at the First United Methodist Church in Baldwin City, preceded by visitation at 9:30 a.m. Friday. Burial is scheduled for 2 p.m. Friday at the Garnett Cemetery.    

Dean was born Jan. 18, 1923, in Paola to Dean Dudley Richards Sr. and Verda Jane (Polkinghorn) Richards.

When Dean was 9 months old, he and his older brother, Frank Dudley “Dud” Richards, moved with their parents to Garnett.

While recuperating from rheumatic fever when he was in elementary school, Dean focused on the interest he had developed in printing, publishing first a little neighborhood paper and, in junior high, a dittograph weekly. He became a committed journalist at Garnett High School, where he was editor of the semi-weekly student newspaper, secretary of the Kansas Inter-Scholastic Press Association and, in his senior year, one of only 10 recipients of the annual National Quill & Scroll Journalism Award. Dean also worked throughout high school at The Garnett Review, where he was trained in reporting, photography, advertising and printing.

After graduation, Dean attended Baker University briefly before being inducted into the Enlisted Reserve Corps (ERC), U.S. Army. During his service, Dean qualified for the Army Specialized Training Program (ASTP), which enabled him to take courses in mathematics at the University of Alabama when he was stationed at Fort McClellan, and electrical engineering at Manhattan College, New York City. Complications from rheumatic fever led to his being honorably discharged as a disabled veteran in 1943. 

Dean returned to Baker University, where he was photographer and editor of The Baker Orange and a member of the Gamma Theta Chapter of Delta Tau Delta. In 1945, he transferred to the University of Missouri–Columbia to study advertising and public relations in the School of Journalism. At MU, he also helped build the Gamma Kappa Chapter of Delta Tau Delta. Dean ultimately graduated from Baker University with a Bachelor of Science degree in sociology and from MU with a Bachelor of science degree in journalism.

A professional journalist for nearly 45 years, Dean worked first at The Kansas City Star as a linotype operator and machinist. From 1950 to 1956, he was Printing Production Manager for Corn Belt Publications, first in Kansas City, Mo., and then Omaha.

Dean married Catherine Jane Scott March 25, 1950, at the United Methodist Church in Garnett. They lived with their growing family in Baldwin City, in Kansas City, Mo., Prairie Village and Omaha before returning to Baldwin City in 1956 to co-own and operate The Baldwin Ledger and The Wellsville Globe, with Dean serving as publisher and general manager of both newspapers, and Jane, managing editor of The Ledger. In 1966, Dean and Jane founded The Eudora Enterprise. Dean also ran a commercial printing business in Baldwin City.

As members of the Baldwin City community, Dean and Jane helped to establish and promote the Maple Leaf Festival, a new public library, the town swimming pool and Baker’s Rice Auditorium, among other projects. For many years, they also helped deliver Christmas presents to children in Douglas County who otherwise would have had no gifts.

After selling the trio of newspapers and printing shop in 1973, Dean was hired as Regional Public Affairs Officer for Region VII (Kansas, Missouri, Iowa and Nebraska) of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). His numerous responsibilities included media coverage, speech writing and Congressional contacts, as well as disaster assistance through HUD’s Disaster Housing Office.  

Dean received a number of commendations during his years at HUD, including recognition for assisting “persons displaced during the Great New England Blizzard of 1978.” At the time of his retirement from HUD in 1993, Dean was his Department’s Senior Public Affairs Officer in the Field. 

Dean was a member of Alpha Delta Sigma, Baker’s senior scholastic honorary; Delta Tau Delta; the Lloyd Beaton Post No. 228 of the American Legion; and the Baldwin City Rotary Club, among others. Dean’s civic recognitions include being named a “Distinguished Jayhawker” for his contributions “to the progress of the State of Kansas.” He also was the proud father of four and the grandfather of two Eagle Scouts.

Dean enjoyed fishing and boating, photography, reading, electronics, ragtime, Dixieland and Big Band music, puns, crossword puzzles, chocolate-covered cherries, playing pool, staying informed and caring for the many dogs and cats that he and his wife welcomed into their home. He also was the biggest fan of his wife’s career as a journalist, appreciating her creativity and entering her work in many publication contests. Despite a well-deserved reputation as a strict disciplinarian, no father was prouder of his children or more concerned for the safety and success of his “brood” than Dean was. 

Survivors include his and Jane’s six children and their spouses, Dr. Dean Dudley Richards III and Nancy, Leawood, Nancy Jane Richards, Oakham, Maine, Susan Linn Richards Johnson and Karl Johnson, Kansas City, Mo., Scott Dudley Richards and Terrie, Lakewood, Colo., John Dudley Richards and Nancy, Baldwin City, and Kip Dudley Richards and Denise, Overland Park; a nephew, Stephen Dudley Richards, Garnett; 12 grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren. 

He was preceded in death by his wife, Jane; parents; brother, “Dud”; and infant brother, Robert.

Dean’s family extends its profound appreciation to the staff of the Baldwin Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center for their loving and seemingly tireless care of our father during his stay there, and to the Good Shepherd Hospice for the comprehensive and sensitive care they extended to our father and his family during his final days.

A memorial gift in honor of Dean Richards can be made to the Jane and Dean Richards Endowed Journalism Scholarship Fund, Baker University. Checks can be made out to Baker, with a notation either on the check or in a separate note indicating that the donation is a memorial gift in honor of Dean (or Tutt). Contributions may be sent to Baker University, Office of Advancement, P.O. Box 65, Baldwin City KS 66006.

Condolences may be made at www.ottawaherald.com

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