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Falls artist dies after auto accident

8/14/2014 - West Side Leader
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By Maria Lindsay

Jack Richard
Photo courtesy of Catavolos Funeral Home
CUYAHOGA FALLS — Jack Richard, an artist and owner of the Studios of Jack Richard, died unexpectedly Aug. 6.

According to a Cuyahoga Falls Police Department accident report, Richard, 92, was driving a Ford Taurus wagon through the parking lot of the studio at about 5:30 p.m. Aug. 6 when he accelerated into the parking deck, hit a concrete trash can and then struck a concrete parking deck pillar.

Mark Giangaspero, a former student who has worked with Richard for 40 years, said Richard had to be cut out of the vehicle before he was transported to a hospital.

“He had a lot of broken bones, but he was talking and joking with the nurses at the hospital,” said Giangaspero. “Things got worse, and he died about three hours later. He had had two mini-strokes in the past. No autopsy was planned because of his severe injuries.

“He was a mentor, a teacher and friend who was generous with his time and knowledge. He will be missed.”

According to his obituary, Richard, 92, graduated from Buchtel High School and studied painting and illustration at the Chicago Professional School of Art, Kent State University, The University of Akron and Ohio University, and also privately with Robert Brackman, Aaron Bohrod, Ben Shahn, Charles Burchfield, Yasuo Kuniyoshi and others. He served in the U.S. Army during World War II.

Richard has painted over 800 commissioned portraits, church murals, illustrations and more, and is known for his portraits of presidents, professional golfers and celebrities, according to his business website, jackrichard.com. In addition to painting, he also taught classes and ran his gallery, was a member of numerous artist associations and the recipient of several art awards, according to the website.

Giangaspero said the gallery will remain open.

“That is what Jack would have wanted,” he said. “Jack remained active, swimming and working till the end. He was not one to let things get in his way.”

Richard was preceded in death by his wife, Jean Williams Richard; his parents, John and Maude Richard; brothers, Donald and Harold; and sister, Helen Cross. He is survived by a number of nieces and nephews and a cousin, according to his obituary.

A memorial service for Richard was held Aug. 12 and he was buried at Rose Hill Burial Park in Fairlawn.

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