Michael Nicholas Richard, 62, of New Bern, NC, passed away early on the morning of March 29th, 2018.
Michael was born in Saco, ME. He lived in all corners of the country during his childhood before ultimately settling in New Bern and pretty much refusing to ever leave again.
In 1976, the employees of the Rocking Chair Cinema had the munchies; and a coworker suggested that her friend, Sherri Bowers, would be happy to deliver sandwiches to the starving theater workers.
Two years later, Sherri Bowers became Sherri Richard in a ceremony at Trinity United Methodist Church. Photo evidence shows that white tuxedos were all the rage.
For the next 40 years, Sherri and Michael navigated a marriage between a Duke fan and a Carolina fan - as well as different political ideals - with a love and ease that most of us could only wish for. He loved nothing more than sitting on the back porch with Sherri, dogs at his feet, watching the sun set over the lake.
Most of his adult life was spent working as the manager of local movie theaters, guiding generations of teenagers in the art of popping popcorn and threading projectors. As a manager, he was firm yet fair with his sarcastic, dry humor never far removed.
Michael had an interest in British sports cars, owning several in various states of disrepair. He was once in possession of a British Land Rover with the steering wheel on the right-hand side. He loved to embarrass his kids and scare strangers by letting his dog ride in what we in America assume to be the driver's seat.
As a lifelong Carolina basketball fan, he occasionally terrified his children with his outrage over terrible foul calls. And for many years, he moderated and participated in a variety of UNC basketball online forums under the user name ItszaGhost.
He was a devout member of the Catholic Church, where he helped with the RCIA program.
To be Michael's daughter was to have The Hobbit and The Odyssey as bedtime stories and to learn about Pompeii and Mt. Vesuvius as the family sat on the swing in the backyard, his little girls’ heads in his lap. Their dreams were recited and turned into short stories, as fiction was never far from his heart. Stories of red-eyed pigs and a mythical older sister who had been sent to live in Australia became part of the canon.
When he left the movie business, he was able to follow his true passion as a writer. What had once been a hobby could finally be given the time it deserved. He accomplished a lot in a few short years, culminating in the novel Tobit's Dog, which was published by Ignacious Press.
Recently, he found meaning as "granddaddy" to his granddaughter and two grandsons. "Grandaddy is so silly!" was a first sentence for each of them.
Michael was preceded in death by his father, Lionel Arthur Richard; his best friend, Stephen Carter; and his beloved border collie, Cinder.
He is survived by his wife, Sherri, of the home; his daughter Rhiannon Giles and husband Zach of Durham; his daughter Maegen Wilson and husband Scott of Goldsboro; his grandchildren, Lorelei Giles (age 8), Eli Wilson (age 7), and Rowan Giles (age 3); his granddogs, Benson and Maya; his mother and stepfather, Libby and Hal Harbin; his brother, Tim; his sisters, Angela and Theresa; numerous nieces and nephews; and his dogs, Bucky and Sasha, of the yard.
Graveside services will be Sunday, April 1, at 6:00 at St. Paul Catholic Church in New Bern, NC. If you knew Michael, you would understand that being buried on both Easter and April Fool's Day is the most fitting date imaginable.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to St. Paul Catholic Church: 3005 Country Club Rd, New Bern, NC 28562 or to Donate Life NC: PO Box 5536, Cary, NC 27512.