The sudden death of Georgetown resident, Stanley Richards has sent shockwaves throughout the community which later erupted with a wave of mourning.
He died at his home in Georgetown on Tuesday February 15.
Richards who was visually impaired was President of the National Society of and for the Blind which operated a workshop for the blind downstairs the Lions building in Kingstown.
His impaired vision never deterred him from boarding mini vans and traveling to work on a daily basis.
As a matter of fact, Stanley went to work in Kingstown on Tuesday, the very day he died.
He reportedly collapsed and died at his home just over an hour after arriving back home.
His body was reportedly found by a friend who went to check on him.
Sybil Mills Huggins, one of Stanley’s close friends and neighbour, said she was shocked by Stanley’s sudden death.
Mills Huggins, a retired educator said, “I was in my gallery yesterday evening and I saw Georgie Lewis passing, and she was walking and drifting, just like she was going to fall.”
Mills Huggins said when she asked Lewis what was wrong, she was given the sad news that Stanley had just died.
The close friend said on hearing of the death, she “broke down”.
“I spoke to him on Monday, Valentine’s Day.
“He told me since he had the Covid, he is still not feeling too well. “
Mills Huggins explained to SEARCHLIGHT that Richards had recovered from COVID-19 about a month ago.
She said that since then, he had been complaining about chest pain.
According to Mills Huggins, about two weeks ago, Richards had to be taken to the Medical Complex at Georgetown for medical attention.
She added that her grandson, Keon usually slept at Richards’ home to keep his company.
Reflecting, she said Richards possessed a wealth of knowledge on almost any subject, and was always ready and willing to share his views.
Mills Huggins and her family, including her sister Myrna Morris have always shared a close bond with him.
While most persons in the community treated Richards like family, although not related by blood, Stanley lived in close proximity to one of his blood relatives.
That is his first cousin, William Richards-Sutherland, popularly known as ‘Pussin’ who said he grew up together with Stanley and other relatives and friends.
“We have always shared a closeness that started in our childhood.”
Richards-Sutherland said that close bond was ripped apart by Stanley’s sudden demise.
“The first thing I felt was shock, but now I am really saddened by his death.
“He loved to give jokes and he was very helpful, “ Richards Sutherland reflected.
Richards was the next door neighbour to Juris James, his wife Lucinda and their family.
The wife said she broke down in tears on hearing of Stanley’s death.
Her husband described Richards as a very good neighbour who can change a tear into a smile.
Another resident, Sadat Russell said Richards was like a village doctor who was always ready to advise on a cure for any minor ailment.
Another friend, Nolly Sutherland said he and Richards were friends from childhood.
“I was changing cattle when I heard that Stanley died, immediately, my cutlass dropped from my hands. It was such a shock. I don’t even know how I feel right now,” Sutherland said on Wednesday.
He said although Richards was visually impaired, he was a very helpful person.
“He helped me build my house and in those days we had to go quite Mt Young for water,” Sutherland recalled.
He said he spoke to Richards on Tuesday morning while he, Stanley, waited on a van to take him to work in Kingstown.
Stanley was not only an icon in Georgetown, he was somewhat of a national treasure, touching the lives of Vincentians at home and in the diaspora.
He did so through his numerous calls to interactive radio programmes where he expounded on various national issues and sports.
There was a stillness in the atmosphere in Georgetown on Wednesday, as the community mourned its beloved son, Stanley Richards.
He was in his early 70s. A post mortem will be done to determine the cause of death .