MISSOURI — Former Missouri senator and member of MSSU’s Board of Governors, Ron Richard, passed away Friday morning.
In a statement from Missouri Southern State University acknowledging Richard’s passing, the school said:
“Senator Ron Richard dedicated his life to public service and is one of the university’s most distinguished graduates,” said Dr. Dean Van Galen, president of Missouri Southern State University. “In recognition of his public service, including serving in leadership roles in the Missouri House and Senate, in 2016 he was awarded the university’s inaugural Richard M. Webster Medallion. Ron Richard was a life-long champion of the university and leaves a tremendous legacy at Missouri Southern.”Missouri Southern State University
“Few elected officials have been a more effective advocate for Missourians than Ron. Our state was blessed to have his steady, consistent leadership. I also consider myself blessed to call him a friend and will miss him dearly.”Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe via Twitter
“Missouri has lost a strong leader and dedicated public servant with the passing of Ron Richard. Ron was one of few great men to have served as both President of the Missouri Senate and Speaker of the Missouri House during his public service career.”Gov. Mike Parson via Twitter
“Ron Richard was not only a remarkable businessman and political leader but was also a good man. He was always interested in advancing Joplin, MSSU, and Missouri. He was a man of honesty and integrity who people trusted.
He was a good friend.”David Humphreys
Ron Richard lived in Joplin for the majority of his life, attending McAuley Catholic High School and eventually MSSU.
In politics, Richard started his career in 1990 following his election to Joplin City Council and becoming mayor in 1994. He joined the Missouri House of Representatives in 2003, becoming Speaker of the House in 2009, and President Pro Tem of the Senate in 2015.
According to the State Historical Society of Missouri, Richard was the only person in the state’s history to serve as both Speaker of the House and President Pro Tem of the Senate.
Richard was 75-years-old. He leaves behind his wife, Patty, and two children, Kara and Chad.