The Daily Me


GREENVILLE- Violet L. Richards, 98, died Tuesday, September 29, 2009, at a Greenville nursing facility, surrounded by many of her family members. Violet, or Vi for short, was born into a large farm family May 11, 1911, daughter of Vernie and Mary Ellen (Erskine) Mayo. After graduating from Milo High School, she journeyed by horse and buggy to her first job, at West Branch Camps in the Kokadjo area, where she met and became the beloved wife of 48 years, to James D. Richards. Living, working and raising 3 children in the remote Kokadjo area was challenging, so they decided that when the oldest reached school age, they would move to the close knit town of Greenville. The town had no idea that it was gaining a true pillar, that would support the community for the next 60 years.

While raising her children, Vi became a 4-H leader, which enabled her to teach homemaking skills to as many as 60 children at a time. An enthusiastic homemaker and born leader in every sense of the word, Vi would eventually become Vice President of the 4-H Leaders Club. She also volunteered for the Peoples' United Methodist Church for 59 years, offering her support and skills for hundreds of fairs and church suppers. Vi has earned the respect of her fellow members for her sheer devotion and kindness.

Vi's efforts went beyond the church and into the community. Affectionately known as "Grammie Vi" to many people in Greenville, she is an "unsung hero" to those who have been the beneficiaries of her generosity. Her door was always open to those she has known, as well as to strangers in need. For example, she welcomed 4 students from a town 20 miles away into her house so they could attend the local school. Later, Vi also established Greenville's Senior Citizens Club. She and her husband Jim also volunteered for many years at C. A. Dean Nursing Home. It comes as no surprise that Grammy Vi was a recipient of the Jefferson Award in 1986.

She is survived by a son and his wife, James and Ruth Richards, a daughter, Nancy Elsemore, and daughter-in-law, Virginia Richards all of Greenville; 11 grandchildren, James Richards III, Lori Richards, Judith Campbell, Susan Wong, Janice Lavigne, Richard "Rocky" Elsemore, Janet Chasse, Joni Slattery, Joseph Richards, Jeffrey Richards, and Jonathan Richards; 3 brothers, Jack Mayo of VA, Murray Mayo, and Richard Mayo both of Milo; 4 sisters, Elsie Mayo of Milo, Beatrice Phillips of Brewer, Edith Mayo of VA, and Jean Lee of Milo; and all of her many great grandchildren and great great grandchildren, nieces and nephews, all of whom have happy memories of travels, picnics, camping trips, and just spending time with her.. She was predeceased by a son, Jerome Richards, son-in-law, Robert Elsemore, and 3 grandsons, Dana Elsemore, Jerry Richards, and Rob Elsemore.

Friends may call from 2 to 4 PM, Thursday, October 1, 2009, at the Greenville Chapel of Crosby & Neal, at the Masonic building on Pritham Avenue. Funeral services will be held at 2 PM, Friday, October 2nd, at Peoples' United Methodist Church in Greenville Jct., with Pastor Harbour Mitchell III officiating. Burial will be in the Greenville Cemetery. Those who wish may made donations in her memory to Peoples' UMC, P.O. Box 91, Greenville, Jct., ME 04442. For an online guest register, go to

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