On Thursday July 5, 2018" received his heavenly wings and transitioned with dignity and peace".
John Wesley “JW” Rich was born on October, 30, 1923, in Marshall County, in the county seat of Madill, Oklahoma. He was the 8th child of 14 children to the late John Rich (father) and Laura Brooks Rich (mother). One of JW’s fondest childhood memories was going fishing with his father and older brothers. JW’s parents died relatively young. His dad died in his late 50’s and his mother died at the tender age of 44 years old.
JW’s older sister, Mary Ann Rich Willis helped to raise him, and his younger sisters, Estelle and Carrie. JW was an avid sportsman. He played both football and basketball in school.
John valiantly served his country in World War II. John was a PFC- warehouseman in the 613th Quartermaster Depot Supply Company. He served both state-side in Marshall, Oklahoma and in the European theatre in the battles in Northern France, the Ardennes, and the Rhineland. JW was honorably discharged in December of 1945. He was decorated with the Victory Medal of World War II, the Good Conduct Medal, European, African, Middle Eastern Campaign Medals, and 3 Bronze Service Star Medals.
After the war JW’s plans were to go to Detroit, Michigan to get an automotive job, well as we all know plans change. JW met a beautiful woman named Loretta Hughes when he stopped in Kansas City, Missouri. His plans of going to Detroit never materialized. JW and Loretta married in 1940 and lived a very fruitful life together. Loretta was a federal tax employee and JW transported gasoline for Mobile Oil. JW had to fight for equal pay. If he did the same job he deserved the same pay! He was successful and earned the equal rate of pay that his white co-workers were being paid. JW and Loretta both retired from their jobs. They both worked 30+ years for their respective employers and retired the same year. JW and Loretta attended 2nd Street Baptist Church. Loretta and JW were married for 60 years until her death on August 30th, 2000. JW moved to Wichita and briefly lived with family before he moved to Chaucer Estates Assisted Living facility. JW loved to spend time watching baseball on television. His favorite team was the Kansas City Royals. He was also fond of watching Westerns. JW joined Calvary Baptist Church here in Wichita, Kansas. JW and Loretta never had children.
He is survived by his sister, Carrie Lou Rich Holt who lives in Enid, Oklahoma and a host of nieces, nephews, and loved ones.