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Popular Lynnfield resident dies from COVID-19

By Thor Jourgensen | March 26, 2020

LYNNFIELD — Town residents are mourning Steven Richard’s death Tuesday evening following what Board of Selectmen Chairman Philip Crawford said was confirmation that Richard had tested positive for coronavirus.

“He was one of the first positives confirmed in the town,” Crawford said.

Richard’s death prompted selectmen to post a statement noting board members joined other town residents in “mourning the tragic loss of our friend and neighbor Steven Richard. We reach out to his wife Karen and his family, as a community, with heartfelt thoughts and prayers.”

“Steven gave so much of himself to make Lynnfield a better place through his volunteerism, his dedication to historic preservation, his commitment to his church and his fellow citizens. His legacy will endure for generations to come, and Lynnfield is a better place for all of us because of his efforts,” the statement read.

Richard reportedly died Tuesday night after being hospitalized.

Lynnfield as of Tuesday afternoon had six confirmed coronavirus cases, up from one a week ago. Crawford said town residents were among the group of people who attended a Biogen conference earlier this month that is suspected of being the point of origin for coronavirus in Massachusetts. Crawford did not know if other town residents confirmed as testing positive for coronavirus attended the conference.

“It’s a complete shock and devastating to the family,” Crawford said.

Lynnfield Historical Society President Linda Gillon praised Richard’s long-time Society involvement following in the footsteps of his mother, Edith Richard. His family roots trace through his mother’s family and the Pope family farmstead where the Summer Street School is now located.

Richard and his wife ran the Society’s country store in the first week of December for years.

“He was a dyed-in-the-wool Lynnfielder who was kind and smart. It’s such a loss,” Gillon said.

She said Richard was an accomplished photographer and contractor and active in the town Historical Commission.

“To have someone contract coronavirus who you were close to and worked with on meetings is surreal,” she said.

Richard and his family were active in Centre Congregational Church, United Church of Christ, where Rev. Nancy Rottman said Richard family members had kept Rottman and congregation members updated about Richard’s condition and his wife’s.

“They are a much-loved family. There are so many ways they have been involved it would be impossible to list,” Rottman said.

She said she last saw Richard several weeks ago when he was taking a turn shutting off lights and securing the church. Centre Congregational has been closed along with Tower Day School since coronavirus restriction measures were posted locally.