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Ernest “Big E” Richards

Ernest “Big E” Richards

Ernest Richards


- April 15, 2019

Ernest “Big E” Richards was born on November 24, 1942, in Deadwood, SD a son of Elmer and Pauline (Carson) Richards. He attended school in Lead where he graduated from high school. As a young person Ernest and his brothers helped set bowling pins at their parents bowling alley.

After graduating high school, Ernest went to work at the Homestake Mine. Ernest would eventually enlist in the United States Navy, where he proudly served his Country. Following his Honorable discharge, he returned to the Black Hills of South Dakota taking a job as a police officer with the Rapid City Police Department. It was during this time he met Sandra Butcher of Lead. Earnest and Sandra were married on August 18, 1968 in Lead. The young couple would move to Deadwood and eventually to the Englewood community south of Lead where they would raise their family. Ernest would again return to Homestake Mine working as a Miner until his retirement. It was at Homestake where Ernest would earn the mane, “Big E”, a name he would carry from there on!

Over the years, Ernest and Sandra operated the Lead Country Club; Tomahawk Club, as well as owning and operating Big E’s Sandwich Shop in Deadwood and The Sugar Shack south on Highway 385, where he was the “PR” person!

Ernest served on the Board of Directors for the Miner’s Federal Credit Union, and was a member of the Snowmobile Club, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and the Deadwood VFW Post. In his spare-time, he enjoyed hunting, fishing, golfing and camping. Ernest’s greatest love in life was spending time with his family.

Ernest and Sandra became snowbirds for the past three years enjoying their winters in the southwest states. It was on their return to their home in Deadwood on Friday, April 12, 2019, when Ernest age 76, passed away unexpectedly in Las Vegas, NM.

Ernest is survived by his wife, Sandra, Deadwood, SD; his children, Tammy Fisher, Arvada, CO, Ernest L. (Heidi) Richards, Mesa, AZ, Douglas E. (Tiera) Richards, Lead, SD, and Chad E. (Kay) Richards, Spearfish, SD; his grandchildren, Samantha Fisher, Natalee (Derick) Fernen, Dawson Richards, Alexis Richards, James (Amanda) Fisher and Jeffery Fisher; Nine great-grandchildren and four brothers, Leslie (Karen) Richards, Port Hadlock, WA, Thomas (Brenda) Richards, Glendora, CO, Charles (Eileen) Richards, Lead, SD and Jerome (Shirley) Richards, Aurora, CO and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins. He was preceded in death by his parents, Elmer and Pauline Richards.

The family will greet friends for a time of remembrance and sharing 5pm to 7pm on Monday, April 22, 2019, at the Christian Life Center in Lead. A memorial service will be held at 10am on Tuesday, April 23, 2019, at the Lead-Deadwood Memorial Chapel with interment to follow with full Military Honors in the Black Hills National Cemetery near Sturgis, SD.

Arrangements are under the care of the Lead-Deadwood Memorial Chapel in Lead. Online condolences may be written at www.fidler-isburgfuneralchapels.com



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