Elizabeth Lee Boardman Richmond

January 07, 1926 ‒ November 01, 2019

Bellville, Ohio

Elizabeth Lee Boardman Richmond, 93, died peacefully Nov. 1, 2019, following a long illness with Alzheimer’s. Elizabeth was born Jan. 7, 1926, in Waterloo, Iowa, the daughter of Rev. Edwin Boardman and Muriel Welstead Boardman.

Elizabeth grew up in Hagerstown, Maryland, and graduated from high school there, then after a year of working as a telephone operator, she followed her sister Gertrude to Ashland College. She met Samuel Isaac Richmond from Nappanee, Indiana, at Ashland. After graduating, they married on Aug. 30, 1948. They had five children, Samuel, Harry, Mark, Reed, and Elizabeth Lee. She worked on her post graduate degree at Kent State University, where she earned her Ph.D. in Rhetoric and Speech. She taught at Ashland College for nearly 30 years, eventually serving as Chair of the Department of Speech and Drama.

Known as Dr. Beth to her hundreds and hundreds of students, she was a beloved teacher appreciated for her compassion and also signature acerbic wit. At age 84, she moved to Bellville to live with her son Reed and his wife Joan, where she stayed for eight years, enjoying country life for the first time. Always an avid, active gardener, she spent most days working in the yard, and adored her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Elizabeth is survived by her sons Samuel I. (Caryl) Richmond of Ashland, Mark Evan (Peggy) Richmond of New Springfield, Reed James (Joan) Richmond of Bellville, and daughter Elizabeth Lee (Paul) Panza of Portland, Oregon; grandchildren Leann (Milan) Tanaskovic, Tracy Richmond, Josie Richmond, Dr. Rebecca (Kyle) Campbell, Dr. Catherine (Isaac) Stoner, and Mark Evan (Danelle) Richmond; great grandchildren Eric Tanaskovic, Harlee and Richard Richmond, Mariah Elizabeth Stoner, and two more great-granddaughters on the way; and her sister Muriel Aurand of Shelby. She was preceded in death by her husband Samuel, son Harry, grandson Samuel Isaac Richmond II, sister Gertrude, and brother Edwin (Ned) Boardman.

Services will take place in January, when the family traditionally gathered for her birthday, at the Bellville All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church. Memorial contributions can be directed to the Edwin Boardman Memorial Endowed Scholarship Fund. Checks can be sent to Ashland University 401 College Avenue, Ashland, Ohio 44805.

Snyder Funeral Homes is honored to serve Elizabeth’s family and encourage you to share a fond memory or message of condolence for the family at SnyderFuneralHomes.com

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  • Beth Richmond was indeed an Ashland College ‘Treasure”. She was a dedicated employee, loyal friend and a and mentor to so many during her long-distinguished tenure at AC/AU. I remember her in so many capacities-mostly rally the troops for a capital campaign drive or tending to her beautiful roses which helped beautify her home and Grant Street. She had deep roots at Ashland and she cared so much about the school. Grateful for the opportunity to work with Beth. Sympathy to the Richland Family. Ralph Tomassi’77 (AC/AU Retired 1977-2014).

  • Beth was a dear friend, a wonderful colleague, and a fine mentor. She was warm, witty, and brilliant. We shared many long talks when I worked at Ashland, and I visited her many times after I left. We continued to correspond until her illness made that impossible for her. I will remember her always with great fondness. My deepest condolences to the family, and may her memory ever be for a blessing.

    • Steve,
      In going through my Mother’s massive collection on memorabilia there are several letters with your name on them.
      Thanks for the wonderful comments.
      Son Reed

  • I’m a former student who thinks of “Dr. Beth” with great fondness and appreciation. I think I only had Dr. Beth for one class–Freshman Studies, which, as it turns out, was one of my more memorable Ashland classes. How can it be that a class designed to introduce first year students to college would be that memorable for me? I attribute it all to Dr. Beth. I don’t think any other Freshman Studies class read Sinclair Lewis’ book “Babbit,” for example. And her written remarks on the journal entries she required us to submit were classic! She was my advisor until I graduated. I would look forward to meeting her in her *seriously* messy office each semester and talking through my plans, with her asking questions with well-placed raised eyebrows…and occasional commentary about the politics of the day. She was feisty and hilarious and uniquely herself. I’ve still not met anyone quite like her since. And I’m still amazed by and grateful for how messy her office was. I’m not known for keeping a neat desk at work, but my desk, as messy as it often can be, is sparkling clean compared to Dr. Beth’s! She has given me license to claim my messiness as a sign of my competence. I don’t remember us talking about religion during my time at Ashland and I’m not sure she knew that I eventually became a UU minister. However, I must admit some joy at knowing the service that will celebrate her life–which did impact mine in significant ways–will be held in a UU church. I’m grateful for her, and though I haven’t seen her for more than a decade, I will miss her all the same.

    • Mark,
      Thanks for your wonderful comments.You’d be pleased to know that she considered herself a UU at heart and that the last three books she read were written by Walt Kania.
      Son Reed

  • As an Ashland College freshman back in 1985, one of the first faculty members I met was dear Dr. Beth. She led my Freshman Studies class and continued as my advisor during my four years at AC. She made a huge impact on me academically, as well as personally, as we became good friends over those years. I will never forget her kindness as I expressed homesickness in my journal for Freshman Studies. She took the time to call my dorm room to talk to me after reading my journal entry and encouraged me to come and visit her in her office where she offered sound advice about becoming more involved at school as a way to feel more at home. We must have talked for over an hour. I attribute her phone call and her caring way to my staying at Ashland and feeling connected.
    After graduation, we wrote many letters back and forth to update each other on our lives and she always took such great interest in my career, marriage and family. We corresponded until the time that she left the Ashland area.
    I will never forget her voice, her laugh, her impeccable attire, her candidness, wisdom, sense of humor and her caring nature. I have missed all of those things over the years.
    My sincere condolences to the entire Richmond family on the loss of such a wonderful matriarch. May Dr. Beth be at peace now where her mind and body are whole and where she is reunited with her beloved husband, Sam. I will never forget her.
    Lori (Lahoski) Reagan – AC ’89

  • Beth and I were colleagues at Ashland College/University for many years. Her office was not far from mine, so we had many opportunities for informal interactions. I always enjoyed her forthright conversational style, and she made me feel welcome in my first years with the teaching faculty. In addition, I remember her many years of service to the University at large in her roles with the Faculty Senate. I think of her and of Sam often, particularly now as I pass by the garden area outside Kettering Science Center that bears the Richmond family name.

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