Cover photo for Joann Ellen Richards's Obituary
Joann Ellen Richards Profile Photo
1933 Joann 2023

Joann Ellen Richards

July 12, 1933 — August 7, 2023

Belle Isle


Joann Ellen Richards, a cherished wife, mother and grandmother, passed away peacefully August 7, 2023. She was born July 12, 1933 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin to Irving Felske and Regina Dwyer Felske. Joann and her family moved to Coral Gables, Florida in 1948, where she later met and married the love of her life, James F. Richards, M.D. on July 2, 1953. Joann attended the University of Florida and was a member of Kappa Delta Sorority. After marrying Jim she transferred to the University of North Carolina graduating with a Bachelors in Education in 1955. She taught kindergarten and first grade while Jim was in medical school and developed a lifelong love of children.

Jim and Joann settled in Orlando in 1962 where Jim began his orthopedic practice and she lovingly devoted her life to her family. She had a generous and gracious spirit, a funny sense of humor and an infectious laugh. She loved cooking, decorating, flower arranging and making any occasion beautiful and special for her family and friends. Joann enjoyed many adventures traveling the world with Jim for medical meetings as well as vacations with family. Never without a dog by her side, Joann was happiest spending time with family at home or at her beloved beach house.

Joann enjoyed volunteering at the Orange County Courthouse Information Booth every week for 22 years. She was a member of St. Monica's Guild at St. Mary of the Angels Episcopal Church where she helped run the annual bake sale. Joann also was a member of Florida House and the Orange County Medical Association Auxiliary where she volunteered as a lobbyist at the state level, all while raising her children and volunteering in their schools.

Joann was beautiful inside and out. She lived her life with integrity, optimism and love, and she treasured her family and friends. She will be dearly missed but her legacy and the lessons she taught us will live on in our hearts forever.

Predeceased by her loving husband Jim, she is survived by her three children: Kathleen Oropeza (Keith), Dan Richards (Peter Lindemann), Meg Perella (Dom) and five grandchildren: Nicholas and Alexander Oropeza and Teddy, Lucy and Abby Perella and her nephews Mike and Jack Felske and their families. Joann is also survived by her devoted Havanese dog, Susie.

A visitation will be held Friday August 18, 2023 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Carey Hand Colonial Funeral Home, 2811 Curry Ford Road, Orlando, Florida. A Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday August 19, 2023 at 11 a.m. at Saint Mary of the Angels Episcopal Church, 6316 Matchett Road, Orlando, Florida, 32809. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions be made to Saint Mary of the Angels Episcopal Church.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Joann Ellen Richards, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Friday, August 18, 2023

5:00 - 8:00 pm (Eastern time)

Carey Hand Colonial Funeral Home

2811 Curry Ford Rd, Orlando, FL 32806

Visitation, Friday, August 18th, 2023 5-8 PM at Carey Hand Colonial Funeral Home, 2811 Curry Ford Rd., Orlando, FL 32806

Funeral Services, Saturday, August 19th, 2023 at 11 AM at St. Mary of the Angels Episcopal Church, 6316 Matchett Road, Orlando, FL 32809.

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