MISSOURI — Former Missouri senator and member of MSSU’s Board of Governors, Ron Richard, passed away Friday morning.
In a statement from Missouri Southern State University acknowledging Richard’s passing, the school said:
“Senator Ron Richard dedicated his life to public service and is one of the university’s most distinguished graduates,” said Dr. Dean Van Galen, president of Missouri Southern State University. “In recognition of his public service, including serving in leadership roles in the Missouri House and Senate, in 2016 he was awarded the university’s inaugural Richard M. Webster Medallion. Ron Richard was a life-long champion of the university and leaves a tremendous legacy at Missouri Southern.”Missouri Southern State University
Ron Richard lived in Joplin for the majority of his life, attending McAuley Catholic High School and eventually MSSU.
In politics, Richard started his career in 1990 following his election to Joplin City Council and becoming mayor in 1994. He joined the Missouri House of Representatives in 2003, becoming Speaker of the House in 2009, and President Pro Tem of the Senate in 2015.
According to the State Historical Society of Missouri, Richard was the only person in the state’s history to serve as both Speaker of the House and President Pro Tem of the Senate.
Richard was 75-years-old. He leaves behind his wife, Patty, and two children, Kara and Chad.