The Rev. George Richmond of Akeley, Minn., and Green Valley, Ariz., performed psychological research as a soldier in the 1950s, but discovered he could better help people as a man of the cloth.
"In his sermons, he was very animated and he had a loud, strong voice," said his daughter Ginny Richmond, of Meadowlands, Minn.
"He was always there for people, day and night," she said.
Richmond, who served several Twin Cities churches, died of a cerebral hemorrhage Nov. 11 in St. Paul. He was 77.
Richmond grew up in Virginia. Between earning bachelor's and master's degrees in psychology, he served in the U.S. Army in Fort Knox, Ky., where he researched the effects of vibrations on soldiers riding in tanks.
He was raised a Presbyterian, but in the military he attended Episcopal services and converted.
In 1959, he completed seminary training at the Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria and was ordained.
After ministering in Kentucky, he moved to the Twin Cities in 1962. Over the years, he served St. Clement's Episcopal Church in St. Paul and St. Martin's-by-the-Lake in Minnetonka Beach before moving to St. Cloud to serve at St. John's Episcopal Church from 1969 to 1986.
At St. John's, Rita Bartlett of Sartell, worked in the church office.
"He was almost like family for me," she said. "He was just an incredibly patient, empathetic man."
Bartlett said his Bible study classes were so popular that people from other parishes attended.
"People really loved him," she said.
In the late 1980s, Ford Royer of Brooklyn Center was a parishioner at the old St. Patrick's Episcopal Church in Bloomington. Richmond began work there "at a tumultuous time," Royer said.
There were a lot of hard feelings among parishioners because the church had changed locations a couple of times.
"George did a marvelous job of bringing the parish together," said Royer, a longtime friend.
In his sermons and Bible classes, Richmond took complex ideas and clarified them, Royer said.
In 1990, Richmond was on hand to open the doors of the House of Prayer, the Episcopal Diocese of Minnesota's retreat center on the grounds of St. John's Abbey in Collegeville. He had helped establish the retreat center.
He retired in 1994 and enjoyed sailing and woodworking.
His daughter Ann died in 2006.
In addition to Ginny, he is survived by his wife, Sandra, of Akeley and Green Valley, Ariz.; his other daughter, Cathy Sturtevant of Concord, N.H.; former wife, Maxine Richmond of Minneapolis; 11 grandchildren and six great grandchildren.
Services will be at 2 p.m. Dec. 6 at St. Martin's-by-the-Lake Episcopal Church, 2801 Westwood Road, Minnetonka Beach.