Born in Brainard, Minn., to Bertha (Newman) and Norman Richmond on June 14, 1931, Mr. Richmond was raised and educated in the northern Minnesota towns of Federal Dam and Boy River.
He enjoyed basketball, football and track in school, and hunted, fished and trapped whenever he could. He worked as a heavy equipment operator while still a teenager, and accepted positions that took him to North Africa and Alaska before settling in Easton, Wash., in 1955. Mr. Richmond raised mink there for 17 years. A self-taught geneticist, he developed a strain of black mink that became known throughout the world. Mr. Richmonds other business interests included raising cattle on Sitkalidak Island in Alaska, developing several new colors of ranch-raised foxes, and importing and selling Asian herbal medicines. Mr. Richmond traveled throughout the world. He was able to find something in common with everyone he met.
His family said he was always dreaming and scheming about his next adventure, of which there were many. He was generous and trusting, seldom bothering with such minor details as contracts or formal agreements. He made and lost a fortune several times over, as well as enabling dozens of his friends to catch the vision and cash in on his ideas.
Mr. Richmond is survived by his parents and two brothers, Stuart Richmond, of Cle Elum, Wash., and Dennis, of Minnesota. His sister, Norma, preceded him in death in November 1999. His children, of whom he was very proud, include Judi Davidson and Russell Richmond, of Wasilla; Jim Richmond, of Yakima, Wash.; David and Adam Richmond, both of Seattle; and Forest, Roy and Charles Richomond, of Honolulu, Hawaii. He had nine grandchildren and one great granddaughter. Memorial services will be held at 2 p.m. Friday, Jan. 15, at the Morning Star Building in Wasilla at 2850 Broadview Ave., behind the Mat-Su Cinema.