RIGHTER, Richard


RIGHTER, The Reverend Richard Lutes "Dick"

Servant of the Lord: Born 4/10/32, Stockton, California, - Died 11/14/20, Dayton, Ohio. Dick grew up in a suburb of San Francisco, the son of a

piano teacher and a high school history teacher and coach. While earning his

business degree at University of California, Dick was a nationally ranked javelin thrower, rush chairman of his fraternity and involved in the Student Senate. While earning his MBA, he attended a Christian

retreat without the intent to encounter the message of Jesus. He did and it changed the trajectory of his life. He met his wife, Willie. They were married for 57 years. Dick earned his M. Div. at San Francisco Theological Seminary. Dick and Willie wanted to do mission work in Brazil, but the call came to go to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In the early 1960's the

Presbytery owned a grand church with an exclusively white membership in African American, west Philadelphia. Righter was tasked with integrating that church. He did so by knocking on doors and offering a place of faith that included equality of governance. In 1968 Righter was invited to found a church with a social action mandate. Dick, Willie and their small daughters, Lisa and Karen, moved to Dayton, Ohio. The Congregation for Reconciliation with its open and democratic form, was able to make gains for justice on diverse economic, environmental and racial issues. The Congregation spearheaded an international boycott of Gulf Oil to gain

Angola its independence. Dick took a sabbatical to England and completed his doctorate in Economics and Theology from Antioch's University Without Walls. He was a first Co-President of Leaders for Equality in Dayton (LEAD), grassroots, faith-based community organization. At 85 Dick was still an

All-American javelin thrower and on the coaching roster of Northwest Track Club. Nevertheless, Dick's heart and comfort were restored in the trout streams of the west's high country. Every summer he took his family to meet up with his brother, Bob. The two men maintained a lifetime of fishing, backpacking trips and love. He is preceded in death by his wife, Wilma (Wuthrich) Righter, his father, C.E. Righter and mother, Margaret (Willms) Righter. He is survived by his brother, Robert Righter and sister-in-law, Sherry Smith of Jackson Hole, Wyoming; his daughter, Elisabeth Righter,

son-in-law, Stephen Kramer, grandson, Benjamin Kramer; his daughter, Karen Righter Geiger and son-in-law, Raymond

Geiger; and his partner, Paula Ewers, all of Dayton, Ohio. A celebration of his life will be planned after the Pandemic. If friends wish to honor Dick please contribute to Advocates for Basic Legal Equality (ABLE), The Dayton Art Institute, Monthly Review Foundation, College Hill Presbyterian Church, or a cause of your choice. Further information is available at