Richard D. Padgett

Richard D. Padgett – 74 – formerly of New Jersey, died Friday morning (April 12, 2018) at Elderwood of Hornell Nursing Facility where he had resided for the past seven years.

Born in Trenton, NJ on January 3, 1944, he was the son of Albert & Rilla (Kimble) Padgett.

Richard was one of six children, with four brothers and one sister. He was born with the name RD, however chose to have his name legally changed to Richard at the age of 38. When he went to court, the judge asked him why he wanted to change his name. He responded “If you had my name, you would too” and the judge agreed.

He married Diane in 1962 and together they were blessed with three children, Jeff, Deborah and Kathy.

Richard worked as a professional photographer and limousine driver. He shared many stories about the many famous people that he met throughout his career, including Jackie Onassis, Ronald Reagan, Henry Kissinger, Sigourney Weaver and John Kennedy JR. He also had the opportunity of driving Mrs. Kennedy to a horse show in Maryland. Upon arrival, she asked Richard to assist her in getting on a horse. After Mrs. Kennedy’s failed attempt at getting on and falling, Richard caught her in his arms.

Richard’s career and travels took him to many places including Canada, Mexico and every state in the United States except Alaska and Hawaii. He especially had fond memories of California and being captivated by the beauty of the Redwood Trees.

Diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease at the age of 58, Richard said “This disease has been the biggest struggle in my life. It’s a terrible disease that takes your motions and speech away and makes you very tired. What I could do yesterday, I now can’s do today. I wish people would learn to have more patience with me and allow me time to talk and make myself understood.”

While living at Elderwood of Hornell (formerly McAuley Manor) Richard greatly appreciated the view from his bedroom window, visiting with people “one-on-one”, sharing stories and enriching lives through the beauty of his photographs which were on display throughout the hallway on Cranberry lane.

In addition to his parents, Richard was preceded in death by his son, Jeff.

At Richard’s request there will be no calling hours or services. Funeral arrangements are in care of the Dagon Funeral Home, 38 Church St., Hornell, NY.

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