GoFundMe page raises $4,882 for family of Deere striking worker killed in accident

Local News

Jill Rich and her husband, Richard, 56, who died Oct. 27 in a traffic accident while walking to a Deere picket line in Milan.

An online fundraising campaign established two days ago for a striking Deere worker killed Oct. 27 already has raised $4,882.

“As many of you know already, Richard was struck by a car and killed on Wednesday morning while striking for UAW against Deere and Company,” Jill Rich, the widow of Richard Rich, 56, of Moline, wrote for the GoFundMe page. “There is absolutely no amount of money that will make up for his death. He was my entire world and I am numb. Somehow I need to move forward and the loss of Dick’s income leaves me trying to live on my own. Anything is appreciate and please know I am lucky to have had him in my life.”

“Dick was fighting for his and his family’s dignity and it’s the least I can do to honour that fight,” wrote one donor on the fundraising site. It’s received donations including from California and Chicago.

Last week, Rock Island County Coroner Brian Gustafson identified Richard Rich, 56, of Moline, as the striking Deere worker killed early Wednesday in a crash near a picket line in Milan. He died from multiple traumatic chest injuries, Gustafson said.

An ongoing investigation is being conducted by Milan Police, Moline Police Department’s Accident Reconstruction Division and the Rock Island County Coroner’s Office.

Dick Rich, a UAW employee of the John Deere Parts Distribution Center, was killed around 6 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 27 in a traffic accident near the Milan plant. (photo by Mike Colon.)

Per his wishes, cremation rites will be accorded, and a Celebration of Life will be held at a later date, tentatively or sometime in November, according to his obituary. Memorials may be made to the family.

Richard Rich was born July 23, 1965, in Clinton, Iowa, to Tom and Mary (Foltz) Rich. He married Jill Eaton on August 23, 1997, in Clinton, who survives. Richard was part of the Rich Toys founding family. Rich Toys were made in Clinton in the 1930s-’50s. The toys were well known for their quality.

Richard graduated from Clinton High School, Class of 1983, and received his Bachelor’s Degree from Mt. Saint Clare College. He worked at John Deere Parts Distribution Center in Milan for 15 years.

Richard was a Lieutenant of the Iowa National Guard for 12 years. He was incredibly patriotic and had a deep love for his country. Dick had a very eclectic taste in music, attending Judas Priest concerts, sporting fake hand-drawn tattoos on his shaved head like Rob Halford. He loved to play poker with friends and family, making a simple game into a comical event. Dick made people laugh, he had such a wild imagination, you never knew what he would say next; always a jokester, according to the obituary.

In addition to his wife, Jill, survivors include a sister, Ginger (Stuart) Garringer of Cedar Rapids; and a brother, John (LuAnn) Larson III of Clinton.

Family and friends are invited to share memories and express online condolences at wendtfuneralhome.com.

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