Richard Leo McDonough was born on August 21, 1959, and didn’t stop making people smile until he passed away on April 27, 2022 at age 62. He is survived by his three children, Megan, David and Melissa, and his granddaughter Adelina, who were the joy and light of his life.
Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to William and Peggy McDonough, he was the second oldest of six siblings, Mary, Rhonda, Bill, Brian, and Keith. He emerged from a difficult childhood scarred but with an incredible spirit, and a drive to have a family of his own and work hard to take good care of them.
He attended Southeastern University in Lakeland, Florida, where he met the woman he married, Brenda Wilkinson. After living in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania for 12 years, the divorce took her and the kids back to her hometown in Virginia, and Rich moved back there as well to be near his kids.
When you hear the word “beloved,” nothing epitomizes that word more than Rich. From family and friends to coworkers and the nursing staff he lived with later in life, his sense of humor and sharp wit made him unforgettable and special to people.
His affinity for math and ability to charm just about anybody gave him success as a mortgage lender and loan officer at companies like Altegra, Main Street Mortgage and Nationwide Insurance. He worked harder than just about anybody, even taking on a second newspaper delivery job in the morning as a way to support his children well. After waking up at 4:00 in the morning, he would deliver newspapers across the area for hours, and then head in around 8:00am for a full day’s work at the office.
When many of us picture Rich, we see him with a newspaper in hand. He loved reading, and was a history buff who especially focused on the Vietnam and World Wars. He loved classic Westerns and action movies, and had about a million quotes memorized to pull out of his hat for any given situation.
Baseball was one of his favorite pastimes, from taking his kids to Pirates games, to playing softball in the church men’s league, to attending every single one of his kids’ games. He also loved the Steelers, and spent hours with his son Dave watching games and playing Madden on Playstation.
The outdoors were important to him, and he spent as much time in nature as he could, from taking his kids hiking or camping to sitting on the front porch in the sun with a cup of tea and his newspaper.
At the end of the day, his biggest hobby was his children. His life centered around supporting them and making sure they knew they were loved.
When a stroke completely upended his life at age 47, none of those core personality traits changed. He emerged with a condition called Locked In Syndrome that left him quadriplegic without control of his voice, but he still communicated with his kids daily through a computer system he could control with a magnetic dot on his glasses. He lived at Greenery Center for Rehab and Nursing for almost 15 years, a changed man in many ways but very much the same in others. His sharp intelligence and quick sense of humor not only kept him going, but brought continuous joy to the people around him, and those he communicated with online.
The antics he got up to at the care facility in spite of the incredible limitations and hardship he experienced on a daily basis are representative of his strength and character. Few could face the difficulties he did in life with such humor, and still have the same impact that he did on others.
At the end of the day, Richard was an incredible father, a loving brother, and a source of joy to everyone around him. The songs he made up, his goofy sayings, the hilarious things he’d think of¬–stories of those things will pop into the minds of those who knew him always, and in that way he will stay with us forever.
We are all better off for having lived in Richville for a while.