Richard Lee Essex

September 21, 1942 ~ October 15, 2018 (age 76)

Richard Lee Essex, age 76, of Indianapolis and formerly of Zionsville, passed away on Monday, October 15, 2018 in St. Vincent Hospital.  “And just like that, the world was a little less magnificent.” [Bill Jones Quote] He was born on September 21, 1942 in Lebanon, Indiana to William Ernest Essex, Jr. and Yvonne Jeanette (Stanbrough) Essex-Steep; he was preceded in death by his father. 

Richard grew up in Boone County.  He started elementary school in Whitestown, Indiana and the family moved to Zionsville when Richard was in the 4th Grade.  Richard was president of his 1960 Senior Class at Zionsville High School.  He enjoyed sports and lettered in baseball and basketball.  Richard attended DePauw University and Purdue-Indianapolis. 

In 1962 Richard met Judith at his cousin’s wedding in Lizton, Indiana where he served as Best Man and she as Maid of Honor.  They were married three months later at the Zionsville Methodist Church on September 1, 1962.  The couple was active in the community.  Richard was involved in Jaycee, the Junior Chamber of Commerce.  Richard served as Youth Minister at the Methodist Church and taught Sunday School. The family later became members of the Zionsville Christian Church, Disciples of Christ.  Richard served as a deacon and an Elder in the church.  In 2012 the couple relocated to the Old Southside Neighborhood in Indianapolis.  The following year the couple joined North United Methodist Church.  He served as Worshipful Master of the Charles F. Frank Masonic Lodge, #760 Zionsville F&AM. 

In his early career he was a microbiologist at Eli Lilly & Co.  This experience led him into sales with Scott Laboratories.  Eventually he managed the medical laboratory for Nasser, Smith and Pinkerton the cardiology group at St. Vincent’s.  Before retiring Richard served as a consultant for hospitals laboratories in Georgia and Alabama.

In the early1990’s the Essex Family became involved with the rowing community at Eagle Creek Park.  Richard then completed his credentials to be a U.S. Rowing Judge Referee.  He officiated regattas all over the Midwest.  In 1996 the couple volunteered for the Olympics in Atlanta.  Richard drove the boat launches for the international Judge Referees and Judith served on the docks where the athletes launched their rowing shells. 

Following retirement Richard and his wife Judith served as proprietors of The Brick Street Inn in Zionsville. He enjoyed golf, fishing in Minnesota, traveling, baking, the theatre and gardening. But his greatest joy was spending time with his family.  His grandchildren lovingly called him Omo, an acronym for Oh Magnificent One.  In 2012 the couple relocated to the Old Southside Neighborhood in Indianapolis. 

Survivors include his loving wife of 56 years, Judith (Chelf) Essex; mother, Yvonne Jeanette Essex-Steep; son, Richard Essex II (Connie) of Lexington, Kentucky; Heather Gallagher (Joe) of Indianapolis and Ann Catherine Cox (Tommy) of Carrollton, Georgia; sisters, Susan Heath (Duane) of Zionsville and Nancy Tudors of Grand Rapids, Minnesota; grandchildren, Nyle Essex, Lily Essex, Lela Gallagher, William Gallagher, Michael Richard Gallagher, Ivy Jane Gallagher, Thomas Cox, Robert Cox and Shalyn Cox and a large group of nieces and nephews.

Family and friends will gather on Thursday, October 18, 2018 from 5 to 7 p.m. in Lauck & Veldhof Funeral & Cremation Services, 1458 S. Meridian St., Indianapolis.  A memorial service celebrating his life will follow visitation at 7 p.m. in the funeral home with Fr. Larry Janezic, O.F.M., Pastor Jed Fuller and Rev. Darren Cushman - Wood participating.  In lieu of flowers and because of their love for the Old Southside neighborhood, the Essex Family has requested that Memorial contributions be made to Concord Neighborhood Center 1310 S. Meridian St., Indianapolis, IN 46225.

To share a condolence with the family please visit,

Donations may be made to:

Concord Neighborhood Center
1310 S. Meridian Street, Indianapolis IN 46225
Tel: 1-317-637-4376

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