The Rev. Anne F. C. Richards, Class of 1988, died peacefully, Friday, January 12, 2018, in New York City at the age of 67.
Recently called from retirement, she served as interim rector at Grace Church in Brooklyn Heights, New York, where she began her discernment process toward the priesthood in 1985. Prior to stepping back from active service, she was the senior assistant rector at Saint Mark’s Church in New Canaan, Connecticut, senior assistant rector and chaplain at Grace Church in Manhattan and the Canon for Ministry Development at the Diocese of New York.
A priest for more than 30 years, she was a source of extraordinary strength to everyone in her life, including those she inspired through the priesthood. She spread the gospel through the transformation of lives by building Christian community, preaching, administering the sacraments, educating adults and children, and helping the people of God minister to the world.
A true scholar and enlivening teacher to all, throughout her career she instructed courses not only in Bible study, but on a wide range of subjects from parenting to responsible aging in parishes in Connecticut and New York. As a chaplain, she was committed to the spiritual guidance and education of children, whose energy and curiosity were a great source of joy in her life. Her deep appreciation for the written word included a love for poetry and literature, and informed her great talent as a preacher. Her radiance, intelligence and warm laugh lit up every coffee hour and living room. She will be greatly missed.
Born in Worcester, Massachusetts, on January 4, 1951, she was the daughter of the late John J. and Anne F. (Desandis) Connor. Richards earned her BA at Smith College and an MA at New York University before earning her MDiv with honors at General.
She is survived by her husband, the Rt. Rev. Richard Grein, 14th Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of New York; her two sons, Matthew C. Richards (Lauren) of Brooklyn, New York, and Jeffrey S. Richards (Laura) of Kingston, Pennsylvania; one brother, John Connor of Marstons Mills, Massachusetts, and four grandchildren, who she called the “joy of my life,” Grace, Noah, Ben and Lee. She also leaves behind nieces Susan Andersen and Sarah Vecoli. She was predeceased by her sister, Kathleen.