Richard Merritt Britt, 82, currently of Clarkesville, Georgia, passed away peacefully at Mountain View Health and Rehabilitation Center in Clayton, Georgia on Monday, August 19, 2019, from complications of long-term dementia.
Born on October 04, 1936 in Jacksonville, Florida, Richard spent most of his early years in the culturally and environmentally rich central Florida town of Winter Park, the perfect setting for this person of enormous personal charm, good humor, sports, and creative talent. Some of his fondest memories were the times he spent with his father at his father's hunting camp and the summertime stays with the whole family at the "camp" on Lake Butler in Winter Garden (near the present Disney World complex). An avid swimmer, water-skier, and fisherman, he was also a fantastic partner on the ball room dance floor, played trumpet, and piano. and was highly popular among his large community of friends. He also treasured summertime visits with his beloved grandmother (on his mother's side) at her Pre-Civil War homeplace in southern Alabama, enjoying life as it was in a much simpler time (without running water or electricity, learning farming techniques, caring for farm animals).
Richard attended prep school at Christ School in Arden, North Carolina, returned home to graduate from Winter Park High School, and attended the University of Florida before joining the military. He served four years in the United States Navy followed by three years in the United States Air Force. Afterwards, he spent his working career with two large corporations, General Motors, in Quality Control, and Atlantic Steel, in management.
Following retirement in 1996, he and his wife Betty moved to their vacation home in western North Carolina, where he became interested in remodeling the rustic little cabin into a beautiful home. He also took a part-time job for the next 17 years at a popular convenience store in Rosman, North Carolina; there, he met many wonderful people whom he grew to love and admire over the years.
When not at work, Richard's greatest joy was spending time with his beloved dogs, as many as seven over the years, plus one shared adopted one. Another big joy was building his own workshop, or as he called it, his "Man Cave." Inside the 12 by 12 foot structure were all the conveniences of comfort: a desk with a computer where he could play bridge with people all over the world; a flat screen TV with satellite connection for watching his favorite shows and sports events, especially his dearly loved Atlanta Braves and Falcons; a comfortable lounge chair; and a refrigerator filled with goodies.
Betty and Richard moved to Clarkesville in April 2018, to be nearer to family as Richard's health condition declined. Richard's charm and ability to make friends never did decline. One of the persons who helped with his care said: "I'm so grateful to have had the opportunity to know Richard. Even when he was having difficult days, it was never too hard to coax out his sparkle and charm and have a chuckle (or a snack) with him...I'll never forget him."
Richard is survived by his wife Betty, who loved him dearly for 37 years; step-son, Vincent Ray of Charlotte, NC; whom he raised from the age of three years; Vincent's wife Sonya; wonderful step-daughter, Beverly Randall of Stone Mountain; three sons, Stephen, Christopher, and Eric Britt and their mother Patti Britt of Northeast, Pennsylvania; one sister, Jeanie Britt Daves (husband, Walter), of Clarkesville, GA; and 13 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Emma Brunson Britt & Henry Merritt Britt of Winter Park, his sister Brenda Britt Stabell (husband, Richard) of Houston, TX; and his son-in-law, Bob Randall of Atlanta, GA.
Funeral services are scheduled for 2:00 p.m. Thursday, August 22, 2019 from the Hillside Chapel with Rev. Danny Odum officiating. Interment will follow in the Hillside Gardens Cemetery with military honors provided.
The family will receive friends at the funeral home from 1:00 p.m. until the service hour on Thursday.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that all donations be made to Happy Tailz Pet Rescue, Inc., P.O. Box 801, Sautee-Nacoochee, Georgia 30571.
An online guest book is available at www.hillsidememorialchapel.com
Arrangements by Hillside Memorial Chapel of Clarkesville, Georgia (706) 754-6256.
To send flowers to Richard Merritt Britt's family, please visit our floral section.