Date of Birth
Date of Death
Trent “TR” Richards, age 67, of Bloomingdale, formerly of Elburn, passed away quietly into the arms of his Savior, while being surrounded by the love and prayers of his family, Wednesday, November 30, 2016. Although his fierce battle with cancer took his body, his spirit remained strong and was never broken.
He was born February 22, 1949, the son of Donald Richards and Alice (Read) Carlson, in Aurora, IL.
Trent grew up in Elburn and attended local schools. He graduated from Kaneland High School with the class of 1967. Before receiving his diploma, Trent excelled in track and field, especially the high jump, although he wasnâ€™t a slouch at hurdles either. His mentor was the beloved Bruce “Pete” Peterson, renowned track coach and for whom the field was named. Trent also was involved in the drama department, gracing the stage in several productions.
Following graduation, Trent furthered his education at Illinois State University with the help of an athletic scholarship. There he studied P.E. and education and graduated with a Bachelors Degree.
Following his graduation from I.S.U., he became a P.E. teacher, track and cross country coach for St. Charles High School. Still to this day, his name is mentioned as one of the greats and is remembered fondly by generations of runners whom he kept in contact over the years. During his years as a teacher, Trent also earned a Masters Degree at I.S.U. which included a field study at the U.S. Olympic Center in Colorado Springs, CO. In the early 1980â€™s, Trent left his teaching career to open his own business, One On One Fitness, in Chicago, which still flourishes today.
One On One Fitness was contracted to provide fitness activities for major corporations throughout Chicago, as well as individuals. One such company was Holiday Inn. It was here that fate stepped in, bringing Trent into the life and heart of Joan Chilton. In case fate wasnâ€™t enough, Trent showed off by hurdling countless parking meters…just in case. They were united in marriage in 1986. They began their new life together in Roselle, IL, where home was filled with one-of-a-kind memories from day one. Most recently, they moved to Bloomingdale in 2016.
Trent was on the Board of National Able and was most proud of his alumnus status at I.S.U. He supported Joan in both Food For Friends and Oakton Community College Foundation activities.
Trent was a Cub Scout and an enthusiastic shortstop in both Little League and Pony Leagues. He also followed his fatherâ€™s footsteps and was heavily involved in 4-H, a passion he kindled in the future generations. His coaching instincts were never idle as he coached his son and nieces and nephews, especially in speed development, but left the comfort of track and field to coach his son Andrew, in roller hockey, basketball, soccer and golf. His voice could boom over the loudest cheers and you never misunderstood what he wanted you to do. Trent was also the inventor of a board game, Balance: The Game of Living Well. Trent was a consummate entrepreneur. He was an innovator of National Chevrolet indoor sailing competitions, was involved in marketing for Ginder Factory, an art start-up and Chalet Hills Golf Course. Trent was a chief marketer for Funbrain.com, the leading educational website for children. He never stopped learning and striving for excellence in many fields, including a foray into Cranial Sacral Therapy in his later years. He established and ran the Doug Collins Golf Outing at I.S.U. for many years. In earlier years, Trent was known far and wide for the biggest and wildest parties at River City. This may have begun his penchant for networking before networking became a buzzword. He knew everyone and everyone knew Trent. His outgoing nature and sense of humor was legendary. Yearly trips to Arizona for spring training and several Masterâ€™s Tournaments filled out his social schedule, but trips to St. Martin and Las Vegas were his favorite destinations. His biggest passion was the Chicago Cubs and he was a longtime season ticket holder. He was finally able to fulfil his dream by attending a World Series game alongside his wife Joan and son, Andrew, eventually watching history being made with a Cubs victory in an epic game seven. His shadow loomed large and Trent will certainly never be forgotten.
He is survived by his loving wife Joan; one son Andrew Trent Richards; his step-father, Glenn “Butch” Carlson; five siblings: Sandi Frost, Trudy (Walter) Zeliasz, Ron (Julie) Richards, Donna (Robert) Harner and Darryl (Nancy) Carlson; 15 nieces and nephews; 19 great-nieces and nephews and many cousins. Trent took his “big brother” and “uncle” roles very seriously and loved and supported his family.
He is preceded in death by his father, Donald Richard; his mother Alice Carlson and on brother-in-law, Bill Frost.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be sent directly to “Trent Richards Scholarship” at the Illinois State University Athletic Department, 800 S. University St., Unit 6, Normal, IL 61761 or the American Lung Association at 1440 West Washington Blvd. Chicago, IL 60607. Tributes may be forwarded through the Conley Funeral Home Facebook Page, or at www.conleycare.com.
A funeral to celebrate Trentâ€™s life, also at the funeral home, will begin at 10 a.m., Tuesday, December 6, 2016. Rev. Katherine Lawes will officiate with interment to follow at West Big Rock Cemetery.
A public visitation will be from 3-7 p.m., Monday, December 5, 2016, at Conley Funeral Home, 116 W. Pierce St., Elburn, IL.
West Big Rock Cemetery