Richard Evans Bristol, 88, of Hayesville, went home to be with the Lord on Sunday, Dec. 8 in the comfort of his home.
Richard was a Clay County native who lived on and worked the same land he was born on. An eighth generation farmer, Richard and his wife, Joann, continued on a legacy that dates back 162 years. Farm life was not always easy, but Richard was a hard worker as was evident from his massive, muscular hands cultivated from a long life of toil. Many will remember a friendly, firm handshake from those crushing hands, as well as the jovial laugh he had when talking about days gone by. He was never too tired to lend a helping hand or give some farming wisdom to a friend. He could often be seen tinkering on a tractor or maintaining some machinery for the upkeep of his farm.
In 1985, Richard was proud to be recognized as the first Century Farm in Clay County and in 1987, he was given the distinction of Clay County Farm Family of the Year. Richard had his hand in a variety of farming endeavors, but found his greatest success raising Burley tobacco and trellis tomatoes. He served on the Clay County ASCS Committee, as well as the Clay Soil and Water Conservation Committee. Richard was also a member of the Clay County Masonic Lodge No. 301 and a 49-year long member of the Scottish Rite of Free Masons. Both he and Joann attend First Free Will Baptist Church.
Richard was the son of the late Samuel Johnson and Nina Evans Bristol. He was also preceded in death by seven brothers, John, George, William, Sam J., Gene, Edgar and Wallace Bristol.
He is survived by his loving wife of 65 years, Joann Ledford Bristol; a daughter, Debra Bristol Puckett and husband, Robert, of Hayesville; one granddaughter, Julie Woody Joyce Overlin and husband, Stacey; two great-granddaughters, Abby and Marlo Joyce, all of Hayesville.
Funeral services were held at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 11 in the First Free Will Baptist Church with the Rev. Chris Rumfelt officiating. The interment will be at 11 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 12 in the Hayesville Baptist-Presbyterian Cemetery. Pallbearers will be Terry Woody, Emmett Arrowood, Chad Sisum, Dewayne Maney and Ricky and Daniel Anderson.
The family received friends from 4-5:45 p.m. Wednesday at the First Free Will Baptist Church prior to the services.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials be made in memory of Richard Evans Bristol to the Hayesville Baptist-Presbyterian Cemetery at United Community Bank.
Ivie Funeral Home, Hayesville: www.iviefuneralhome.com is in charge of all arrangements.