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Funeral arrangements have been set for former Wauwatosa East High School coach, teacher and mentor John "JR" Richmond, who died of heart failure Monday, March 13 while in hospice in Brookfield.

Richmond coached baseball, track, basketball and football during his career, but was most known for being the Red Raiders football coach from 1969 to 1994. Richmond was inducted into the Wisconsin Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 1996 after a career that spanned over 50 years, according to a biography of Richmond on the WFCA website.

Richmond’s funeral will be held Monday, March 20, at the Becker Ritter Funeral Home, 14075 W. North Ave., Brookfield. Visitation will take place from 4 to 6 p.m. and will be followed by the service.

Former East Athletic Director Joe Vitrano said Richmond had been dealing for several years with heart disease which had worsened during the past year. Vitrano said Richmond suffered a heart attack the week of March 6 and had been hospitalized before being moved to hospice March 10.

Vitrano sent an email to former players, coaches and teachers informing them of Richmond's death.

"I've received a lot of email replies about how much John meant to them," Vitrano said. "The messages talked about how much John influenced their lives. The response has been unbelievable."

Richmond was born in Norfolk, Virginia in 1926, according to the WFCA.

"John requested that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to Wauwatosa East High School to be used for the track and football programs at East," Vitrano said. "If you are not able to attend and wish to remember John with a donation, you may send it to Wauwatosa East High School."

If you are sending a donation it should be addressed to Principal Nick Hughes, Wauwatosa East High School, 7500 Milwaukee Ave., Wauwatosa, WI 53213. Checks should be made payable to "Wauwatosa East H.S." and include a notation that the money is for the Coach Richmond memorial.

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