In memoriam: Richard Kirschman ‘always a step ahead’

Life Member Richard Kirschman, a philanthropist and innovator, died on Nov. 6 at the age of 85.

Richard was born on Long Island on Dec. 27, 1932, to Lewis Kirschman and Dorothy Freeman. He attended Bucknell University, briefly served in the Marines and later the Navy from 1955 until 1958.

Richard was the author of several books, including the PG-13 Bible, a printing of the text of the first five books of the Old Testament with the most offensive passages “in bold to help parents easily find the parts about slaying, lying, killing, pillaging, stoning, etc.”

Doris Ober, Richard’s wife, wrote to FFRF after his death. “He was a remarkable man who led a remarkable life. Always a step ahead, he wrote his own obituary, which I’ve copied below. He was a great admirer of your organization [and a member since 2010].”

“I made it all the way to the end. At least that’s the way it feels to me. Didn’t get cut off early as too many have. Had the exquisite pleasure of living a life of curiosity and learning that allowed me to try many things and live in many places. To feel free and safe in this great country.

“What I will miss most — a ridiculous notion for someone who has never believed in life after death, God, angels, or supernatural anythings — is being around to see what comes next. Lots of nexts. Next in new discoveries in medicine and science. Next with how the world’s troubles unfold. I will miss music, beauty of all kinds, wild creatures, the natural world and intelligent conversation.

“But it is people I will miss most. My beloved wife and companion in life, Doris Ober, whose love, warmth, good humor, intelligence, talent and values have enriched my life for decades. My sister Ellen for her affection, many accomplishments, and take on life. . . . And my dear friends — whose names my forgetful mind dares not list for fear of omitting someone dear and cherished.

“I leave with these thoughts: Oppose war, be kind to each other, make music and art, travel and speak out against intolerance, ignorance, and superstition. Embrace humor, responsibility,        honesty and respect for the truth.”

Richard Kirschman