"From horses to dogs to fish, he was really active in a lot of different communities," his son said.
During 44 years at his family's chemical company, RichardsApex Inc., Mr. Richards oversaw the expansion of its metalworking chemical business from its Philadelphia headquarters to include manufacturing in Morgantown, Pa., in 1992, a merger with G. Whitfield Richards Co. in 1997, and international representation in the Pacific Rim with the foundation of RichardsApex AustralAsia, based outside Sydney, Australia, in 2002.
Mr. Richards worked alongside relatives including George "Dick" Richards III, cousins David and Drew Richards, and his own sons for many years. He retired in 2009.
He was passionate about conservation of land, preservation of open space, and the humane and loving treatment of animals, especially beagle puppies.
In addition to his son, he is survived by his wife, Susan; another son, John H. IV; and his sister, Patricia Richards Parker.
A memorial service is scheduled for 1 p.m. Saturday, April 26, at St. David's Episcopal Church, 763 S. Valley Forge Rd., Wayne. Friends may call after 12:30 p.m. Interment will be private.
Donations in Mr. Richards' memory may be made to the Willistown Conservation Trust, 925 Providence Rd., Newtown Square, Pa. 19073.