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National Fallen Firefighters Foundation

Roll of Honor

Firefighter/Ranger
Age: 39
Year of Death: 2021

Stephen Paul Richards

Stephen Paul Richards, cherished as a beloved husband, son, father, uncle, and brother, made an indelible impact on the lives of those fortunate enough to be a part of his journey. Hailing from South Florida, specifically Homestead, Stephen’s life unfolded from the radiant shores of his birthplace to the picturesque landscapes of Ellijay, Georgia.

Raised in South Florida, Stephen attended school in Miami-Dade County until his sophomore year in high school. In 1998, he underwent a transformative move to Ellijay, where he completed high school, leaving an enduring legacy in the wrestling team and his church’s youth group.

Prior to high school graduation, Stephen enlisted in the U.S. Army, undergoing basic training at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. Serving proudly with the Army Reserves in the Army Corps of Engineers, he traveled to Germany, Guatemala, and was deployed to Kuwait from 2005 to 2006, achieving the rank of sergeant (E5).

Post-Kuwait, Stephen delved into entrepreneurship alongside his father, Douglas Richards. Together, they co-founded Conasauga Timberframe, showcasing their dedication to the art of timber framing. Their craftsmanship gained recognition in Timber Homes Living, reflecting their skill and passion.

Embarking on a new chapter, Stephen devoted a decade to the Georgia Forestry Commission. As ranger 3, he played a pivotal role in fire prevention and control, serving as the electrician for his area. From issuing burn permits to educating the public on wildfire dangers, Stephen’s commitment extended to creating fire breaks with his bulldozer and hand lines. Notably, he also embraced the role of Smokey Bear, embodying the importance of fire safety.

Beyond professional achievements, Stephen’s warmth, dedication, and sense of service continue to inspire. Whether in military service, entrepreneurship, or safeguarding against wildfires, Stephen’s impact is woven into the communities he touched. In celebrating the life of Stephen Paul Richards, we honor a resilient individual who made a positive difference through a life well lived.

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