Nan Richards of Westport died June 7 at home from a sudden heart attack. She was 61.
Nan Richards: graphic artist Contributed photo
She is survived by her husband, Daniel (Dan) Richards (Westport), her two children, Casey and Peter Richards (both in San Francisco), her brother, Peter Guastamachio, and his wife, Marlene Kosinski (Fremont, California).
Nan was born on April 28,1959 in Castro Valley, California daughter of the late Carmine Guastamachio and Michiko Ando. She lived her formative years on Kwajalein Missile Base in the Marshall Islands, spent junior high in Castro Valley, California, the beginning of high school in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and the end of high school in Glastonbury, where she graduated NHS in 1977.
She then went on to Boston College where she graduated with a BA in English literature in 1981. Nan immediately moved to San Francisco, where she spent days as a patent law paralegal, nights sailing a yawl in the bay, weekends skiing in Tahoe or camping in Yosemite, and years falling in love with Dan whom she married in 1986.
Once married, Nan and Dan moved to New York City where she worked as an assistant producer for ABC’s “World News Tonight with Peter Jennings” and later as a medical segment producer for Dr. Timothy Johnson (for both “World News Tonight” and “20/20.”)
To escape the hustle and bustle of the city, she and Dan purchased a weekend home at the Candlewood Lake Club in New Milford. Casey was born soon after in 1991. They then bought a home in Westport with Peter’s birth following shortly thereafter in 1996.
Over the last 30-plus years Nan pivoted careers to being an illustrator and graphic designer. She gave back to the Westport community through her artistic talents and organizational bravado: leading Art Smarts at Long Lots and Greens Farms Elementary; organizing fundraisers at Learning Community Preschool and graduation ceremonies at Bedford Middle; designing programs and posters for Bedford and Staples Players; and creating materials for events at the Connecticut Audubon Society, Westport Historical Society, and A Better Chance of Westport to name a few. She also loved hosting a weekly segment on CRIS Radio (reading for the blind).
In addition to volunteering, Nan’s illustrations, logos and graphic designs can be found all over the world on websites, to baseball team logos, to the packaging of specialty sauces, to wedding suites, to announcements at Lincoln Center.
Nan had a zest for life and a unique way of seeing the beauty and possibilities in any situation or design. She spent all her time thinking about ways to make life more delightful for everyone around her. She loved her family fiercely, her friends unconditionally, and utilized art to express it all.
Reading, researching, decorating, sailing, skiing, hiking, traveling also topped her list.
Nan’s longtime wishes were to be cremated and spread in the San Francisco Bay which her family will honor once it is safe to do so.
In lieu of flowers, please hug your loved ones and toast to the magic she brought to all our lives.