Janis Southerland Richards

The life of Janis Southerland Richards, who died on September 27, 2022 at her home in Waco, will be celebrated by her family and many friends for years to come, even as they mourn her departure from this earth.

Janis was born in Austin, Texas on July 18, 1948. Her parents were Robert Aubrey Barr and Lorayne G. Barr. She was a graduate of Travis High School, and graduated with honors from St. Edward’s University with a degree in marketing. Janis went on to become an active member in her community, most notably the Junior League of Austin.

Janis married Howard Newton Richards in Austin on November 23, 1984, and was a loving and devoted wife to him until his death in 2015. Howard enjoyed some of his proudest, happiest moments when escorting Janis through life—whether to University of Texas events, to their summer vacation spot in Breckenridge, Colorado, or on an occasional trip to England. Wherever Janis and Howard went, they were sure to make good friends and great memories.

When Janis and Howard met, she was on staff at the University of Texas Development Office, while Howard was completing his term on the U.T. Board of Regents. Interestingly enough, they did not initially connect through their U.T. affiliations, but were introduced to one another through a close mutual friend. Still, their shared devotion to “all things Longhorn” certainly marked the early years of their marriage.

Janis went on to work at The Antique Swan, where she was able to add to her magnificent collection of antique furnishings. She particularly loved researching the history of unique pieces and sharing her findings with others. Janis spent countless hours turning her home into a showcase for these favorite treasures–and a welcome gathering place for cherished friends and family.

Janis was a woman of high expectations who inspired all around her to strive for excellence. She will be remembered for her splendid hospitality and incredible cooking, as well as her impeccable style and flawless taste. Janis was privileged to end her days spending quality time with those closest to her, surrounded in her last hours by people she loved.

Janis is preceded in death by her parents, Robert and Lorayne Barr; husband, Howard Richards and brother, David Barr. She is survived by her aunt Ruth Strickland; stepdaughter Pamela Watts, her husband Brent and children Katherine, Parker, Elizabeth and Evan; stepson Kent Richards; sister-in-law Diane Barr; nephew Matthew Barr, his wife Aubre and children Cooper and Kinsey; niece Amanda Barr Routen, her husband Greg and children Nathan and Olivia; faithful caregivers Nicole Pittman and Jesikah Huffman, and by the many friends whose lives she enriched throughout the years.

Janis’s family and friends wish to offer their gratitude to the caregivers at Community Healthcare of Texas/Providence Hospice for their devoted attention in her last days.

There will be a wake in Janis’s honor for her family and close friends.

Gifts in honor of Janis’s memory can be made to The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, https://www.mdanderson.org/donors-volunteers/donate/honor-loved-ones.html, or to a charity of your choice.

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Condolence Messages

  1. Jerolyn B Holland

    What a wonderful tribute to a very nice lady! So glad to know of her and hear of her care for her family, glad I got to meet her!

    She will go in in your memories, your stories and in your children!

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