WACO (July 3, 2013)-A long-time records clerk at the Waco Police Department lost his battle with cancer last week and his death leaves a void that officers say will be hard to fill.
Richard Skains (Courtesy photo)
Working in the records department doesn't sound like a tough job on the surface, but anybody who's been there knows it can be extremely hectic.
But right up to the end Richard Skains, 75, was at his desk, responding to requests for help from police officers, refusing to give in to pancreatic cancer.
Skains, better known to all who talked to him on the police radio or the telephone as "Records Richard", had been with the department for 14 years.
Last Thursday his co-workers had planned a retirement party for him, but Skains died that day.
His co-workers say they admired him because while he coped with the side effects of chemotherapy, Skains worked every day until his death.
Fellow supervisor Darron Killingsworth says Skains left a lasting impression on the entire department.
"I believe Richard had a goal, and that was to live life to the fullest as long as he could," Killingsworth said.
"I will say that he definitely fulfilled that purpose."
"You just hardly ever see that anymore," Killingsworth said.
"He was so determined that his sickness was not going to stop his daily life and that it was not going to interrupt his plans."
The police department plans to dedicate a tree at the new headquarters building to Skains' memory.
Killingsworth will deliver the eulogy at Skains' funeral, which is at 1 p.m. Saturday at Woodway First United Methodist Church.
Skains is survived by his wife, Sharla; twin sons, Richard B. Skains Jr. and wife, Gabi and Robert B. Skains and wife, Carla; daughter, Laurie Ann Fleet and husband, Dez; grandchildren, Payton Skains, Richard B. Skains III, Robert B. Skains III, Victoria Skains, Ella M. Fleet, Aidan B. Fleet, and Tristan B. Fleet; sister, Helen Jean Ferrari; and numerous nieces and nephews.