Gary Richards, 55, longtime vibraphone musician, RHS 1974

Gary Mark Richards, former Ridgefield resident, passed away peacefully at his home in Norwalk on September 1, 2012. He was 55 years old.

Mr. Richards was born in Newton, Mass., son of Norman V. Richards and the late Ruth Wyman Richards. He attended public school in Arlington Heights, Ill. and in Ridgefield. He was a member of the Class of 1974 at Ridgefield High School, where he was deeply involved in the music program and was a member of various RHS performing groups. He went on to study jazz percussion, and in particular the vibraphone, at Berklee College of Music in Boston and with Mr. Tony Chirco, a noted percussionist in Fairfield County.

As a professional musician, Mr. Richards played with bands in the greater New York City and New England area. He also performed solo on the vibraphone as a licensed street musician— often under the name of “Rainbow Vibes”— in community festivals and other events, including many appearances at the SoNo Arts Festival. When not playing music, he also held various positions with area employers, including Tapecom Inc. of Bridgeport and a local taxi company.

Mr. Richards is survived by his father Norman Richards and wife Robin of Washington, Pa.; sister Gayle Richards and partner Alison Donigan of Ypsilanti, Mich.; brother Gregory and wife Anne of Deerfield, Ill.; and two nephews, Nathan Richards of Evanston, Ill. and Benjamin Richards, also of Deerfield. He is also survived by many longtime friends in the Norwalk area and loving aunts, uncles and cousins across the country.

His family has planned a memorial to be held on November 10, 2012 in Norwalk. Family and friends are invited to this informal gathering to celebrate Gary’s life. For details, please write to  In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that a donation in his name be made to the American Heart Association.