Sergeant Major Gilmore E. Richter III, a proud veteran of the United States Marine Corps, made his journey to the Heavenly Father on Friday, January 13, 2023 at the age of 79.

Rick, as he was affectionately known by many, was born September 9, 1943 in Evansville, Indiana to the late Gilmore Edward Richter II & Norma Richter and attended Central High School before enlisting in the Marine Corps in 1962 and completing recruit training at MCRD Parris Island, South Carolina. He then completed Aviation Training to crew C-119 Aircraft, and in 1965 as a young Lance Corporal, he saw action in the Republic of Vietnam as a Crew Chief and Gunner on UH-34 Helicopter. Upon returning to the states in 1966, Corporal Richter returned to duties on C-119s.

Throughout the rest of his 30 year career, Rick continued to be promoted through the ranks and performed key duties as NCO/Senior NCO of Marines, including duties on the drill field as Drill Instructor, Platoon Commander, Chief Drill Instructor at MCRD San Diego; Gunnery Sergeant at Okinawa and Camp Pendleton; 1st Sergeant at the School of Infantry, Reserve Support Unit, and HQ Company H&H Battalion at Camp Pendleton. Promoted to Sergeant Major in 1985, and for the remaining eight years of his active duty career, he served as senior enlisted Marine at 1st Recruit Training Battalion, H&S Battalion, at MCRD San Diego; 7th Communications Battalion at Okinawa, Japan; 4th Marine Regiment at Camp Schwab, Okinawa; in 1991, he transferred to El Toro, California where he served as 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing Rear (Operation DESERT SHIELD), Marine Air Control Group 38, and finally, SgtMaj of 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing. SgtMaj Richter completed his nearly 31 years of dedicated service to the United States Marine Corps in February 1993.

Rick’s awards and decorations include the Expert Rifle and Pistol qualifications, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal (3 Stars), Combat Action Ribbon, Navy/Marine Corps Presidential Unit Citation, Navy Unit Commendation, Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation, Good Conduct Medal (11th Award), National Defense Service Medal (1 Star), Navy Sea Service Deployment, Republic of Vietnam Service Medal (3 Stars), Southwest Asia Medal, and Aircrew Badge.

After military retirement, Rick continued to utilize his superior leadership and golf skills with service as a Marine Corps Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps Instructor and Girls High School Golf Team Coach at Murrieta Valley High School, retiring with 18 years as an Public School educator in 2011.

For most of his life, if Rick was not on-duty or spending quality time with his wife Teri, he was on the golf course. An avid golfer since high school, he won many tournaments throughout his life, including the All-Service Championship for the Marine Corps and Pendleton Memorial Golf Association Senior Champion in 2001 and 2002.

He was predeceased by his parents Gilmore E. Richter II and Norma Samp; he was also preceded in death by his brother Doug and sister Janie.

He is survived by his wife of 34 years, Teri Richter; two sons, Jeffri Richter and Timothy Richter (Roxanne); two step-sons, Ryan Ocampo (Michelle) and Ricky Ocampo (Ashley Reese); five grandchildren, Ashlee, Austin, Mykaela, Mykenzie and Emma; and great-grandchild, Paislee; Sisters Courtney Sue and Jenny, and nieces and nephews in Evansville, Indiana.

A Celebration of Life will be held on the 3rd of February 2023 at 10:00am at England Family Mortuary in Temecula, CA, followed by 12:30pm funeral service, with full military honors, at Riverside National Cemetery.

All are invited to join the family for a 3pm reception luncheon following the completion of the funeral services at (location to be determined). Additionally, an 11:30am refreshment option will also be available at (location to be determined) for those who attend the Celebration of Life but do not wish to participate in the funeral services.

In lieu of flowers (Rick was not a fan of flowers!), please consider a donation in memory of Gilmore E. Richter III to a local organization that contributes to the development of our community’s youth, such as the Young Marines – Temecula Valley Unit (https://youngmarines.salsalabs.org/DonateButton/index.html) or SCGA Junior Golf Foundation (https://secure.scgajunior.org/donate).

Funeral arrangements were entrusted to England Family Mortuary, Inc.

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  1. Rick,
    Peace to you and to those who loved you.
    We did not share much at central High, but I remember you well.
    Thank you for your defense of our country. I am surprised and disappointed that we did not cross paths in our long joint military service.
    Rest Easy.
    Ed Folz (USAF, Retired)
    Monument, Colorado
    Evansville Central High School, Class of ’61

  2. SgtMaj, you were an incredible inspiration to me through some troubled years in early high school. You went to bat for me but forced me to learn responsibility and accountability, and you remained the pinnacle of a Marine enlisted leader to me for the entirety of my career. I and many other are still baffled at how you could seem to teleport to catch us off guard anywhere on campus. I wish we had caught up before this moment as I truly wish I could tell you to your face how much you mean to me, and how thankful I am for your mentorship as it was central to me becoming a man. You and your family are in my thoughts. Semper Fidelis.

  3. Sgt. Maj Richter, I will never forget the four years I had you as a teacher and mentor in the JROTC program. You taught me about constructive criticism, how to study properly, how to be disciplined, K.I.S.S ( (keep it simple stupid ) , public speaking, integrity, and so so much more. You taught me life lessons with a firm but gentle hand ,to this day I remember everything you taught me. I had always hoped that some day I could tell you face to face what a large impact you have had in my life. RIP Sgt Maj

  4. Sgt. Major Richter, I would’ve never imagined all that I would take from our JROTC at MVHS into adulthood… attention to detail, KISS, pushing my physical limits, discipline… You shared your passions with students who will in turn pass them on. I always felt respected by you, as hard as you could be at times; I knew I could count on you to deliver.

    Your family and history amazes me, I’ve read things I never knew (thank you for sharing) and I know you’ll be missed by many.

    Semper Fi,
    Samantha Stahl (Grzelak)

  5. SGT MAJ,
    You made such an impact on my life and career. I remember signing up for JROTC as I was told it was “community service” (I transferred into high school late). What a surprise when I showed up in your classroom. LOL. Little would I know you would change my life. Thank you for teaching me many life lesions. You taught me how to be accountable, and truly emulated all of the traits you taught us: honor, integrity, leadership, Justice..just to name a few. You somehow would always pop up on campus if I was up to no good. Thank you for mentoring me and giving me the tough love I needed. You took the time to mentor me and shaped me into the person I am Without you , I don’t think I would be where I am today. I am thankful to be active duty serving our Marines and Sailors thanks to you. I always find myself thinking of you when I work with Marines and am hoping that I can keep your legacy alive. We are so lucky we were able to learn from you. I am sure your family knows the impact you had on so many people, and thank you for sharing him with us! I know he will be watching over us all.
    Respectfully,
    LCDR Wickman “Wigwam”
    US Navy

  6. Sgt Maj,
    You truly will be missed. I remember my 4 years of Jrotc in High school at MVHS, and the Jingle bells in the halls and around in class. You were hard on me but in a very good way and i thank you for that. I will remember everything you taught me. Always enjoyed your stories about war, and your time in the service. You help make me have love for the military and the history. I never joined the military but i have such more respect for those who have served in the service.
    Semper Fi Sir.
    Sabrina “Lil red” Vatala

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