In Memoriam for Sharon Richie

  • Sharon Richie (WHF 1982-83): 1949-2018
    The White House Fellows Foundation and Association is sad to announce the passing of Sharon Richie of the WHF Class of 1982-83. She passed away on September 3, 2018. Her WHF Classmates would like to share the following remembrance with all of you:

    It is with great sorrow that Sharon’s White House Fellow’s Class shares the news of her passing with the White House Fellow’s Family. Sharon was an unforgettable human being who dedicated her life to serving others. Her life was filled with many “first evers” both in the military and as a civilian.

    Sharon was a Major in the U.S. Army when she entered the Fellowship Program. During our year, she served in the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs in the White House. Following her distinguished military career, Sharon went on to become an international health care leader, business consultant, educator, clinician, author and oral historian. Her passion was supporting Army nurses and the nursing profession. She also focused on coaching executives, managers, veterans/employees, and family members undergoing a stressful life transition or preparing for a major personal or professional move, especially in the Army. She was the former director of Nursing Programs at Norwich University. Sharon’s leadership resulted in the upgrade of military health services for soldiers and their family members in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), she served as the chief nurse for Zayed Military Hospital, Abu Dhabi, and the chief nurse for the Directorate of Military Medical Services in the country. Sharon wrote two books on Army nurses and the contributions they made in wars. Her classmates remember her eternal optimism. She was always sharing her beautiful smile and joyfulness. Her classmates have a heavy heart at her passing.

    Sharon did not want a memorial service, instead she wanted to be cremated and laid to rest in the Nurses Section of Arlington Cemetery. Her family is pursuing her wish, one that she is highly qualified to receive. These special services take time to arrange and we will let the White House Fellows Family know when this service is being held. Her love of life and caring for others will live on through those that were touched by her kindness, generosity and love.

    Remembrance from Paula Cholmondeley (WHF Class of 1982-83): It is a gift to see a classmate live their passion. In everything Sharon did her love of army nurses was her guiding star. Whether it was helping them make major transitions in their life, documenting their role in America’s armed conflicts, teaching them at universities or watching her celebrate their achievements, she was 100% devoted to their success. I watched her gather an ever widening network of adoptive daughters, nieces and nephews all of whom felt her love. To me she was not only a friend but someone who reminded me to pursue my passions in life and I will miss her constant reminders of that.

    Remembrance from Scott Gration (WHF Class of 1982-83): I had the unforgettable experience of visiting Sharon when she was working in Abu Dhabi. I saw her professional competence when she gave me a tour of Zayed Military Hospital where she served as the chief nurse. I witnessed her passion for excellence as she stopped to teach a medical technician a better way to do the procedure. I appreciated her sense of adventure as we bargained at the local souk, toured the surrounding suburbs, strolled down the sea-side Corniche, and enjoyed an evening ride around the harbor. During my week with Sharon, I was grateful for her warmth, kindness, and generosity as we shared meals, memories of our WHF year, and our hopes for the future. I’ll never forget her laugh, her smile, and her friendship. Sharon continues to live through vivid remembrances of our week in UAE and cherished memories of our other times together. I am a better person because Sharon was my friend.

    Remembrance from Diane Vines (WHF Class of 1982-83): Sharon and I were the first nurse WHFs. I was so impressed with Sharon’s credentials and background that I was convinced I would never be chosen. Incredibly, we were both chosen. We went on to become Rapid Resolution Therapists for persons with PTSD and worked together on her book about nurses at war. She was an amazing role model for young women in the military.

    Remembrance from Doug Kmiec (WHF Class of 1982-83):

    Please click here to view the remembrance from Doug Kmiec.

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    We extend our deep condolences to Sharon’s family and to her White House Fellow classmates.

    posted: September 26, 2018
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