Pastor Richard Paul Blades met his Savior face to face on Friday, Dec 16, 2022, after a two year battle with cancer. He was born on Aug. 18, 1940 to the late Marion Paul Blades and Mildred Hill Blades and was raised in Laurel. Dicky graduated from Laurel High School in 1959 and was an all-star football, basketball and baseball player. Recognized as an elite football player, he excelled in the annual Delaware Blue Gold all-star game. Dicky spent many happy years in Laurel and enjoyed telling stories of his time on his grandfather’s farm and fishing near the Laurel dam.  

During his senior year of high school Dick met the love of his life, Jo Ann Littleton. Through Jo and her family, he also committed to the greatest relationship of his life when he gave his heart to Jesus Christ. Dick and Jo were married on April 16, 1960 and were blessed to spend over 62 years together.

Richard started his career in the chicken industry with Ralston Purina in charge of buying and personnel, but left that career and moved his family to Clarks Summit, PA to attend Baptist Bible College. Richard knew the Lord was calling him to a life of service as a pastor. While a student at BBC, he became the Business Administrator and was selected in Who’s Who in Colleges & Universities.

After graduating in 1976, he moved his family back to Delaware to pastor at Calvary Baptist Church in Georgetown. Richard and Jo Ann served at Calvary for 35 years and touched more hearts than we will ever be able to appreciate this side of heaven.

He loved people dearly, and it was exceedingly evident in his warm smile, sincere concern and heartfelt prayers lifted on their behalf.  While pastoring at Calvary, he became chairman of the Delmarva Baptist Fellowship several times.

After retiring, his pastor’s heart was stirred, and he ministered to the sweet congregation of First Baptist Church of Laurel for over six years. Also, during this time, Richard served as the representative of the Delmarva Baptist Fellowship.

“Pastor” was more than just his title. It truly described his deep reservoir of love for people, and his desire for them to know the love of Christ that completely defined his life. Richard was completely selfless as a pastor; many hundreds of times he comforted, visited, and aided the people of his congregation. Often the only witness to these loving gestures would have been the Lord himself.

Richard was preceded in death by his parents and in-laws Lee Littleton and Hilda M. Littleton. 

He is survived by his loving wife, Jo Ann Blades, of Georgetown. He is also survived by his children Traci J. Makowski and her husband Michael of Georgetown and Jami L. Kaiser and her husband Scott of Clarks Summit, Pa.; his grandchildren Jeremy P. Makowski also of Georgetown; Jesse T. Makowski and his wife Kimberly of Milton; Drew R. Kaiser and his wife Eva of Omaha, NE; and Makenzi Jo Kaiser of Scranton, Pa.; his great-grandchildren Keller and Madden Makowski also of Milton; Grayson, Lincoln, and Isla Kaiser also of Omaha, NE; his sister-in-law Dixie Baker of Seaford; sister-in-law Rita Powell and her husband Don (Dr.) of Jacksonville, Fla.; and brother-in-law Ed Littleton and his wife Linda of Bridgeville.

He loved his family deeply and will be missed immeasurably, but we share the blessed hope of our reunion one day together with Jesus Christ for eternity.

A funeral service will be held at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 7 at Short’s Funeral Services, 609 E. Market Street, Georgetown, DE, where friends and family are invited to attend with a visitation from noon to 1 p.m. Interment will be private. Online condolences or tributes are welcome for the family at www.shortfuneralservicesandcremation.com.