Donald W. Richman, M.D

Donald W. Richman, M.D., of Martinsville, Virginia, passed away peacefully at home on February 8, 2020.

He was born on March 11, 1932 in Cardston, Alberta, Canada, the son of Preston William and Helen Eldredge Richman. He grew up cherishing his dogs, horses, and friends, and loved gardening and opera from an early age. He graduated from Cardston High School and after three years at the University of Utah, was accepted into medical school at George Washington University. He went on to do his medical internship at Johns Hopkins University.

After completing his internship, Don enlisted in the Navy and was stationed in Miami, where he met and fell in love with Barbara Ann Emmett. He continued on as a Navy doctor in Corpus Christi, Texas, corresponding by letter with Barbara. The two were married on August 19, 1960.

After completing his residency in ophthalmology at Duke University, Don moved with Barbara to Martinsville in 1963 and began his 54-year career in medicine. He was a compassionate doctor who delighted in caring for his patients, not retiring until well into his 80s. He was also a deeply loving and supportive father to his four daughters.

Don lived his life to the fullest, pursuing his passions wholeheartedly. He loved listening to opera and attending performances at The Met in New York City. An avid gardener, he found great joy in tending to his roses, peonies, and orchids. He also loved practicing the piano, reading, and caring for his dog. He enjoyed playing tennis with family and friends, as well as traveling. He was especially fond of visiting Italy, along with Glacier National Park, close to his childhood home.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Barbara. He is survived by four daughters — Susan Caraviello (Michael); Barbara Ann Sachs (Paul); Mary Jane Gillum (Winston); and Helen Rathbun (Andrew). He is also survived by eleven grandchildren – John and Anna Caraviello; Charlotte and Camille Gillum; Chloe, Maren, Evie, Amber, and Camille Sachs; and Drew and Claire Rathbun. The family is so very grateful to Shirley Everette for her care and companionship during the last years of his life.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, February 15 at 2:00 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church in Martinsville, followed by a reception in the church fellowship hall. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to the Boys and Girls Club of Henry County or to the SPCA of Martinsville and Henry County.

Norris Funeral Services, Martinsville Chapel is serving the Richman family. Online condolences may be made at

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