Richard J. Wolfenden, 82, of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., formerly of Indiana, died peacefully Friday, Nov. 16, 2012, from complications of severe Parkinson’s after a decade long battle with the disease.
Richard was born in Indiana on Aug. 2, 1930 to the late Gilbert and Edith Buchanan Wolfenden, where his late father was a former State Senator, and Chairman of S&T Bank.
After Richard attended Mercersburg Academy, a prep school, he graduated from Lafayette University with a Liberal Arts degree. While studying at Lafayette University, he was a member of Chi Phi Fraternity, where he served as president. After graduating from Lafayette, Richard was commissioned in the U.S. Army and spent several years as a General’s aide in Korea. Richard had a successful career in New York City as an advertising executive. He resided on Manhattan’s East Side on Gramercy Park where he always loved to sit in the park and read his beloved books. Richard then decided to leave New York City and advertising for a new career and attended the Episcopal Theological Seminary in Lexington, Ky., from which he graduated but was never ordained. He then headed south to Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., where his aging parents had relocated in their retirement. Following his move to Ft. Lauderdale, he purchased Wicker World of Las Olas, a famous old wicker shop that old Ft. Lauderdale residents will remember. Mr. Wicker, as he was known, became president of the Las Olas Association for several years. After his historic Wicker World building was gobbled up by progress, he closed Wicker World and donated the entire inventory to charity. Richard was an accomplished amateur musician, playing both piano and organ. This love of music and his involvement with the Broward Center classical music series led to his continued philanthropy by donating the Theatre Organ to the Broward Center for The Performing Arts in his parents’ name.
Richard is survived by his niece, Elaine Cockroft, of Boston; two nephews: George Wolfenden, of Orlando, Fla.; and John Wolfenden, of Cincinnati, Ohio; and his friend, Steve Day.