Donald Rich passed away suddenly and unexpectedly from a cardiac incident at 1:03 a.m., August 31st, at Mid Michigan Medical Center in Midland, Michigan. He was born in Kankakee, IL on Easter Sunday, April 10, 1966 - interrupting his mother's ob/gyn's Easter Dinner - to Kenneth Rich and Donna Fenton Rich Brand. He married Lisa Benter-Rich on August 15, 1987.
He is survived by his wife and three children: Ryan and his fiancé, Rochelle Gill, Alex and Owen. Ryan lives in Midland, MI and Alex & Owen are at home in Midland as well. He is also survived by his older brother, Wayne (Stacy) Rich of Highlands Ranch, CO, and his two younger brothers, Jim of Champaign, IL and Steve of Washington, IL, and brother-in-law Chuck Cherry of Bloomington, IL. He is also survived by his brothers-in-law, Mark (Teresa) Benter of Clayton, IN and Jeff Benter of LeRoy IL. He was also the fun uncle to his nieces and nephews: Kyle & Myles Rich, Andrew, Ellie & Matthew Rich, Chrystal Almanzo, Zachary Benter, and Jack & Kyle Benter. His aunt, Marlene Fenton Myer, his step-father, Tom Brand, and his Uncle, Roland (Flossie) Rich, also survive.
He was preceded in death by his older sister, Debra Rich Cherry, his parents, and grandparents.
He recently started his own investment company after working in the Pension & Investment Department of Dow Chemical for the past 8 years. Prior to moving to Midland, MI, he was Head of Asset Allocation at Manulife Financial in Toronto, ON, Canada for two years. He also worked at Harvard Management Group, Wellington Management Group, and State Street Investments while living in Milford and Wellesley Hills, MA.
He graduated from Chatsworth High School (Chatsworth, IL) in 1984. He was a member of the National Livestock Judging Team for the United States, and he, along with his teammates, represented the US in European competitions the summer after his graduation. His livestock judging also provided him scholarships for junior college and his undergraduate education. He graduated from Lakeland Community College in Mattoon, IL and transferred to the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, where he received a Bachelor's Degree in Agricultural Education and a Master's Degree in Agricultural Economics. He then received a PhD in Finance and completed a post doc at Virginia Polytechnic and State University in Blacksburg, VA. If his wife would have let him, he would have spent another year at Virginia Tech to attain an additional Master's in Economics. Instead, they relocated to Belmont, MA, where he became an Assistant Professor of Finance at Northeastern University. He continued to teach at Northeastern as a full tenured professor, winning many awards as an outstanding instructor, until leaving to enter the corporate world at State Street Investments.
He and his wife, Lisa, were founding leaders of the Town & Country 4-H Club in Midland County. He enjoyed fishing at Lake Louis with his friends Joe, John Paul, Chris, Michael, and Rick. Few fish were caught, but many beers were drank and stories told. He loved working in money management and quantitative analysis even though most of his family had no clue what all of it meant. He logged many hours into playing Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II, allegedly as a chance to blow off steam after working a long day. He also enjoyed working on his small family farm and had a special affinity for lag bolts. The winds may blow a roof off, but they would never blow down a building he put together.
He was a consistent blood donor (partly to do good works and partly because he loved a good chocolate chip cookie) and through the Michigan Gift of Life, he was an organ and tissue donor at the time of his death. It is his family's hope that his gifts will provide better lives for those who are recipients of his organs and tissues. It is their wish that their loss will provide life and hope for many others.
Due to COVID-19, and out of respect for his children's emotions to the unexpected passing of their father, funeral services will be private at Rosenbaum Funeral Home in Gibson City, IL. Burial will be at Southside Cemetery in Pontiac, IL.
In lieu of flowers (which he considered a colossal waste of money since they are already dead), please consider making a memorial contribution to the Larkin Township Volunteer Fire Department (who helped us when we had our barn fire and were first responders when he collapsed at home Sunday night) or the Rich Boys' College Fund (checks can be mailed to Wildfire Credit Union, 100 Joseph Drive, Midland, MI 48642, attn: Account of Lisa Rich).
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