Stories

Peter Newman's Eulogy for Daryl Richman

I first met Daryl on the Corner in 1970. I was a long-haired hippy who had dropped out of UVA and was intermittently teaching yoga in Charlottesville. Daryl would regularly invite me into his office on the Corner where we would have “theological” discussions. I would share my cosmic philosophy with Daryl that Jesus was a dead prophet just like Buddha and Mohammad, and that we needed to now find our own spiritual way to God. And Daryl would always patiently respond that Jesus was the only One who died on the cross for our sins and who rose from the dead. Daryl’s loving witness made a real impression on me. Little did I know that my discussions with Daryl would begin a half-century of friendship between us. Two years later, after I got saved in Hawaii, I returned to Charlottesville in the fall of 1972 to tell all my old friends that Jesus was the true way to God. I also looked up Daryl right away to share the good news of my salvation with him. Daryl was elated, and gave me that irrepressible, beaming smile of his. That fall and winter, I attended Daryl’s Sunday evening Action meetings, before I went back to Hawaii. When I returned to Charlottesville in the fall of 1973 to finish up my studies at UVA, Daryl gave me a place to stay for a couple of months in the basement of St. Paul’s church on the Corner, before I moved into the Bridge discipleship house. During this time, Daryl and I would get together regularly for fellowship. When my fiancé, Casey, arrived a few months later from Hawaii, one of the first people I introduced her to was Daryl. In our home here in Hawaii, we have a framed picture of Daryl and other ministers laying hands on us at our wedding ceremony at Oakleigh Christian Retreats in Albermarle County in the spring of 1974. After I graduated from UVA, and Casey and I moved back to Hawaii. We regularly corresponded with Daryl (who had moved to the West Coast), until a couple of decades later, lo and behold, he showed up at our home on an unexpected visit to Hawaii. During his time here, Daryl continued his daily habit of sharing the gospel with strangers at every opportunity. I will always remember Daryl’s cheerful kindness and generosity of spirit, but what I gained the most from our long-lasting friendship was to always be ready to share the gospel with anyone, anytime and anywhere, and to share the best news there is in the universe respectfully and lovingly.

Peter Newman, Col ‘74