Richard Driver

Obituary of Richard Edward Driver

Richard Edward Driver

Richard came into this world kicking and fighting. Born February 22, 1954, in Middletown, Ohio on a blustery winter day, he arrived sporting an alarming shade of blue, eventually diagnosed as a severe congenital aortic coarctation or narrowing of the aorta combined with a bicuspid aortic valve. His doctors gave him only few weeks or months to live. True to form, he fooled them all. In 1960 a new surgery was developed, and Richard was one of the first in line. In October of that same year, both he and his older brother Tom entered the hospital to have their hearts repaired.

One of his favorite memories of that time was being invited to El Toro Marine Base. The soldiers there had held a blood drive for him and Tom, and a few days before their surgeries were scheduled, gave them a tour of the base, including being introduced to the base commanding officer and getting to climb into and learn about their latest and greatest new jets. Once home, he and his siblings broke into the gifted “C” rations and unanimously proclaimed them uneatable.

Richard graduated from Norte Vista High School in Riverside, CA and then attended Pacific Union College, where he earned his degree in Biochemistry, followed years later by an MBA. While attending college, he met his future wife, Vicki Gomes. They married on June 20, 1976.  After moving to several different places in California, they finally settled in San Jose, California where they purchased a 1930’s era ranch style home on a large lot. Over the years, they worked hard to update and remodel their home. In between the house remodeling and work, he also found time to restore classic cars and trucks. 

When he turned 40, Richard discovered that he needed his aortic valve replaced. The surgery was successful, and he was told he could expect 20 good years before it needed replacing. He managed to stretch it out to 26 years. On Friday, October 23, 2020, he went in for his replacement aortic surgery. His recovery was slow but steady, and on the following Monday, he was finally out of ICU and into a regular room. That night he called all his siblings, expressing his love for them and how he was looking forward to coming home on Thursday. Wednesday morning complications set in, and he was once again admitted to ICU and back on a ventilator. The next day, despite the heroic efforts by his cardiologist Dr. Bahman Nouri and surgeon, Dr. Luis Castro, on Friday morning, October 29, 2020, Richard passed away. He was a good man, who loved his family, his God, and his work. His death brings a deep heartache to all who knew and loved him.

Richard leaves behind his beloved wife, his siblings, Pauli (Jeff) Driver-Smith, Tom (Cathe), and Jamie (Adriana) Driver, his father-in-law, Vernon Gomes and his many nieces and nephews who adored and looked up to him.

He was preceded in death by his parents, George James and Betty Polly Driver, and his mother-in-law Velma Gomes. 

Due to the ongoing worldwide pandemic, no memorial service will be held at this time. The family hopes to properly celebrate the life of this great man sometime in the future when it is safe to gather. In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to one of Richard’s passions, medical research. Some suggestions are St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, the American Heart Association, or similar organizations.

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