Iowa teen’s obituary calls out bullies

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CRESTON, Iowa (KWQC) – The obituary for a teenager directly addresses those who family members say bullied him before he died.

Dan J. Richards, 16, of Creston, died May 30 as he was about to complete his sophomore year at Creston High School.

His death announcement, which indicates he took his own life, describes him as someone involved in football and choir who enjoyed video games, spending time in nature, and writing poems.

Then, the obituary delivers a message written by Richards’ family members: “To the bullies out there who succeeded in making Dan feel worthless, he wasn’t.”

Family members say they have “no hard feelings” and forgive those who they say bullied Richards, however, “Your actions are between you and God now.”

WHO-TV reports Mary Richards, Dan’s oldest sister, said the family is hoping “to possibly prevent just one other person, one other teenager from [suicide]. And one other family from having to go through this pain because it's the worst pain you could ever imagine.”

Family members say in the obituary that Richards “was a sweet and caring young man. He had such a big heart and will be greatly missed. In lieu of flowers, we ask that everyone be kind to each other.”

Funeral services for Richards were held June 6 at Pearson Funeral Homes in Creston.

Click here to read Richards’ entire obituary.

If you or someone you know needs help, visit the Suicide Prevention Lifeline or call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.