Richard was born November 21, 1943 to Elias and Rafalita Cruz of San Juan Pueblo. He spent early education at the Day School in the pueblo and later years at Española High School. Upon graduation he attended the Haskell Institute of Education in Kansas where he met his love. They married and made their home in California where he was employed until 1979. Later they moved to New Mexico where they lived and established a family. Richard was employed at the Public Health Indian Hospital for many years until his retirement in 2003.
He also served his pueblo community as a tribal official several times. He is survived by his loving wife Mary, a daughter Danielle, a granddaughter Janelle, 2 brothers a sister and many relatives.