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Born: Feb 17, 1945

Date of Passing: Dec 05, 2015

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RICHARD JOSEPH ORLANDINI Died in Mitla, Mexico on December 5, 2015, surrounded by friends. Loving father to Rosa. He is survived by his mother Josephine; his brothers, Harold and Mike; and his sister Carol. He will also be missed by Mora, the Martinez family, and a multitude of friends. Predeceased by his father Louis, his aunt Linda and his brother Gary. Born in LaSalle, Illinois, on February 17, 1945, he had lived in Illinois, Ann Arbor, Toronto, Sudbury, London, Winnipeg and Mitla. Devoted to fighting for social justice, he was active in the civil rights movement, the anti-draft movement, CHO!CES and other causes. A man of many talents and trades: archaeologist, activist, youth worker, reporter, labour organizer, election organizer, woodworker, Tio Claus, amateur actor and bookseller. Richard had many enthusiasms, most notably a love of politics and of nature and science. His presence and passion will be greatly missed, as well as his gift for friendship. If desired, donations may be made in Rich's memory to Fort Whyte Alive (, Merchant's Corner ( or Local Investment Toward Employment (

As published in Winnipeg Free Press on Dec 19, 2015

Condolences & Memories (11 entries)

  • I came to know Richard as a customer of Borealis books in its first incarnation on Osborne Street in Winnipeg. I was a graduate student at the time, if I had a little money I bought books and if I had anything left I bought food. A visit to Richard at Borealis became an essential weekly outing. Richard had a gift for finding the book I needed to read but did not know I need, and if I did not get a book there was always a great conversation and stories. Richard's friendship gifted me with ideas and there is nothing so valuable. I miss you old friend. I hope the last days went well. - Posted by: Alex Gill (Friend) on: Feb 15, 2016

  • I met Richard when I was working on an archaeological project in Mitla, Mexico. His wealth of knowledge was amazing. I enjoyed hearing about his exploits during the civil rights movement. He was a joy to be around, always good natured and willing to talk, play pool, go on a hike, etc. This is especially noteworthy since it was during this time that Richard became sick. Happy Trials my friend, until we meet again. - Posted by: Hal Jordan (Friend) on: Jan 29, 2016

  • We worked together for several years on the Canadian Tribune in Toronto, when Rich covered the labour beat. He was a wonderful colleague, comrade and friend, who loved life and the people around him. He was often the brunt of many of our practical shop jokes, which he always took good-naturedly. He was the first to introduce me/us to 'Does a goat stink? Does a bear shit in the woods? Is the pope Catholic?' Always fondly remembered - Posted by: Mark Sydney (Colleague) on: Dec 22, 2015

  • Saddened to hear of the passing of a fighter for social justice and fundamental social change-an old friend and comrade, Rich Orlandini. Left an indelible impression on everyone he came in contact with. Studied Marx with Rich in 1972 and stayed with him and Mora, before Rosa came along to further brighten their lives. Love to his family. - Posted by: George Hewison (Friend and Comrade) on: Dec 22, 2015

  • Like others who have shared their memories here, my good fortune of knowing Richard was linked to social activism, particularly through CHOICES and the Manitoba Coalition Against Racism and Apartheid, but I also knew him socially primarily through the Union Centre. To say Richard was unique is an understatement! He was quick to humour and knew how this could be utilized to clarify political issues and to embarrass those who needed to be embarrassed. I will forever remember his joyful-maniacal laughter when his schemes proved fruitful. The struggle continues, but we have been - and will be - stronger because of Richard's presence in our lives. - Posted by: Gary Dawyduk (friend/fellow activist) on: Dec 21, 2015

  • Richard was active in the anti-draft movement when I arrived in Toronto in the late 60s ... he was only peripherally involved in the Union of American Exiles, perhaps he had better sense than some of us, but he was among the most level-headed of us resisters. I had not thought of him in twenty years. Looks like he had a good life ... Richard Orlandini, PRESENTE. - Posted by: Ross Ashley (Friend from the 60s in Toronto) on: Dec 21, 2015

  • Richard was a good friend to our family in helping us settle in Manitoba during a very difficult time as we faced political repression in the United States. Richard will be missed by all who are struggling for peace and socialism. - Posted by: Alan Maki (Friend) on: Dec 20, 2015

  • Richard's life reflected many of the struggles of the past century and was thus rich and wide in experiences. His personality was informed by many currents, but it led him to choose involvement on the right side of 'the good fight,' notably civil liberties and socialism. I missed seeing him in recent years. He asked me to join the Communist Party in 1978 in Alberta, and I did. - Posted by: Darrell Rankin () on: Dec 20, 2015

  • I got to know Richard in the late 90's when he was involved with CHOICES! and I was co-chair of the Coalition to Save Home Care. He helped us organize alternative public hearings on home care which went on for 2 days and brought a lot of attention to the issue. I always remember his signature line used in most situations "f%$%#% 'em if they can't take a joke". He was always working hard for social justice with humour and energy. Rest in peace, Richard and warm thoughts to family and friends. - Posted by: Jenny Gerbasi (knew from political work) on: Dec 20, 2015

  • Will cherish the memories I spent with Richard while working with him at CHOICES and the times spent at the Union Centre Club 1919 talking and having a beer. - Posted by: Don Sullivan (Friend) on: Dec 20, 2015

  • I worked on many social justice issues with Rich in Winnipeg. If I could clone his enthusiasm, commitment and energy we would surely change the world. We have lost a caring soul. My condolences to his family. - Posted by: Susan Hart-Kulbaba (Friend) on: Dec 19, 2015

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