In Our Care

Edwin Allen Richard died suddenly on June 26, 2016, at home in Belmont, Massachusetts. Ed was born on February 22, 1953, in Washington D.C., grew up in Washington State and as a child spent many summers in Aquebogue, New York. He graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1975 and received his PhD in 1985 from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, where he met his wife, Radha Iyengar. He continued his scientific career at Brandeis University as a Senior Researcher working on ion channels, fundamental mechanisms of photoreceptor function, and more recently in the area of learning and memory.

Ed had a broad range of interests, many hobbies, and read voraciously throughout his life. He was an amateur naturalist, and was fascinated by India, which he visited many times over the years with his wife and sons. He loved music, especially classical Indian music. He was an avid supporter and member of the Board of Directors of MIT Heritage Arts of Southasia (MITHAS), a group that organizes and promotes Indian classical music concerts in the Boston area. He was a Belmont Town Meeting member since 2009 with a perfect attendance record. He baked outstanding apple pies, a recipe he perfected while living in Madison by baking and eating three pies a week to fuel a short amateur bicycle racing career. Ed was a steadfast Progressive and environmentalist – he lived his life with the aim of protecting the planet. He will be remembered for his ability to deliver an extemporaneous discourse on almost any subject. Above all else, he was an extraordinarily kind, gentle and generous soul who will be greatly missed.

Ed was a devoted and loving husband and father to his children. He leaves behind his wife Radha Iyengar; his son William and daughter-in-law Natalie Johnson of New York; his son Martin, of Cambridge, Massachusetts; his sister Lucy and her husband Philip Arnold, of Edmonds, Washington; his brother Paul and his wife Anne Cortissoz, of New York, New York; his brother Charles R. Carter and his wife Virginia, of Tacoma, Washington; his uncle Allen Mowbrey Smith, of Aquebogue, New York; and many cousins, nieces, and nephews. He is predeceased by his father, Robert E. Richard, M.D., who died tragically in a car collision in 1959, his mother Lois Smith Carter, and step-father Donald N. Carter.

Friends and relatives are invited to A Celebration of Ed’s Life at the International Lounge, Usdan Student Center, Brandeis University, 415 South Street, Waltham, MA, on July 23, 2016, from 2 to 5 pm. In lieu of flowers donations in memory of Ed can be made to MITHAS (, the ACLU (, the Nature Conservancy ( or a charity of your choice.