Mark David Richards, 48, of Morganton, passed away on Friday, January 26, 2024 at his home in Morganton following a battle with cancer. He was born June 8, 1975 in Hickory, NC. Mark was a graduate of Freedom High School and attended UNCA before assuming a career in audio engineering. Mark began volunteering at Merle Fest when he was still in high school and worked there for many years. He made his home in Nashville, TN sometimes working with the Grand Old Opry. Mark often expressed what a wonderful life he had lived traveling the world working with many talented musicians and making many friends. He played several musical instruments and enjoyed playing old time and traditional music. Mark was preceded in death by his father Rev. Frank G. Richards, III. and his Papaw John Collins and Mamaw Annie Upton Collins of Hildebran and grandparents Frank and Ruth Richards of Hickory. Survivors include his mother Margaret Collins Richards and brother Kenneth Edward Richards; aunts Camilla Collins, Maxine Collins Johnson, Jane Bramham, Shaun Schoep Collins and uncle Ron Collins; cousins Rhonda Collins Sisk (Rick), Rayna Collins Prewitt (Travis), and Eric D. Johnson (Lauren) and their children Avery and Brandon Sisk; Syndey, Sean, and Sophia Prewitt; Katherine and Caroline Johnson. A short public graveside memorial service will be held Saturday, February 3 at 1:00 at Fairview Cemetery in Hickory, NC. Heritage Funeral Service and Crematory of Valdese is serving the family. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Amorem Hospice, 1721 Enon Rd, Valdese, NC 28690.