AUGUSTA, Ga (WJBF) -The Augusta Arts community came together at Imperial Theatre to celebrate a life of passion, creativity, and being an activist. Those are just some of the things loved ones say describe Richard Justice.

A standing ovation for the man who opened doors for those behind him and marked a path for success ahead.

Steve Walpert, a past Director of the Fort Gordon Dinner Theatre says “there are good performances and excellent performances and then there’s well nuanced performances and that’s what Richard gave. Whether it was a raise of the eyebrow or a raise in the corner of his mouth, he was unique and magical on stage.”

Richard Justice was an actor, director, arts ambassador, and educator but his talents were not limited to his work on the stage.

Matthew Duncan, a longtime friend of Richard Justice says “he was very passionate about equality and equity. Very passionate about the legal protections for the LGBTQ community, but also for Black Lives Matter and every disadvantaged group.”

Justice became well known for his work with the Augusta Players, Fort Gordon Dinner Theatre, and Colton Ballet. His over the top aura shined through the performances he both directed and played.

“He had such a big personality like a pied piper. Everyone loved him and you see this big gathering of people. Arts people because he touched people so much, ” says Betty Walpert.

The Augusta native life was cut short after losing his battle to COVID-19 last summer, but friends and family shared his motto of life.

David Stepp, another longtime friend of Richard Justice says “to get things done whether it was to get things done for Pride or to travel or to get things done in the community. That’s what I most liked about Richard and that’s what I’m going to miss most.”

A master in creativity and multi-faceted human being. This is who people say Richard Justice was and will continue to remain.