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John Walter Richardson Obituary 1976

The original newspaper clipping was in extremely poor condition and would not scan well so it is transcribed here. There was no indication as to the newspaper in which it was published or the date of the tribute but since the date of death is listed as Sunday, 6 June 1976 and they mention that the funeral was held on Wednesday (9 June 1976) it should be assumed that it was published within a week of that date. Information in the tribute indicates that Mr. Richardson was from Lumpkin, Stewart County, Georgia, so it may have been published in a newspaper there.

LUMPKIN – Mr. Walter Richardson Sr., age 88, former educator, county school superintendent and civic leader of Lumpkin, died Sunday, June 6, at St. Joseph hospital in Tampa, Florida.
A long-time resident of Lumpkin, Mr. Richardson had removed to Tampa about Easter, 1975, to reside with his daughter and son-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. Harry G. Mathis. He had been in declining health in recent years.

The Richardson family came to Lumpkin in 1927. Mr. Richardson had been elected principal of Lumpkin high school and he served in this position until 1948 when he was elected superintendent of the Stewart County school system. He retired in 1956. Prior to coming to Lumpkin Mr. Richardson had taught mathematics at Sparks college and had been principal at the Ashburn and Parrott schools.

Mr. Richardson was born April 12, 1888 in Harris County, son of Mr. and Mrs. John R. and Sally Nunnally Richardson. He attended the grade schools of Harris County, received a bachelor’s degree in education from Emory University and was awarded his master’s degree from the University of Georgia. An inspired educator, Mr. Richardson was also an enthusiastic civic leader and held an important place in the growth and development of Lumpkin and Stewart county. Among his outstanding traits were his punctuality and continuity. He was well known for being on time and keeping his appointments. When the Lumpkin Lions Club was formed in March 1935 he became a charter member and never missed a meeting for the ensuing 37 years. In later years failing health interfered with his regular attendance but the club did not count his illness absences and when he went to Florida to live he had a perfect attendance record of 40 years. An active and dedicated Lion, Mr. Richardson was chairman and served on the committees on education, youth and community affairs. Recognized and heralded as a fine christian [sic] gentlemen [sic], Mr. Richardson was a member of the Lumpkin United Methodist Church, a member of the offical [sic] board and a Sunday School teacher for many years, again establishing longevity records for attendance. As county school superintendent, Mr. Richardson worked untiringly to increase the learning levels and schools standards. He knew the problems of the parents, the teachers, and the pupils and he was always available to listen and help. During his administration numerous physical developments at the several school plants in the county were achieved.
Evidencing his leadership versatility, Mr. Richardson served as head of the Federal Housing Authority in Stewart County until his retirement in 1971. The housing projects continue to be a monument to his persistent efforts to make them among the best. He was head of the area Boy Scouts Executive Committee for many years. He believed in young America and never wavered in his trust and loyalty to the young people of his community. Several years ago the Lumpkin Richardsons were  hosts to a gathering of relatives here. A great conclave of family members met and attested the high esteem held for this fine family. The late Mrs. Richardson was the former Miss Eudoria Williford of Parott, Ga. She died August 8, 1974.

Funeral services were held Wednesday at the Lumpkin Methodist Church at 3 p.m. Burial followed at Park Hill cemetery in Columbus, with Maddox Funeral Home of Lumpkin in charge.
The official Board of the Lumpkin United Methodist Church formed an honorary escort, and active pall bearers were selected from his grandsons and nephews. Survivors include a daughter, Mrs. Harry G. Mathis of Tampa, Florida, and a son, John W. Richarson, Jr., of Columbus, and five grandchildren. They are Mrs. K. Michael Moore, New York, N.Y., Harry Jr., Julian and Joe Mathis of Tampa, Fla., and Walter H. Richardson of Raleigh, N.C. Prior to the funeral services in Lumpkin, the family were at home at the residence of Misses Elizabeth and Mary Frances Mathis on Main Street.

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