Will Richardson passed away surrounded by loved ones on October 19, 2018. He was born in Ottawa, Kansas in 1930, the son of Hazen and Nita Richardson. After high school he received an appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy where he graduated with a degree in Engineering and was commissioned in the U.S. Air Force in 1953. He had a distinguished Air Force career, flying over 250 combat missions in Viet Nam as a navigator in the B-57 fighter-bomber. His military career included tours of duty as a strategic planner and educator, with tours at the pentagon and on the faculty of the Air War College. He had an MBA from the University of Chicago and a Master's Degree from George Washington University. His military awards included the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Legion of Merit. After retiring from the Air Force he taught Management at the University of Texas and was a management consultant in Austin. Will was an active volunteer in the community and was instrumental in successful efforts to enhance the availability and accessibility of public libraries in the state of Texas. He married Jean Stith, also from Ottawa, Kansas, in 1953 and for 62 years they were together before Jean's passing in 2016. They spent their time together traveling the world and enjoying a full life. They spent much of their retired life in Austin Texas before moving to Charlottesville, Virginia in 2014. They raised two children: David Richardson of Charlottesville, Virginia, married to the former Victoria Takara; and Linda Richardson Smith of Huntsville, Texas, married to Brian Smith. Will has five grandchildren: Emma, Claire and Rose Richardson; and Riley and Murphy Smith. Will was a devoted husband, father and grandfather. His impact on the lives of many will be long remembered. He was a life-long member of the United Methodist Church. He applied his talents to help others as a Stephen Minister and through the Kairos Prison Ministry. He was loved and admired; his impact has been significant and enduring. His was a life well lived. He will be missed

Published in Austin American-Statesman on Nov. 4, 2018


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Jean Richardson passed to the next phase of her journey through life on November 15, 2016. She was born to Everett and Lucy Stith in Lawrence, Kansas in 1930. She spent most of her formative years in Ottawa, Kansas before leaving to attend and graduate from Baker University. During her college years she worked the summers as a waitress in resorts in Colorado and Wyoming, providing many cherished memories. She went on to become an elementary school teacher in Denver, Colorado and married Will Richardson of Ottawa, Kansas in 1954. Jean traveled the world as an Air Force wife and loving mother, nurturing her family as they lived and worked far and wide, including Hawaii, California and the Philippines. In addition to duties such as being a Brownie Leader, Den Mother and all-around overworked Mom, Jean worked out side the home as a secretary when the family lived in Northern Virginia and as a real-estate agent in Montgomery, Alabama. Jean and Will retired to Austin, Texas in 1980, where they lived for the next 34 years. They moved to Charlottesville in 2014. Jean was a loving wife, mother, and friend: a light to all who knew her. She was active in the Methodist Church all her life and was an avid tennis player and free-thinker. Her parents and her older brother, Robert Stith of St. Louis, Missouri, precede Jean in the afterlife. Her younger brother, Ed Stith of Springdale Arkansas survives, as well numerous cousins, nieces, nephews and friends. She is lovingly remembered and missed by her husband of 62 years, Will Richardson. Her daughter and son-in-law Linda and Brian Smith of Huntsville, Texas also lovingly remember her; and their sons Riley Smith and Murphy Smith of Huntsville. Her son and daughter in law David and Victoria Richardson of Charlottesville and their daughters Emma Richardson of Alexandria, Virginia, Claire Richardson of Harrisonburg, Virginia; and Rose Richardson of Charlottesville, Virginia also cherish memories of their time together. Her love lives on in our lives and we are grateful to have basked in the radiance of her earthly life.