Robert O. Richardson, 81, of Peace Dale, RI died peacefully at home on Sunday, August 30th. He was happily married for 47 years to his best friend, Marianna Freeman Richardson. He was the father of Kelly and Corey (Anne) Richardson, both of New Mexico, Maureen Webb (Earl David) of London, England, Aspen Javery of Wakefield, RI, and Jesse Richardson (Liz) of Augusta, Maine. He was the grandfather of Ramsey Forbes, Zenon Richardson (Brianna), Otera Ortega (Phil), and Carson and Elizabeth Javery. He was the great grandfather to Melina Strivelli and Aleister and Atlas Witten. He was the brother to Betty Merrill, of Florida, and the late Daniel Richardson.
Bob was born on April 23rd, 1939 in Jacksonville, Florida to Orville Eugene and Otera McQuaig Richardson. He lived in Gainesville, Florida for many years, earning a Master’s Degree at the University of Florida and teaching at Gainesville High School. He moved to New Mexico in 1970, eventually met Marianna there, and they moved to RI in 1977. He was a high school English teacher, beloved by his students, with a reputation for making Shakespeare fun. He ended his career with 14 years teaching at Exeter - West Greenwich, RI regional High School, and retired in 2002 after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and post-polio syndrome.
Bob had polio at age 2, which left him with a paralyzed right leg. In spite of having only one good leg, he was very active throughout his life, participating in archery, gymnastics and fencing in college, playing golf, tennis, volleyball, wallyball, and lots of bike riding in later years. He even learned to ski and to rappel, and coached his kids’ Little League teams. Bob was an eager lifelong learner with infectious curiosity. His favorite activities were travelling, visiting museums and historical sites, people watching, and spending time with family.
Bob was a member of St. Augustine’s Church in Kingston, RI for close to 40 years, at one time serving as Junior Warden. He was a talented woodworker, and carved the church’s altar and signs. He was a member of the Rhode Island chapter of the American Parkinson’s Disease Association, and the Shoreline Polio Survivor’s group. He was a kind, loving man who never had a mean word to say about anyone. He had a great impact on many lives, and he will be greatly missed.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to St. Augustine’s Church, 15 Lower College Rd, Kingston, RI 02881. Relatives and friends are invited to visitation on Friday, September 11 from 4-7 at Avery Storti Funeral Home, 88 Columbia St., Wakefield, RI. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, September 12 at 10:00 am at St. Augustine’s Church, with limited guests due to Covid 19. For full obituary and online condolences, please visit averystortifuneralhome.com.