In Memory

John Richardson

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02/26/20 07:12 AM #1    

Kay Overcash (Jenkins)

Johnny Richardson lived a couple doors down from my family and we were in the same 5th grade class.  He was always kind, quiet and very smart.  So sorry to hear of his illness and passing.  He had a very full and meaningful life.

02/29/20 12:45 PM #2    

Elizabeth (Beth) Frick (Holt)

In elementary school, we called him Johnny.  One day, along about 3rd grade, one of the girls 'married' him at recess -- poor Johnny went and hid in the weeds.  I think Stephen McDaniel served as the 'pastor.'  He was in my Sunday School class as well..  He was smart as a whip -- and could recite all the presidents in order forwards and backwards -- I can only sing them forwards!   I moved away in 9th grade -- and 5 years later, when my boyfriend (now husband) went to Wake Forest, they were suitemates for a while.  I was so delighted to see him again.  

Welll done, Johnny -- I so wish you could be at the reunion, but wouldn't call you back from eternal glory for even a millisecond.  Thank you for your faithful life.  Go Deacs!

03/12/20 09:02 AM #3    

Ray Lee Wooten (Wooten)

In the mid to late 60's, country music just was not cool, especially if you were a teen plugged into WAYS and its top 40 playlist via transitor radio (no boom boxes, no Walkman, no iPods/Pads/Phones) via a single tinny ear plug speaker.  So it was with great reluctance and patience that I allowed Johnny (Richardson) to argue that Johnny Cash was God's gift to music.  We'd play one-on-one basketball in his driveway (he was good) and then listen to a Cash song or two.  He'd sit there with a blistful smile thinking that such greatness would be self-evident to even me.  I knew that Cash had that totally black outfit thing going, but, in my mind, country music was sequined wardrobes and twang and still uncool.  And this was before Cash and Dylan got together.  Well, it took me about 30 years to realize that Johnny was right.  I'm sorry that I never told him that.

05/28/20 11:42 AM #4    

Bill Keesler

     In the fall of 1973, I walked into the first day of former Chancellor Carlyle Sitterson's 20th Century American history class at UNC Chapel Hill and discovered that John Richardson was a fellow student.  John had started college at Wake Forest and was a lifelong Demon Deacons fan.  But he told a relative he transferred to UNC because he thought it had a stronger history department.

     He and I usually sat near each other in class.  That summer, U.S. Sen. Sam Ervin Jr. of North Carolina had become a national figure while chairing the Senate Watergate hearings.  One day, John revealed that he was seeking a job on Ervin's staff.  At John's request, I read his application letter and suggested a few changes.  I think other acquaintances also were reading drafts.  Late in the semester, John received a reply saying Ervin had decided to retire from the Senate, but complimenting John on the quality of his letter.

     I think John loved history so much that he wanted to help make it.  He also was fascinated by government.  As a junior at East Mecklenburg, he ran for Student Council president.  As a senior, he served as the council's traffic-safety co-chair.  In my annual, he wrote that he planned to run for president of the United States between 1996 and 2004.

     After graduating from UNC, he taught history for several years.  Following some time in sales for his father's food-distribution company, he returned to Wake Forest for law school and then practiced law for 26 years in Winston-Salem.  He also wrote three books, including two historical novels.

     After moving home to North Carolina and locating in Lexington in 1994, I spent John's last 20 years living just 30 miles from him.  I wish that I had known he was so close by and that I had taken the opportunity to visit him.  I can picture him and Senator Sam in heaven now, passionately discussing history and government and the finer points of the law.   

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