Primus Richardson

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Primus Winston Richardson, 86, died peacefully January 26. He was born on December 29, 1926 in Charleston County, James Island, South Carolina to Robert Richardson and Pauline Whaley Richardson. He was one of eight children. He was raised in the St. James Presbyterian Church and attended the St. James Presbyterian Church School for his elementary education. As a teenager, he worked in a dry cleaning plant as a presser and drycleaner until he joined the United States Navy. He served in the Navy for one year and then enlisted in the United States Marine Corps at Montford Point Camp, North Carolina. During his early service years in the Marine Corps, he worked as a utilities chief, plumber, and electrician. He received several Good Conduct Medals and Commendation Ribbons. He served in the Korean and Vietnam Wars and his tours of duty included various bases around the world. He faithfully and proudly served his country for 30 years until he retired in 1973 with the rank of Sergeant Major. Primus met the love of his life, Irene Teresa Overbey, in Kinston, North Carolina. She nicknamed him "Ricky." They later moved to New Bern and were married in 1955. In 1959 they welcomed a daughter, Kimberli Joy. During his time in the Marine Corp, Primus furthered his education by enrolling in the University of Maryland's Overseas Program. He received a Certificate of Scholarship and was placed on the Academic Honor Roll. He later earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1973. Primus earned a Master's of Public Administration from the American University in 1976. In 1977, he was appointed by the Governor of Maryland to the position of Director of Civil Defense for Anne Arundel County. He held this position for 14 years until his retirement from the County. During his tenure as Director, he earned his Doctorate of Public Administration from Nova University, Fort Lauderdale, FL in 1985. Primus also served as part-time instructor at Anne Arundel Community College where he taught courses in the Business Department. He joined and became very active at the First Baptist Church of Annapolis, serving as Chairman of the Trustee Board and as a Sunday School teacher for many years. Primus was a very active member of the Annapolis community, including membership in the Eta Eta Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., the Annapolis Rotary, Coordinating Council of Frontiers International, and the Fleet Reserve. He was one of the three original founding members of the Black Military History Institute of America. He was preceded in death by his wife of 57 years, Irene Overbey Richardson; his parents, three brothers, and three sisters. Primus is survived by a daughter, Kimberli Joy Richardson; one brother, George Richardson; three sisters-in-law, Estelle Richardson, Ruby Richardson, and Barbara Richardson; one god-daughter, Linette Black; nieces, nephews, great and great-great nieces and nephews, and a host of loving relatives and dear friends. A viewing will be held from 4 to 6:30 p.m., followed by the Fraternal Organization service at 6:30 p.m., on Friday, February 1, at First Baptist Church, 31 W. Washington St., Annapolis. A Celebration of Life service will be held with a public viewing starting at 9 a.m., followed by a Christian wake at 10:30 a.m., and the funeral at 11 a.m., on Saturday, February 2, at First Baptist Church. Interment will be at Arlington National Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the American Heart & , 4217 Park Place Ct., Glen Allen, VA 23060-9979. Online condolences can be made at

Published in The Capital on Jan. 31, 2013
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