Robert (Bob) John Richardson
January 27, 1946 - May 16, 2013
Resident of Reno, NV with Strong Ties to the Bay Area
Bob's full and active life came to a sudden end last week doing what he loved, when his twin-engine Cessna 421 crashed in the Sierras near Verdi Peak in Sierra County CA. Born in Independence MO as the youngest of four to the late Ralph W. and Margaret J. Richardson, his family placed strong emphasis on education.
He often joked of 'surviving' Jesuit school to graduate from Rockhurst High School as an Eagle Scout and varsity athlete. He continued to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from St. Louis University and later a Master's in Business Administration from Southern Illinois University.
Bob served as a Captain in the Air Force during the Vietnam War, where he developed his love for flying. He lived all over the country but spent a large portion of his over 35 year career in the Bay Area's high tech and electronics industries, especially semiconductors.
After working as an engineer he founded Infinity Electronics, pioneering the selling of digital clocks and watches to consumers. Infinity was acquired by Fairchild where Bob worked as Division Product Marketing Manager for the Consumer Products Division. He was recruited by Motorola where he then worked for over 10 years culminating in his appointment as Director of the New Enterprises Group.
He held various strategic management positions at SRI International, Arthur D. Little, Source Technology, and was President and General Manager of Plantronics Inc.'s Santa Cruz Division. He joined Silicon Valley Group as President of the lithography subsidiary in Wilton, CT and then as VP of Marketing and President of the Track Division in San Jose, CA.
In 1997, Bob became Chairman and CEO of Unitrode Corp. in Manchester, NH, while also serving as Trustee for Southern New Hampshire Medical Center. Unitrode was acquired by Texas Instruments in 2000, and Bob returned to the Bay Area where he was a Director for multiple high-tech companies, including Applied Signal Technology (acquired by Raytheon), Genus (acquired by Aixtron), Adept Technology, Inc. and CBRITE Technology. He was currently serving as a member of the Advisory Board for the College of Engineering at University of Nevada, Reno, and excited to further his involvement in higher education.
Bob was well loved by his many friends and all members of his extended family. He was particularly devoted to his wife Cindi, enjoying summers on a lake and traveling together. He was an endless source of support and guidance for his children, Ryan and Megan. He loved flying, astronomy, SCUBA diving, sailing, skiing, fishing, and traveling to name a few. He loved animals, and often flew with his cat for company at his destinations. He had a calm, caring, vivacious personality, and his lust for life was contagious, sparking his family to try new adventures, as he did. He will be greatly missed.
In addition to his wife, Cynthia (Cindi) Mulloy Richardon of Reno NV and Los Gatos CA, he is survived by his two children from his marriage to Ellen Duff: Ryan Richardson of Kauai'i HI and Reno NV and Megan Richardson of Los Gatos CA; his two step children: Michael Mulloy of Valencia CA and Cassie Dresti of Los Gatos CA; his sisters, Mary Pat Berkin of Sunnyvale CA and Judith Bunney of Santa Fe NM; his brother, Ralph Richardson of Macungie PA. He was a role model and mentor to his children and many others, especially his eight nephews and niece. They have valued his guidance, generosity and friendship through the years.
A private service for the family will be held at Gate of Heaven Catholic Cemetery in Los Altos, CA. Friends are invited to attend a Visitation, Tuesday May 28, 2013 from 7:00 P.M. to 9:00 P.M. at LIMA & CAMPAGNA SUNNYVALE MORTUARY, 1315 Hollenbeck Avenue, Sunnyvale, CA.
In lieu of flowers please send donations to the Wounded Warrior Project www.woundedwarriorproject.org, which Bob supported.
"Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return."
- Leonardo da Vinci
Published in San Jose Mercury News/San Mateo County Times on May 26, 2013
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