David Larrick Richardson, Larry, passed away peacefully at home August 3, 2013, after a lingering illness. The second of four brothers, he was born Feb. 9, 1931, in Lynn, Massachusetts to Henry Martyn Richardson and Mary Estella Larrick. He spent his childhood in Pittsfield, Mass where his father, Henry, was an executive with the General Electric Plastics Division. After graduating from The Putney School in 1949, Larry enrolled in a joint BA/BS program with St. Lawrence University and M.I.T. Following graduation in 1954 he continued at M.I.T., completing a Masters in Aeronautical Engineering in 1955. Larry was a rocket scientist. His work in the nascent M.I.T. Gas Turbine Laboratory and early supersonic wind tunnels landed him a position with Pratt and Whitney's United Aircraft Research Center in Hartford, CT. While at UAR, he met the love of his life, Virginia Ann Kueny, a beautiful mathematician and musician from Michigan. During their courting, Larry ran a ski house in Vermont for UAR friends which developed into a life-long love for skiing and travel together. They married in 1960. In 1959 Larry was invited to join the Arthur D. Little Company commencing a long, fascinating career. During the next 40 years his consulting work varied from the design of chicken rotisseries to space suits. He cultivated lasting friendships with coworkers and clients alike. He spoke most fondly of his decade-long work with NASA. Today Larry's retro-reflectors are the only experiments still in use on the lunar surface. Larry and Virginia created a beautiful home in Lexington, Massachusetts where they raised their three children, David, Patrick, and Lisa. They also spent 8 years in Alexandria, Virginia during the 1980's while Larry worked in the ADL Washington office automating the US Postal Service. Larry and Virginia instilled in all of their children and grandchildren a love for skiing, boating, fishing, camping, travel, and of course music. For almost thirty years, they spent holidays and weekends in Falmouth, on Cape Cod, retiring there full time in 2011. Music was always an important part of Larry's life. He and Ginny shared an enthusiastic love of symphony, ballet, and opera. They traveled throughout the US and Europe, visiting premiere opera houses and enjoying numerous productions of their favorite operas. Ever the engineer and craftsman, Larry was known for his tinkering skills. In his spare time he enjoyed working on cars, repairing stringed instruments, and helping his neighbors. For many years he maintained the tower clock of the First Parish Unitarian Church where he and his family attended. As young newly-weds, Larry and Ginny dreamed of owning trendy modern furniture. Instead of going without, they lovingly designed and built the modern furniture that still fills their home. The family would especially like to thank Gina, Annie, Gail, and others involved for their loving and thoughtful care-taking over the past year. Larry is preceded in death by his parents and eldest brother, Hank. He is survived by his wife, Virginia; daughter Lisa Palmer (Foster); sons Patrick and David (Amy); brothers, John and Jim; and grandchildren, Ashley Sheehy, John Richardson, Foster and Clifford Palmer. A celebration of Larry's life will be held at 11:00 am on Saturday, September 28th, 2013 at the First Parish Unitarian Church in Lexington, Massachusetts. In lieu of flowers we ask that donations/contributions be made to College Light Opera Company in Falmouth or The Putney School, in Vermont.
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Published in The Lexington Minuteman from Sept. 6 to Sept. 13, 2013