Richardson, Versie Mae
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Versie Mae Richardson died on April 15, 2013 at the age of 93. While her joyous spirit and loving heart sustained until the very end, her physical health had been in decline for several months and she passed away peacefully at the care center of Villa Gardens. Memorial Services will be held on Saturday, May 11, 2013, 9:30 a.m., at First A.M.E. Church, 1700 N. Raymond Avenue in Pasadena.
Versie Mae was born, the fifth of nine children, in Okemah, Oklahoma, March 13, 1920 to Frank and Octavia Miles. Moving to California as a young teenager, she attended John Muir High School, Pasadena City College and earned a B.A. degree from the University of Southern California. Versie Mae Richardson was a devout Christian, family-oriented woman, consummate professional businesswoman, a crusading realtor , stellar musical performer, world traveler with multiple trips to Africa and Europe, founder of the Alkebu-lan Cultural Center, mentor and role model to many, lady of class and style and generous philanthropist.
Over the years, Ms. Richardson, a mezzo soprano, performed in many concerts around the world including Africa, India, Europe and Washington, DC for President Jimmy Carter's Inauguration. Versie Mae sang in 7 languages. As a businesswoman and realtor, she opened her own Real Estate firm in 1951. In 1974, Richardson Realty purchased a Century 21 Franchise and became Century 21 Richardson Realty. In October 1989, along with two friends, Ms. Richardson opened the Alkebu-lan Cultural Center with the goals of teaching pride in African heritage and the importance of getting a good education. Out of Alkebu-lan grew the very popular Alkebu-lan Boys Choir.
The immediate family of the beloved decanted mother, Versie Mae Richardson consist of: daughter - Barbara Moran, preceded in death, son - Samuel Richardson (Amanda), granddaughter - Chelsea Richardson, grandsons - Michael Moran (Shonda) and Chad Harris (Bonnie), great-grandsons - Matthew Harris, Scott Harris and Levi Richardson and great-granddaughters - Tempest and Winter Moran. She also leaves behind a host of relatives, friends, church and community members and business associates.
Published in Pasadena Star-News on Apr. 28, 2013