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James A. Richardson

James A. Richardson

NAPLES, FL: Jim Richardson passed away peacefully at his home on June 3rd, surrounded by his loving family. He was born in Cleveland, Ohio to Lyle and Bernadine (Bunny) Richardson in 1942. Jim moved his family from California to Naples in 1974, where he started R/A Lawn Service.

He was loved dearly by his best friend and love of his life, Cathy Christopher; his daughter Betsy (Chad) Wegeman; his son Mike (Paula) Richardson; his best pal Tim Owens; his former wife Sally Richardson; his brother Sam (Amy) Richardson; his sister Susie (Jim) McHale; and four grandchildren Devin, Thomas, Makenna and Nathan, who will all dearly miss him both now and throughout all the special occasions of their lives. He also leaves behind nieces, Marcie and Dana; nephews, Mark and Stephen; one cousin, David, and Cathy's children Scott and Rebecca.

Jim grew up in Newark, Ohio, and attended Ohio State University, where he was on the golf team with Jack Nicklaus. He graduated from Kent State in 1968 after serving a tour of duty in the United States Air Force, spending time in the Philippine Islands and Portsmouth, N. H. He was hired by Norton Company and managed a sales team in Ohio and California before coming to Naples. He loved the city of Naples and knew upon his first visit here he would spend the rest of his life in this town.

Jim led a fulfilling life. When his children were young, he spent many years coaching their various sports teams. He was also one of the early organizers of the Men's 35+ softball league in Collier County. He loved golf and enjoyed this sport on a weekly basis with his friends. He was also one of the most active members of the Pelican Bay Rotary for over 30 years including being Rotarian of the Year twice. He was often seen at fundraisers, including selling beer at the Swamp Buggy Races in his notorious beer hat. In addition, he was also one of the key organizers of the Rotary's Chalk Art Festival on 5th Avenue South.

But what Jim will be most remembered for is his light hearted approach to life. He laughed easily, and more important, made everyone around him laugh as well. Jim sought happiness throughout his life and looked forward to each and every day. His smile and laughter were contagious and brought joy to all around him. In dealing with his illness these past few months, he has been overwhelmed by the number of people who thought of him as quite special in their lives. He had not realized just how many people had been touched by his friendship and his joy for living.

Jim was a happy soul and will be missed by many.

In lieu of flowers, Jim would have wanted any donations to go to the Pelican Bay Rotary Foundation, P.O. Box 110777, Naples, FL 34108-0113.

Jim's family will host an informal open house celebration of his life on June 8th anytime between 2:00 and 5:00 at Jim and Cathy's home, 2314 Queens Way, Naples, Florida.

Published in the The Advocate on June 14, 2013
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