CLAIBORNE TURNER RICHARDSON
1927 - 2020
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Dr. Claiborne Turner Richardson, a member of First Baptist Church in Petersburg, VA, from an early age, transitioned quietly and peacefully into eternal life on Friday, June 12, 2020. Dr. Richardson was born on September 25, 1927, to the late Eugene A. Richardson, Sr., and Ella Mae Taylor Richardson. He was preceded in death by his siblings, Lillian, Ernestine, Eugene Jr., Otelia, Louis, Charmaine and Taylor; and his daughter, Flora.

Dr. Richardson graduated from Peabody High School in Petersburg, VA, in 1945. He attended what was then Virginia State College and earned a Bachelor's degree in Instrumental Music Education in 1949. He received a Master's degree in Instrumental Music Education from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor in 1956; a Professional Certificate in Music Education and Supervision from Columbia University in New York in 1968, and a Doctorate in Education Administration, Supervision and Human Relations from The George Washington University in Washington, D.C., in 1976. In 1980, he received the Fulbright-Hays Program Award for Post-Doctoral Research. His subject was U.S. Army Col. Walter Howard Loving, Director of the Philippine Constabulary Band.

Highlights of Dr. Richardson's career included serving as a research and evaluation specialist in the Office of Research and Evaluation with Fairfax County (VA) Public Schools; Senior Associate and Team Leader with the U.S. Department of Education, National Institute of Education, in Washington, DC; Assistant Dean of Fine Arts at Howard University in Washington, DC; the First Director of Instrumental Music activities at Lake Braddock Secondary School in Fairfax, VA; Director of Bands at Virginia State College in Petersburg, VA; and Band Director at Maggie Walker High School in Richmond.

Dr. Richardson was a life member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and served as First Vice President and Chair of the Political Action Committee of the Fairfax County Branch, NAACP. He also served for eight years on the College Board of Northern Virginia Community College. He was elected board vice chair in 1994, and chairman of the board in 1996. In 1992, Dr. Richardson co-founded the Reunion Music Society, Inc., a nonprofit organization designed to serve the community through music. In 1994, he founded, and was the first conductor of the Northern Virginia Community College/Annandale Symphony Orchestra, which was officially named the "orchestra-in-residence" of the Richard J. Ernst Community Cultural Center at the college.

He was the recipient of the following selected awards: the Community Service Award, 1998, Fairfax County Branch, NAACP; the Undine Smith Moore Appreciation Award, 1997, Virginia State University; the Martin Luther King, Jr. Award, 1996, Black Women United for Action; the Human Rights Award, 1993, Fairfax County Government; and the Alumnus of the Year Award, 1993, Virginia State University.

His work at Virginia State was notable as he directed the famed "Marching 110," which had a standing invitation to play halftime shows for NFL teams including: the Philadelphia Eagles, the New York Giants and the Washington Redskins. These shows were nationally televised. Dr. Richardson played trombone and percussion with several bands, orchestras and jazz groups, often playing with notable musicians.

He is survived by his wife of 72 years, Elizabeth Olivia Jackson Richardson; his two children Cheryl Richardson Stephenson (Melvin), and Claiborne T. Richardson II, (Sharon); his grandchildren, Tamara Stephenson (Margaret), Toneka Stephenson, Lauren Richardson and Olivia Richardson; and his great grandchildren, Xavier, Hanna, Jordan and Joshua. He is also survived by a sister-in-law, Bernice, and many nieces and nephews, cousins and friends.

Service will be held 5:00 P.M., Saturday, June 20, 2020 in the Chapel of J. M. Wilkerson Funeral Establishment, Inc., 102 South Avenue, Petersburg, VA, the Rev. Dr. Jeremiah Tillman, Rev. Dr. Andrew J. White, Sr., and Rev. Dr. Clyde Johnson, officiants. The interment to follow at Blandford Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Capital Caring Health, Philanthropy, 3180 Fairview Park Drive, Headquarters/Suite 500, Falls Church, VA 22042 or to the Reunion Music Society, Inc., c/o Jeannie Perron, Treasurer, 422 N. Alfred Street, Alexandria, VA 22314, or visit the website: www.reunionmusicsociety.org.

Please follow the CDC and State of Virginia guidelines.

J.M. Wilkerson Funeral Establishment, Inc., 102 South Avenue, Petersburg, VA, (804) 732-8911, watch the funeral services live online at www.jmwilkersonsince1874.com.

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in The Progress-Index from Jun. 18 to Jun. 19, 2020.
Memories & Condolences
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32 entries
June 21, 2020
My sincerest condolences to Mrs. Richardson, Cheryl and Clay. Dr. Richardson was my first band director at Matoaca Laboratory school. He was always very patient and kind. May God bless and keep you. Hold on to your fond memories and smile.
Sheila McLeod
Student
June 20, 2020
Deepest sympathy and sincere condolences to the Richardson family.
Aubrey Perry and family
Friend
June 20, 2020
James Johnson
Student
June 20, 2020
James Johnson
Student
June 20, 2020
On behalf of all the members of the "MARCHING 110" TROJAN MACHINE [1967-'72], our hearts are very heavy to learn of the transition of one of our former esteemed leaders, professor, and teacher. To Mrs. Richardson, Claiborne Jr., Cheryl and the entire family, our hearts are with you today and will remain in the future. We knew Doc loved us and enjoyed working and teaching us what it took to be a serious member of a "great organization". We loved him and worked extremely hard through difficult situations and seasons to prove our love and dedication, and in the end, it all paid off just like he said. Our "Marching 110" Organization which represented Virginia State College (now University) under his head directorship and assisted by his extremely talented assistance, Mr. Robert "Bob" Thomas (Arr. & Strategist) was one of the top Marching Bands in the state of Virginia & the nation. When practice sessions would get a little fuzzy and didn't go well a couple of days before the actual show, Mr. Richardson always had this saying, "Band!! THE PRESSURE IS ON!! "Rusty"(Perry Chambliss, who was our very abled and dedicated drum major), we have to work out the kinks and get this show on the road." Those days of being a part of his organization will forever be etched in our hearts. He respected us highly and treated us all like we were his personal children. A very kind and gentle individual who always had words of encouragement for all of us! WE SHALL ALWAYS COLLECTIVELY REMEMBER HIM. A GREAT MAN! A GREAT DIRECTOR! A GREAT LEADER!
James Johnson
Student
June 20, 2020
I remember Dr. Richardson directing the NOVA Annandale Symphony Orchestra when the orchestra first started. He was an amazing musician, teacher and a lovely kind man. Thank you sir for all you taught us over the years. My prayers are with the family at this sad time. We will all miss you Dr. Richardson!
Jody Smalley
Student
June 20, 2020
Mrs. Richardson, Cheryl, Claiborne, and Family. Our continued Prayers are with you as you mourn the passing of your Beloved. A good man that made a difference and will be missed. Prayerfully, Jimmy, Jr., Virgie Clark and family
Jimmy, Jr. Clark
Friend
June 20, 2020
My wonderful uncle has gone through some lifes most wonderful experiences and taught us how to do your best to be your best in life. I will greatly miss you my great uncle and love until I meet you on the other side. Peacefully and love you your great niece Lynnette
Lynnette Davis
Family
June 19, 2020
My deepest condolences to the family of Dr. Richardson. Aside from having the opportunity to march in the fabulous VSU 110 Marching Band under the tutelage of Dr. Richardson, I also enjoyed the brief time we were next door neighbors.

I will never forget my first summer camp that began that August of my freshman year. Through all the grueling heat; exercising to get the band in physical shape, there were also the long hours of rehearsing. But it all paid off in the end; wed be ready to KICK DOWN VSC HEY 1-2-3 UP in time to masterly preform during the first football game of the season.

To the family, thank you for allowing the many band seasons you allowed us to have him as our Virginia State band master and conductor of perfection.

May you now R.I.P.
Vanessa B. Minter-Fegans
Student
June 19, 2020
Brenda Harris
Teacher
June 18, 2020
May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow.
Robin Birdsong
June 18, 2020
Dr Richardson was my first high school band director. I came to Lake Braddock in the middle of my freshman year as a very shy flute player. He made band one of my favorite classes and always made me feel like I belonged. He left LBSS 2 years later and my senior year felt very strange not having him leading band camp. He is loved and remembered
Nancy Spain Jackson 78
Student
June 18, 2020
Deepest condolences to Olivia, Clai II, Cheryl, and the rest of the family and close friends. Dr. Richardson was such a remarkable man - brilliant, talented, like a father to several of us teenagers in the band at Lake Braddock Secondary School back in the 1970s. He taught us so much, and I have many fond memories of those days. He inspired me to learn the bassoon when my clarinet was stolen, and instilled a deeper appreciation for all kinds of music, but also taught us about the value of commitments, discipline, hard work, equality, tolerance, and respect for others, even when we teenagers didn't always follow his stellar example. Dr. Richardson performed major musical surgery to turn us into one of the best symphonic and marching bands in the state and took us to play at Lincoln Center in New York. Later, when I returned to Northern Virginia after a stint in journalism, he became a supportive friend. Dr. R found the perfect student clarinet and string ensemble for my wedding, and it was always a delight to see him with Olivia and friends at various events in the community. RIP Dr. Richardson. You are missed.
Lisa McGrady Pellegrin
Student
June 17, 2020
He is a true Legend within the community and will not be forgotten.
He will be forever remembered for helping to form the NOVA Annandale Symphony along with others like Herb Smith and Dr. Watkins to name a few.
He will truly be missed within the community in which he built and served in.
His legacy goes far beyond the orchestra and reaches out near far.
Jordan Hendrickson
Friend
June 17, 2020
In this difficult time, may God hold you close to His heart, where He can feel your deepest loss, and fill you with His deepest love. May your memories bring you comfort.
Fenton Bland, Jr
Student
June 17, 2020
As the days and weeks pass, and as you return to life's routine, may you continue to feel comforted by the love and support of family and friends. Hugs, Kisses and Prayers with the family, He will be truly missed.
Robert and Kathy Richardson West
Family
June 17, 2020
Mrs. Richardson, Cheryl and Clay, Jr.

May your hearts soon be filled with wonderful memories of joyful times together as you celebrate a life well lived.

What a joy it was to have Mr. Richardson as our band director at Matoaca Laboratory School on the campus of VA State. My sister, Sybille Long, played flute, and I (Marguerite Long) played clarinet. He truly enriched our lives and made a difference in the lives of countless Matoaca Laboratory students.

Mr. Richardson was also our band director in the Summer Music Institute on campus during our high school years. He and Dr. F. Nathaniel "Pops" Gatlin, Director of the Music Department, provided us with many musical memories.

My brother, Bobby Long, played baritone horn and was privileged to have marched in the "Marching 110" under the leadership of Mr. Richardson in the early to mid-60s.

May memories of happy times you shared help ease your loss and bring comfort to your family. May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow.

Sincerely,

Marguerite Long Steele, Sybille Long Gray and Bobby Long
of
The Robert C. (Bob) and Marguerite Long Family
Your neighbors on Third Avenue
Marguerite Long Steele
Friend
June 17, 2020
My deepest sympathy to the family...I'll always remember those good times we all shared at Uncle Dickie's, my love to you Mrs. Olivia
Marjorie Taylor Goodwin
Friend
June 17, 2020
Our condolences to Mrs. Richardson, Cheryl and Clay, Jr.

May your hearts soon be filled with wonderful memories of joyful times together as you celebrate a life well lived.

What a joy it was to have Mr. Richardson as our band director at Matoaca Laboratory School on the campus of VA State. My sister, Sybille Long, played flute, and I (Marguerite Long) played clarinet. He truly enriched our lives and made a difference in the lives of countless Matoaca Laboratory students.

Mr. Richardson was also our band director in the Summer Music Institute on campus during our high school years. He and Dr. F. Nathaniel "Pops" Gatlin, Director of the Music Department, provided us with many musical memories.

My brother, Bobby Long, played baritone horn and was privileged to have marched in the "Marching 110" under the leadership of Mr. Richardson in the early to mid-60s.

May memories of happy times you shared help ease your loss and bring comfort to your family. May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow.

Sincerely,

Marguerite Long Steele, Sybille Long Gray and Bobby Long
of
The Robert C. (Bob) and Marguerite Long Family
Your neighbors on Third Avenue
Marguerite Steele
Friend
June 17, 2020
May God and our Lord and Savior Jesus the Christ provide the family strength as they travel through this valley of life. Amen.
Bradford Caldwell
Family
June 16, 2020
Cheryl and family, My deepest condolences at the loss of your father. May you keep all of those wonderful memories close at heart.
Pamela Gilliam
Friend
June 16, 2020
May your hearts soon be filled with wonderful memories of joyful times together as you celebrate a life well lived.
Jean Stretcher
Friend
June 16, 2020
What a joy it was to have marched in the "Marching 110" under the leadership of Dr. Claiborne T. Richardson. He truly enriched my life and made a difference in the lives of countless VSU students. With heartfelt sympathy I extend condolences to the family. May memories of happy times you shared help ease your loss and bring comfort to your family now. May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow.
Valarie Abbott Jones
June 15, 2020
I am extremely sad to hear of the passing of Mr. Richardson. I was privileged to have marched in the band at VSU under his direction in the early 70s. Then I was doubly privileged to have done my Student Teaching with him at Lake Braddock Secondary School in Fairfax County, VA. I send my deepest condolences to Clay Jr. and to his dear wife. I hope that your sweet memories will bring you some peace and comfort. Gods richest blessings on the family.
Marsha Meekins Cheatham
Student
June 15, 2020
PEACE, BLESSINGS & SINCEREST CONDOLENCES.
Jesse C Williams
Teacher
June 15, 2020
Rest In Peace sticks
Donald Bell
Student
June 15, 2020
My Heart is Broken for My Mentor Music Teacher & Hero, *Dr. "Claiborne T. "Stix" Richardson* Who also taught me how to play drums @ 11 & 12 years old in the Summer Music institute Program Concert band, Series on the Lawn for Grade School Students in the tri-City area Upward Bound Program/ @ Virginia State College/ University, with Also My Mentor & Hero the late *Dr. Nathaniel "POP" "Gatlin*, Director of the Music Department
They Created the Fame: Marching Band: *MARCHING 110* @ VSC/ VSU/from: 1954-1973/ Prayers to the family, VSU Staff, Student Body, Friends, & Fans, Sleep in Peace till We All Meet Again Sir
Clarence Alonzo Oliver
Student
June 14, 2020
Condolences to the Claiborne
Richardson Family. Our mother
was a family friend and Zion
Baptist Church was his associate.
Iris Smith-Brown
Friend
June 14, 2020
Dr. Richardson was my first band director at Lake Braddock Secondary School in Burke, VA. I will always remember him as gentle and kind man who was passionate about his students and their education in music. He was a great influence in my life as a musician and I will always remember him fondly. My sincere sympathies to his son Clai and the rest of the family.
Marcia Plait Treece
Student
June 13, 2020
May Claiborne rest with our Lord. I will remember is gracious spirit and determination. He loved his family. He loved music and teaching others. I played in the NVCC Annandale community college orchestra under his directions for several years. I will never forget him. I will miss him.
Sharon Jones
Friend
June 13, 2020
In loving memory of a wonderful person. We will love you and miss you always
Robin Birdsong
Friend
June 12, 2020
Such a wonderful gentleman! Taught music with my mother Altona Trent Johns and husband Aldrich Adkins here on campus. They admired him so much.
Jeanne Johns Adkins
Friend
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