Jimmy Lee Richardson…October 7, 1928 – November 8, 2020

 

Jimmy Lee Richardson was born to Leonard and Viola Richardson in Blackwell, Oklahoma on October 7, 1928. (This was one year before the Great Depression.) He had 3 older brothers, 2 younger brothers and 15 years later, a sister.

When he was 9 years old, he moved with his family to the Ozarks, near Springdale, Arkansas for his father’s health.

He walked or ran to a one-room country school and graduated from the 8th grade. The boys carried cornbread for their lunch and ate by themselves so the other kids wouldn’t know that was all they had! Jim and his brothers were not able to go to high school.

He and his brothers cut wood and sold it by the rick. He plowed behind the horse, pulling a single plow, and just raised enough corn to feed the horse and furnish corn meal for the family.

No one had cars; they went by horseback or in a wagon.

When Jim was 16 years old, his dad was hit by a train and killed. The 3 older boys had been drafted, and were in the Army, so Jim was the one to take care of his mother, baby sister, and 7 year old brother.

His Grandfather in Blackwell, Oklahoma had died about 6 months before, and left his home there to Jim’s mom. Jim had a sale, hired a neighbor with a truck to move them to Blackwell. He was there a few days while he had the mumps, and then as soon as he was able (at age 16) he caught a bus for Ulysses, Kansas where he went to work for Carl Christiansen. Ulysses was booming then. He hauled gravel, scooped it on and off the truck with a scoop shovel – no loader; and dug ditches for water lines.

When he wasn’t working outside, he was working inside, taping sheet rock and plastering (he detested that!)

When he was 19 he got a job at Gano elevator in Ulysses. He liked that.

Early in 1949 Gano was building elevators in Eastern Colorado – one in Sheridan Lake, Colorado. A man from Ulysses was hired to manage it, and he wanted Jim to come as second man. Jim became the manager in the fall of 1952.

Jim was there to dump the first load of wheat in the harvest of 1949 and 41 ½ years later (in 1990) he closed the doors and retired.

Jim married Mary Ann Christiansen on October 16, 1949, in Ulysses, Kansas. They had 3 children: Randy, David and Julie. Six grandchildren: Melanie, Michele, Derek, Joshua, Ruth & Robbie. Three great-grandchildren: Lance, Miriam and Hannah.

Jim was the mayor of Sheridan Lake for several years, served on the school board as a board member, as Sunday School Superintendent, Elder, and Horn Creek Ranch board member.

Jim liked to travel and has visited every state except Maine and Hawaii.

Jim is preceded in death by his parents and son, Randy.

Jim is survived by wife, Mary Ann, son David (Linda), daughter Julie, six grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Memorial contributions may be made to the KA Hall or Sheridan Lake Bible Church Missionary Fund.

Funeral services were held on Friday, November 13, 2020 at the Sheridan Lake Bible Church in Sheridan Lake. Burial followed at the Sheridan Lake Cemetery in Sheridan Lake. Friends and family can register online condolences at www.brownfuneraldirectors.com. Jim’s funeral service can be viewed in its entirety on the Brown Funeral Homes Facebook page. Visitation and funeral services were entrusted to the care of the Brown Funeral Home in Eads.

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