D. Gale Richardson, 1943-2021
“There is only one drink worth having and that is diet coke,” was one of my mom’s most frequent sayings. She kept enjoying her diet cokes until her passing at 77 years of age on February 25, 2021. She was way too young; her life way too short.
My brother, Ray, and I were lucky to grow up with Mom and Dad as our parents, instilling values and sayings that last a lifetime. They have taught us so much about hard work, of treating others with kindness and for me, putting our kids first. Mom showed us that family is the most important thing in the world. She surrounded us with encouragement, love and ideas that we could do and be anything we want. Mom and Dad (Wendell Richardson) married June 11, 1967.
Mom knew how to get things done in her work; another saying she often shared with me is that “If you want something done, ask a busy woman.” (She probably lifted this one off a Margaret Thatcher quote I now know) She was always active: volunteering, helping her family, giving out money. She helped anyone in need. She had a “secret” compartment in her wallet where she would keep a folded up twenty or fifty and give that on occasion. If she didn’t have something for you, she would send you to a church, a neighbor or an organization, along with a note, from “Gale,” to get what they needed. Mom was a tireless giver. A force of nature couldn’t get in her way if someone, especially family, needed something.
Mom was so busy, it was often hard to get onto her calendar. She had friends across the United States thanks to her 42 years of serving the United States Department of Agriculture through Rural Development. Her work ended in Washington, D.C. where Mom was very proud to serve her community in the biggest way possible. She was president of so many organizations I wouldn’t do justice to try and recount her legacy.
As one of eight kids raised in Beatyville, KY, and then Orange, IN, Mom was the perfect middle-ish child. She didn’t smoke, drink or even cuss, although I did hear a heartfelt “darn it” from time to time. She loved her mother and daddy, Herman Dunigan and Ruby (Turner) Dunigan. Mom was predeceased by siblings Jim Dunigan, Phyllis Phillips, Janis Grass, Marcella McAhren and Ritta Bostic.
Survivors include husband, Wendell Richardson; son, Ray Richardson (Susan); daughter, Raquel Richardson (Kaus Christopher); grandchildren, Kiehl and Finley Christopher; siblings, Reva (James) Glass, Danny (Julie) Dunigan; and numerous nieces and nephews.
We leave Mom behind with unguarded grief we will carry with us always. The lessons and values, along with the memories, will always be inside of us and we are all better for it.
We would like to give our deepest gratitude to the team at St. Vincent Hospice who were by our side these past ten months. Your guidance, compassion and support helped us immensely.
A graveside service for family will be held Saturday, March 6, 11 a.m. at Orange North Cemetery.
Memorial contributions may be made to St. Vincent Hospital Foundation, 8402 Harcourt Road, Suite 210, Indianapolis, IN 46260. (https://give.stvincent.org/donate)
St. Vincent Hospice
c/o St. Vincent Foundation, 8402 Harcourt Road, Suite 210, Indianapolis IN 46260