S. Leo Richardson, 81, of Parker, Colo., formerly of Arkadelphia, Ark., died Aug. 17, 2009. Funeral services were held Saturday,  Aug. 22, at Ruggles-Wilcox Funeral Home, Arkadelphia. Burial with military honors was held in Jones Cemetery, Amity, Ark. Visitation was held Friday, Aug. 21, at the funeral home.


S. Leo Richardson, 81, of Parker, Colo., formerly of Arkadelphia, Ark., died Aug. 17, 2009. Funeral services were held Saturday,  Aug. 22, at Ruggles-Wilcox Funeral Home, Arkadelphia. Burial with military honors was held in Jones Cemetery, Amity, Ark. Visitation was held Friday, Aug. 21, at the funeral home.

He was born March 15, 1928, just outside of Amity, Ark., the son of John Riley and Zoe Evelyn (Wheeler) Richardson. He was the fifth of seven Richardson children. His childhood was spent working and playing on the family farm where they raised cotton and had livestock. He attended first through eighth grade at Center Ridge School which was walking distance from their farm, with his siblings and playmates. He went to Amity High School but dropped out after the 10th grade to join the Navy. He was only 17 years old at the time and his mother had to sign the paperwork for him. He served in the Navy on Johnston Island, Hawaii, from 1946 to 1948 as a carburetor mechanic. In the fall of 1948, he attended one semester of Abilene Christian and then transferred to Harding in the spring of 1949 where he was a business major. He was introduced to Mary Kay Hollingsworth by a friend in the men’s glee club and was immediately smitten. They began courting and married Sept. 3, 1950. He went on to graduate from Oklahoma Christian College in 1962, with a degree in religion. His love for the Lord led him to become a full-time pulpit minister starting in Oklahoma and then in Illinois, Arkansas and Colorado. To augment a young minister’s salary, he also worked as a life insurance salesman, school bus driver and radio disc jockey. He and his family resided in Geneseo from 1968 to 1972. He and two others formed the Church of Christ in Geneseo.

Through the years, he did mission work not only in the United States but in Canada, Jamaica, Philippines, South Africa, Australia and Bermuda. He was a chaplain and grief counselor for Porter Adventist Hospital for 11 years. He retired in 2004, but continued to author three books as well as wrote a weekly article for The Standard newspaper published out of his hometown of Amity. When asked how he wanted to be remembered, he simply said, “As a man of integrity filled with the spirit of God.”

Survivors include his four children and spouse, Rebecca and Steve Gradert of Geneseo, Randall and Kathy of Aurora, Colo., Risa of Canon City, Colo. and Robbe of Littleton, Colo.; nine grandchildren, Shannon, Jennifer, Shane, Meredith, Shelley, Jillian, Shaun, Jared and Alysa; seven great-grandchildren; two sisters, Louise Atha of Forney, Texas and Altie Williams of Amity, and one brother and spouse, Jerry and Betty Richardson of Hot Springs, Ark. He was preceded in death by his parents; his beloved wife, Mary Kay; two brothers, R.J. and Idos, and one sister, Mary Lois.