Herbert Joseph Richardson, Sr.
July 18, 1925 – June 4, 2017
Herbert J. Richardson, Sr., a life-long resident and distinguished citizen of New Orleans, departed this life peacefully on Sunday, June 4, 2017, at his residence with family and close friends at his bedside. His passing followed a long yet courageous battle with cancer. He was 91 years old.
During his youth, Mr. Richardson was a gifted athlete. He played high school and college football and won numerous medals and awards as a collegiate track and field competitor.
Mr. Richardson had longstanding ties to Corpus Christi Elementary School, St. Katherine Drexel High School (Xavier Prep), and Xavier University of Louisiana. He also had deep affiliations with Our Lady of Guadalupe Chapel – International Shrine of Saint Jude, where he served as an usher and a member of the finance committee for many decades, and Corpus Christi Church, where he participated in the youth boys’ choir and as an altar server while in grammar and high schools and served on the Board of Directors of the Corpus Christi Parish Credit Union for many years.
Mr. Richardson made significant contributions to the welfare of innumerable New Orleans citizens through his service and leadership roles with the St. Vincent de Paul Society, which aids the poor and needy of our community; St. John Berchman Manor, which provides independent living accommodations to senior citizens and where he served on the Executive Board of Directors; and numerous other religious, community, professional and business organizations.
In 2015, Archbishop Gregory Aymond of The Archdiocese of New Orleans awarded The Order of St. Louis Medallion to Mr. Richardson in recognition of his outstanding service, devotion and dedication to the Catholic Church. The Order of St. Louis Medallion is the highest award bestowed upon a lay person by The Archdiocese of New Orleans.
Mr. Richardson made major contributions to the development of young New Orleanians and other young Louisianans, having served as a basketball coach and football coach with the New Orleans Recreation Department, a high school and college football referee, and an employer and mentor to numerous New Orleans leaders and professionals during their youth, including two judges and several doctors, lawyers, school principals, business owners and community leaders.
For many years, Mr. Richardson was affiliated with two of the most influential publishing companies in the State of Louisiana. While still attending college at Xavier University, the Louisiana Weekly employed him to write and edit articles, serve as a photographer and later as distribution manager. He was also employed for twenty-four years by The New Orleans Times-Picayune Publishing Company, where he served as a District Manager in the Circulation Department and won numerous awards for superior production and achievements.
Mr. Richardson was also a successful entrepreneur and businessman. He began his business career during the early 1960's as a sales agent with H. L. Wilcox Realty Company. During 1969, as a real estate broker, he established the H. J. Richardson Real Estate Company. Through his leadership, the company grew to be one of the largest and most successful minority-owned real estate companies in Greater New Orleans.
The Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office engaged Mr. Richardson as a real estate appraiser. His service in that capacity began in 1983 under former Sheriff Paul Valteau and continued under Sheriff Marlin N. Gusman until Mr. Richardson’s recent passing. According to former Sheriff Valteau, "Mr. Richardson was a diligent, committed, hard-working individual who loved his family, community and work. He was a strong believer in human rights and committed to creating a community where everyone has the opportunity to be successful."
Throughout most of his life, Mr. Richardson had involvement with the funeral profession in New Orleans. He has provided consolation to countless New Orleans families beginning as a youth and continuing until his death. As a young man, he was affiliated with Carr & Llopis Funeral Home, which was founded by his grandfather, Raoul Llopis. He was later employed by Blandin Funeral Home, which was managed by his uncle, George Llopis. More recently, and until his passing, he was a funeral director with Tharp-Sontheimer-Tharp Funeral Home.
Mr. Richardson was a loving, caring and generous son, brother, husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, partner, uncle, in-law and friend to many. He was formerly married to the late Angela DeGrange Richardson. He was preceded in death by his parents, Charles L. Richardson, Sr. and Nemea Margerite Llopis Richardson; siblings Charles Louis Richardson, Jr. (presumed deceased), Francis William Richardson, Sr., and Irene Richardson Fornerette.
He leaves behind one sister, Leona Richardson Gibbs (Bobby, deceased) of Inglewood, CA; two sons, Herbert J. Richardson, Jr. (Bernadette Foy Richardson, deceased, and former spouse Tondia Leonard) of Shreveport, LA, and David G. Richardson (former spouse Maya Handwerk) of New York, NY; one daughter, Debra M. Richardson of New Orleans, LA; grandchildren Derrick (LaChandra), Jason, Alia and Marshall Richardson; great-grandchildren Alexis, Jayden (deceased), and Derrian Richardson; his loving and caring companion of many years, Sadie Irving of New Orleans LA; and a host of in-laws, nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
A Mass celebrating his life will take place at Our Lady of Guadalupe Chapel - International Shrine of Saint Jude, 411 N. Rampart Street in New Orleans on Friday, June 16th, at 10:30 a.m. Reverend Anthony Rigoli, OMI, will be the celebrant. Visitation will be from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. at the church. Interment will be at Providence Memorial Cemetery on Airline Drive in Metairie, LA. Tharp-Sontheimer-Tharp Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.
In lieu of flowers, Mr. Richardson requested that donations be made to the Saint Vincent de Paul Society at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, 411 N. Rampart Street, New Orleans, LA 70112.
Condolences may be expressed online at www.tharpsontheimerfh.com.