<private> Richardson (King)spouse
<private> Wilke (Richardson)child
<private> Tucker (Richardson)sibling
<private> Whomans (Richardson)sibling
About Leonard O Richardson
“A tragic, freak accident” is how Cowley County Undersheriff Bill Mueller characterized the circumstances resulting in the death of Leonard Richardson on Friday morning west of Winfield.
Richardson, 82, was overseeing construction of a gazebo on his farm at 15144 55th Road when he was struck on the head by a falling tree limb.
According to Mueller, Richardson was directing the driver of a Daniels Ready Mix Inc. cement truck that was backing up to get in position to pour the base of the gazebo at the planned location in the yard.
“In the process, the truck hit a low-hanging tree limb, breaking it off the tree and it fell and struck (Richardson) on the head,” Mueller said.
Emergency personnel responded to the call at 9:37 a.m., and Richardson was pronounced dead at the scene.
Swisher-Taylor & Morris Funeral Home of Winfield is in charge of funeral arrangements.
Leonard O. Richardson, 82, died April 1, 2011, as the result of an accident on the family farm west of Winfield.
Services will be at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday at the First Presbyterian Church in Winfield. Burial at Highland Cemetery will follow the service. Rev. Bob Wyman and Rev. Diane Massey will officiate. Visitation will be today from 5 to 8 p.m. at the funeral home. Family will greet visitors from 6 to 7 p.m.
Memorials have been established with the First Presbyterian Church, Southwestern College and William Newton healthcare Foundation.
Arrangements are by Swisher-Taylor & Morris Funeral home.
Leonard Richardson: A man who inspired us all
By Dave Seaton Published: Wednesday, April 6, 2011 12:49 AM CDT An American flag flew at half mast at the First Presbyterian Church in Winfield Tuesday afternoon.
It was in honor of Leonard Richardson, who died as a result of an accident on his farm April 2, 2011, at age 82.
At least 500 people attended his funeral.
Leonard lived by the commandments “to love thy God ... and love thy neighbor as thyself,” the Rev. Robert Weyman said, reading from the book of Matthew.
The words rang true.
According to Adam Johnson, the fiance of his granddaughter, Katie, Leonard was a “direct and warm” person.
Leonard’s handshake was powerful, Johnson wrote, but the man was without a trace of arrogance or self-importance. “He was a pillar of the community in the true sense,” as Pastor Diane Massey put it.
He certainly was.
Katie herself took the pulpit and called her grandfather “open-minded.” That rang true, too.
Leonard was altogether generous, as I knew him.
He and his brother, Newt, owned a number of buildings in downtown Winfield and kept them in good shape. It was part of their business.
But it was also a labor of love. When it came time to accept higher property taxes to pay for curb, gutter and streetscape improvements back in the 1980s, they did not balk a bit. Downtown Winfield owes a lot to Leonard and Newt Richardson.
Leonard’s support at the Presbyterian Church was mentioned in glowing terms by Massey. He was one of the “go to guys” there, she said.
Massey recalled how kids in a Sunday school class looked forward to going fishing at the farm near Winfield on which Leonard and his wife, Eleanor, had lived for over 50 years.
I have lived in Winfield for 33 years and attended quite a few large funerals here, but I have not seen one for an older person that attracted quite so many mourners.
An overflow crowd of 200 filled the basement of the church. Large video screens transmitted the service in the sanctuary to those of us who were late-comers, failing to arrive at least 30 minutes before the funeral was scheduled to begin.
Cars and pickup trucks filled every parking space between Main St. and the county courthouse and between Ninth and 12th avenues, I swear. After the service, the traffic was jammed at the church corner of 11th Ave. and Millington.
Martin Rude sang “Amazing Grace” and a favorite of Leonard’s, “When the Roll Is Called Up Yonder.” Martin really put himself into his music.
The congregation sang “What a Friend We Have in Jesus” — no doubt another favorite of Leonard’s. In the basement, some people sang along quietly, as if they did not want to interfere with what was going on upstairs.
Don Gibson played the organ beautifully, pumping out a piece from a symphony by Widor and a postlude, “Rhosymedre,” by Ralph Vaughan Williams. We all sat patiently, and with pleasure, I believe.
This outpouring of love and respect for Leonard Richardson said a lot about the kind of man he was.
Quick to smile, gentle, strong and a believer in hard work, Leonard infused others with his own values. He drove a team of horses as a boy. His early nickname was “Tuffy,” Massey said. He raised cattle and farmed all his adult life, as well as operating Richardson Brothers Construction with his brother, Newt. Eleanor was the bookkeeper.
Leonard mentored members of his own family and other young people, as well. His humor was a bit droll. When asked if three boys could work for him one summer, he replied:
“One boy on a farm is one boy working. Two boys on a farm is a half boy working. Three boys on a farm is nobody working.”
Leonard and Eleanor settled on their farm not long after he returned to Winfield from serving in the Korean War. He had come here earlier to play football at Southwestern College.
The couple made many improvements to that farm, which Leonard called “a little bit of Heaven,” according to Massey. He never wanted to be anyplace else, she said.
“I put 100,000 miles on my truck,” Leonard liked to say, “and haven’t gone anywhere.”
This outstanding farm-city citizen with construction on his mind made a huge contribution to Winfield. He and his family are the kind of people who make a town like ours go, not only by the work they do, but also by the genuine good will they bring to all of us.
Leonard Richardson was a man who inspired others to love their neighbors as themselves, just as he did.