Eleanor Richardson, 87, passed away peacefully at Cumbernauld Village on Saturday, July 20, 2019 following a short illness. She was surrounded by family as she left this life and entered into life eternal.
Eleanor Ann King was born October 14, 1931 in Winfield, Kansas to William “Floyd” and Blanche Leora (Hill) King. Eleanor attended Webster, Lowell, and Stephenson grade schools and graduated from Winfield High School in 1949. During her senior year, she began working at William Newton Hospital in the business office. It was there she met her future husband, Leonard Richardson, when he came into her office. They had their first date on April 1, 1950, and were married six months later on Oct. 20, 1950, at the First Baptist Church in Winfield. After Leonard served in the Korean War, he and Eleanor moved to the farm west of Winfield in January, 1954, where they lived for the rest of their married life.
Leonard and Newt started Richardson Brothers Construction Company in 1955 and Eleanor did the bookwork for them for the first years of the company. She worked part-time at the hospital when Ann and Beth were little and then stayed home to raise their children when David was born. Eleanor later worked at KSOK and then became a legal secretary for Herlocker, Roberts, and Herlocker. The Walnut Valley Festival was an important part of Eleanor’s life and she worked in the office and the “blue trailer” for over 20 years.
Eleanor loved to play bridge, even up until the last two months of her life. She was also a founding member of the Winfield Community Theater. When Bruce and Veda Rogers started Vassar Playhouse, Eleanor joined in and spent 8 happy years there doing summer theater.
Growing up, Eleanor belonged to the Baptist Church, in her adult life she was a member of First Presbyterian Church, and in recent years she participated at First United Methodist Church. Although she wasn’t a huge fan of organized church, she loved the Lord and she loved others unconditionally.
Eleanor was devoted to her children and especially her grandchildren, taking them to swim lessons, cello lessons, cheering them on at sporting events and attending every activity in which they participated. Following Leonard’s death from an accident on the family farm, Eleanor continued to live on the farm for 4 years, until moving to Cumbernauld in 2015. Eleanor very much enjoyed the friends she had there and activities, especially playing bridge and bingo. She loved and appreciated all of the staff who cared for her so well.
Eleanor centered her life around family. Her children are Ann Richardson, Beth and Steve Wilke, and David and Cozetta Richardson, all of Winfield; her grandchildren Krista and Scott Ranby, Denver, Colorado; Katie and Adam Johnson, Klamath Falls, Oregon; Joel and Lindsay Wilke, Camp Horizon, Arkansas City; Julie and Emilee Wilke, Winfield; and Kalen Richardson and fiancé Colin Ledbetter, Lawrence; and Kalen’s mother Jalaine Richardson, Winfield. She also adored her seven great grandchildren Norah and Caleb Ranby; Luke, Emma and Maddie Wilke; and BonnyMae and Raelond Johnson. Eleanor was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, and an infant brother Howard Martin.
A private family service will be held at Highland Cemetery. Arrangements are by Shelley Family Funeral home. Friends and family are invited to a celebration of Eleanor’s life on Saturday, Aug. 10, from 2-5 PM at First United Methodist Church in Fellowship Hall. Sharing memories will begin at 3:00 PM. A Memorial has been established with William Newton Hospital Foundation, a place dear to Eleanor’s heart and her life.