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Dr. Gordon Eugene Richardson



Dr. Gordon E. Richardson Family

Dr Gordon Eugene Richardson, second son of Samuel Scott and Leah Johnson Richardson, was born in Bay City on August 8, 1918. His name was derived from that of his uncles, Pettus Gordon Secrest, and Dr. Edward Eugene Scott. On March 19, 1919, when he was seven months old his mother died in the flu epidemic. He and his brother, Scott, were alternately cared for by their grandparents, George Carroll and Salura Orpha Johnson and James Luther and Emma Ora Scott Richardson, until Sam Richardson married Myrtle Darby on June 21, 1921.

The depression necessitated the family's move from the place of his nativity, and he attended school in several Texas towns and cities. While attending Bay City High School, he was a member of the Black Cat football team, and held jobs as a teenager at Matagorda Pharmacy, The Alcove, and the concession stand at the Frels State Theatre.

Upon completion of his high school education, he entered Texas Tech College in Lubbock, and thereafter entered Northern Illinois College of Optometry in Chicago.

When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, his class was told that since they lacked only one semester until graduation, they would not be subject to military duty until after their graduation in May of 1942.

His military service from March 31, 1944, to June 1, 1946, was with the 1852nd Service Command Unit of the Medical Department of the Army. He remembered vividly standing at attention for three hours at Camp Bowie, Brownwood, Texas, when the Commander in Chief of the Armed Services, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, died on April 12, 1945. He was honorably discharged on June 1, 1946.

By his former marriage to Joyce Murlene Wade, daughter of Mike Cager and Juanita Opal Johnson Wade, on August 29, 1953; he became the father of his first daughter at the age of thirty-six. Donna Murlene Richardson was born at Bay City, Texas. She was educated in the Bay City schools, and attended Wharton County Junior College. She married first, Dr Larry William Falknor, son of William Richard and Mary Evelyn Kowis Falknor, on April 17, 1971. They had a son, Stuart William Falknor. She married second, Terrell Joseph Friedrich, son of Robert Edwin Friedrich, Jr., and Arlene Wolff Friedrich, of Columbus, Texas, on June 8, 1975. To this union were born, Chelsea Renea on in Bay City, and Graeme Edward, born  in Singapore.

Dr Richardson's second daughter, Jeanne Anne, was born in Bay City. Upon graduation from Bay City High School, she married James Lee Naiser, son of Johnnie and Marcella Orsak Naiser, on June 8, 1974. Their daughter, Shelley Leanne in Wharton, Texas. Jeanne Naiser was a dance instructor, and both she and her husband were active in the community theatrical and dance productions. Active in civic and fraternal organizations.

Dr. Richardson held a life membership and thirty-one years perfect attendance in the Bay City Lions Club. He held all offices locally, and served as District Governor in 1975-76. He was a member of Bay City Lodge No. 865, A.F & A.M., a thirty-second degree Mason belonging to the Scottish Rite Bodies of Galveston, the York Rite Bodies of Lubbock, and the Arabia Temple Shrine in Houston. He was made a Knight Commander Court of Honor in the Galveston Consistory in 1965. He was a charter member of the Cradle of Texas Chapter, Sons of the American Revolution, where he served as first Registrar.

On Easter Sunday, April 22, 1973, Dr Richardson married Mrs. Jean Wilkinson Smith, daughter of Walter William Wilkinson, Jr. and Marjorie Bruce Wilkinson. She was born on March 21, 1935, in Bay City, and was a seventh generation Matagorda Countian. Her grandparents were Walter William and Helen Gossett Wilkinson, and James Arthur and Lorena Nolte Bruce. She was baptized on Easter Eve, April 20, 1935, in St. Mark's Episcopal Church, and was a lifelong member of that Church. She was active in the Episcopal Youth programs in her teen years on the local and state level. She joined the Girl Scouts at the age of nine, and was the first in Bay City to earn the coveted Curve Bar, that organization's highest award. A 1953 graduate of Bay City High School, she attended Sullins College, Bristol, Virginia, and The University of Texas. She was a charter member of the Mary Rolph Marsh Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution, and a member of James W Fannin Chapter, Victoria, Texas, Daughters of the Republic of Texas.

She married first Dr. Cloid Daniel Smith, son of Cloid and Ruth Seibert Watts, on December 4, 1958. His father died before his birth, and his stepfather, Mervyn C. Smith, adopted him. Their daughter, Virginia Sullins Smith, was born  in Bay City. She attended San Marcos Baptist Academy, Victoria College, and the University of St. Thomas, Houston. She married Fredrick Alan Kapp on February 23, 1979. He was the son of Arnold and Thelma Fishman Kapp. They were the parents of one son, Mason Allen Kapp in Bay City.

Dr.. Richardson holds the record for his length of time in eye care in Bay City He opened his practice of Optometry in Bay City in 1953, after having practiced in Brownfield and Lubbock, and retired in October of 1982, after practicing for a total of forty years. He and his wife, Jean, are interested in the preservation of history and the promotion of patriotism, and pursue genealogy as their hobby.

Historic Matagorda County, Volume II, 1986 pp 426-427

Palacios Beacon, November 21, 1957 - Courtesy of Holsworth Family Archives

Dr. Gordon Eugene Richardson

Funeral services for Dr. Gordon Eugene Richardson, 76, of Bay City are scheduled for 2 p. m. Thursday, Sept. 29, 1984, at First United Methodist Church with the Rev. Buford Finley of First United Methodist Church and the Rev. James E. Scott, Episcopal chaplain at the Seamanís Center at the Port of Houston, officiating. Burial will be in Hawley Cemetery in Blessing and gravesite rites will be conducted under the auspices of the Masonic Lodge and American Legion Post 11.

Dr. Richardson was born Aug. 8, 1918, in Bay City to Samuel Scott and Ella Leah Johnson Richardson and died Sept. 27, 1994, at his residence.

A member of the Bay City Blackcat football team and graduate of Texas Tech University and Northern Illinois College of Optometry in Chicago, he practiced optometry in Brownfield and Lubbock during WWII and returned to Bay City to practice optometry from 1953 until his retirement in 1982. He holds the record for length of eye care in Bay City.

He served in the 1852nd service command unit of the Medical Department of the Army during World War II.

Active in the civic fraternal organizations, he was a 48-year member of the Lions Club and served as District Governor in 1975-1976. He was a recipient of the Melvin Jones Award, held a life membership in the Bay City Lions Club, Texas Lions Camp for Crippled Children, and was a past director of the Texas Lions Eye Bank. He was a member of the Bay City Lodge No. 865, A. F. and A. M. and a 32nd degree mason. He belonged to the Scottish Rite Bodies of Galveston, the York Bodies of Lubbock, and Arabia Temple Shrine of Houston. He was made Knight Commander Court of Honor in the Galveston Consistory in 1965, held a life membership and was a 48-year member of American Legion Post 11, a charter member of the Cradle of Texas Chapter Sons of the American Revolution, where he served as first registrar, a charter member of the Matagorda Chapter 35, Sons of the Republic of Texas, where he served as first historian and a charter member of the Matagorda County Genealogical Society.

Survivors include his wife, Jean Wilkinson Richardson; two daughters, Donna Friedrich of Flower Mound and Jeanne and Jimmy Naiser of Bay City; a step-daughter, Virginia and David Chapman of Van Vleck; grandchildren, Stuart Falknor of College Station, Chelsea and Graeme Friedrich and Shelley and Jayme Naiser of Bay City; and step-grandsons, Mason Kapp and Joey Chapman of Van Vleck; a brother, Scott Richardson and his wife, Anne, of Bay City; two nieces and a father-in-law, Walter W. Wilkinson, Jr.

Pallbearers are Sidney Schwartz, Dr. Larry Falknor, Jimmy Naiser, Monte Marshall, Bobby Wilkinson and Kenneth Thames.

Honorary pallbearers are the members of the Bay City Lions Club, all Lions of District 26-A, members of the American Legion Post 11, members of the Sons of the American Revolution and the sons of the Republic of Texas.

Memorials may be made to the Texas Lions Camp for Crippled Children, P. O. Box 247, Kerrville, Texas, 78029-0247; the Matagorda County Genealogical Society, P.O. Box 264, Bay City, Texas, 77404 or the Texas Lions Eye Bank, Baylor College of Medicine, Cullen Eye Institute, 6501 Fannin Suite, C-307, Houston, Texas, 77030.

Services are under the direction of Dick R. Elkins, Bay City Funeral Home.

Daily Tribune, September 28, 1994

Office - 1816 6th Street

Office - 3211 Avenue F


Leah Johnson Richardson          Samuel Scott Richardson          Myrtle Darby Richardson

Photo courtesy of Betty Crosby

Samuel Scott Richardson, Jr.           Anne M. Richardson

Photo courtesy of Betty Crosby



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Jan. 9, 2014
Jan. 9, 2016