William S. Richardson, 90, passed away on June 12, 2021, at SSM Good Samaritan Hospital, Mt. Vernon, IL, surrounded by his family.
William was born to Frank and Ethel (Bolen) Bain Richardson on October 19, 1930, on Terrapin Hill in rural Franklin County, Illinois. He was a second-generation lifelong farmer and resident of Northern Township in rural Franklin County, and often marveled at the fact when the leaves were off the trees, he could look out his back window and see the home place where he was born. After he retired from farming and even later after he and his wife moved into Benton, his favorite pastime was driving around to look at the crops and other happenings in all, of Northern Township.
William was a member of Immanuel Baptist Church in Benton and was a member of Frisco Missionary Baptist Church for several years before it dissolved.
He and his loving wife Jane were married for over 71 years, and she survives. He is also survived by one son, William K. Richardson and his wife Amy; one daughter, Sherri Wilson and her husband Dale; three grandsons, Clayton Richardson and fianceé Zina Smith, Joshua (Brianna) Wilson, Colton Richardson and girlfriend Alexandria Cairel; one granddaughter, Sidney Wilson; two beautiful great-granddaughters, Hadley and Arya; three sisters-in-law, Ava (Dale) Denault, Barb Zinke, and Carolyn (Bob) Higgins; a very special niece, Mary Belle Sweetin; several other nieces and nephews; and his Richardson cousins, Kenny and Dale.
He was preceded in death by his parents; half-brothers Oris Bain, Ellis Bain, Lewis Bain, and Royal Bain; infant sister, Norma Richardson; half-sister Lorene Richardson Kern; and brother-in-law, Elmer Zinke.
William was the grandson of a Civil War veteran. He was drafted into the Army in 1952 during the Korean War era, stationed in occupied Germany, and honorably discharged. In the early years of their marriage Jane followed him to basic training and they lived in Alexandria, Virginia before he was deployed to Europe.
William was an active member of the Democrat party, having served as Northern Township Precinct Committeeman over 50 years, Northern Township Trustee for over 16 years, Franklin County Democrat Party Treasurer, and actively worked on the campaigns for several national, state, and local elections, including those of Harry S. Truman, Paul Simon, Glen Poshard, and David Phelps.
William was an active member of the community and accomplished much in his 90 years on earth. He was a 4-H leader before and after military service and coached a 4-H softball team all the way to the state tournament. His contributions to Franklin County, Southern Illinois, and the State of Illinois include serving on the Franklin County Farm Bureau as President and Vice President, Land of Lincoln Soybean Board, Illinois Farm Development Board of Directors, Franklin County Extension Council, Franklin County Soil & Water Board, Franklin County Zoning & Planning Commission, Akin Water District Board as Chairman, Southern Illinois Production Credit Association as President, Illinois Finance Authority Board, and 43 years on the board of Southeastern Illinois Electric Cooperative, being elected Chairman four times.
William was a devoted husband and proud father and grandfather, having rarely missed any events of his grandchildren. He was generous with his time and resources and had the ability to carry on a conversation with anyone at any time or place, thus why politics and community service came so naturally to him. He will be deeply missed by his family and all those whose lives he touched.
Funeral Services will be held at 1:00 p.m. Wednesday, June 16, 2021, at the Immanuel Baptist Church with Rev. Terry Kern and Rev. Richard Lance officiating. Burial with Military Honors by the Benton American Legion Post #280, Benton V.F.W. Post #2671, and the Army National Guard will be in the Oak Hill Cemetery of Ewing. Visitation will be from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Wednesday, June 16, 2021 at the Immanuel Baptist Church of Benton. The Leffler Funeral Home of Benton is in charge of the arrangements.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Immanuel Baptist Church and will be accepted at the church on the day of the services or may be sent to the Leffler Funeral Home.
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