Susan C. Richardson died quietly in her sleep three days shy of her seventy first birthday, and three and a half years after doctors diagnosed her with an inoperable brain tumor that had an average life span of fifteen months. Though she put up a dogged fight against the tumor we know she entered God’s eternal care peacefully as her passing was not accompanied by any of the passive aggressive backhanded sass that she gave when she felt aggravated. Upon entering into heaven, we know that Susan took her place with that most honored group of saints; those for whom attending the briefer early Sunday service represented the highest form of devotion.
Susan was born on January 7, 1952 to George and Evelyn Carter in Jacksonville, FL. She grew up on the corner of Lakeland and Cahoon back when that part of town was simply Marietta. Susan graduated from Paxon High School in 1970 and went to work for the phone company and began a career in the field of being one of the women who actually runs the office. Her career path took her from the phone company to a law office and finally to the manufacturing of prefabricated outdoor fencing. Those early days of her adulthood are remembered fondly as Susan’s Camaro days as she owned and drove an early model Camaro (a fact that she liked to drop on unsuspecting family and friends).
Susan married Wayne Richardson on March 8, 1975 and began a devoted marriage that lasted almost forty-eight years. She raised two sons into a productive adulthood and when they introduced their partners into the family, Susan fully welcomed them into the family and then gracefully dropped her sons in the rankings of her affections. Susan’s later years were focused on being a loving and doting grandmother. First to her granddaughter Meredith and then to her grandson Carter, Susan leaves a legacy for the two of them to grow into of loyalty as a form of love, stubbornness as a form of independence, a desire for adventures and expanding horizons, and the security that comes from knowing who they are at all times.
Susan’s life took her from the coast of Florida to the coast of California and back again. Along the way she formed deep friendships over meals, van rides, and misadventures in the mountains of North Carolina. At every stop on her journey, she shared her joy of cooking not just with her immediate family but with everyone she could. Her husband and sons ate her chili by the pot full, her parents came over as often as they could for spaghetti, and her friends delighted in her pound cake and coconut cream pie. When she finally settled back home in Florida, she began to garden and turned entire sections of the front and back yard into colorful collections of day lilies and became one of the most feared weed pullers in Northeast Florida.
Susan was preceded in death by her parents and her sister-in-law Kay Carter. She is survived by her husband Wayne, her son Paul and daughter-in-law Elizabeth Dilley of Cleveland, Ohio, her son Joel and his fiancé Maggie McCart of Jacksonville, her granddaughter Meredith and grandson Carter, her two older brothers Rodney Carter and Bobby (Paula) Carter, a host of nieces and nephews who fondly remember their aunt as the person who made the macaroni and cheese at all the family dinners, and a lifetime’s worth of friends.
Susan’s family expresses their gratitude to the physicians and staff of the Baptist Hospital M.D. Anderson Cancer Center who cared for Susan during the early stages of her illness and then the staff of Community Hospice who provided care for Susan in her final months. We are also grateful for the family members, friends, and volunteers who sat with Susan at any point during the various stages of her illness.
In lieu of flowers, Susan’s family encourages you to donate to the Community Hospice and Palliative Care Foundation or to a charity that focuses on the research and treatment of cancer.