Betty J. Richardson, 86, of Napoleon Township, passed away on January 13, 2022, surrounded by family, while under the wonderful care of the staff at Victorian Villa Assisted Living and Careline Hospice. Betty was born in Jackson in 1935, the daughter of Wayne and Esther (Jewell) Dunham.
Betty is survived by three daughters, Michelle (Nelson) Ard, Julie Francis and Lisa Bornefeld; son-in-law, Roy Francis; five grandchildren, Tracey (Tyler) McSwain, Aileen Francis, Kyle Francis, Carly Francis and John Pezon; one great-grandson, Noah McSwain; two sisters, Delores Lenhart and Gloria Lewis and several nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her beloved husband, Phillip Guy Richardson in 1966; her parents, Wayne and Esther; sister, Virginia Patterson; and brothers-in-law, Bob Lenhart, Gary Lewis, John and Joe “Jack” Richardson.
Betty graduated Salutatorian from Napoleon High School in 1953 and was married to Phil in 1955. She became a Navy wife, starting their family and following his assignments as a Navy fighter pilot. After his heroic and tragic death in a test flight gone wrong, Betty was left to raise three young girls alone. The family came back to Michigan, and she accepted work as a receptionist at a dental office. She was encouraged by the office to return to school to become a dental hygienist and that is what she did at Kellogg Community College. She returned to the same private practice to work as a hygienist for a time before working and retiring after many years with the state prison system dental program.
She enjoyed reading, doing crossword puzzles and Sudoku. Betty had a green thumb and it showed in her many beautiful flowers and plants around her home. Her favorite pastime was hanging out with her beloved grandchildren.
Visitation for Betty was held at Arthur-Day Funeral Home in Michigan Center on Friday, January 21, 2022, from 2 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m. with a short service beginning at 6 p.m. A simple graveside committal service was held at Oak Grove Cemetery in Napoleon on Saturday, January 22, 2022, at 11 a.m. For those who wish, contributions in Betty’s memory may be given to the Alzheimer’s Association or the Phillip Guy Richardson Scholarship Fund through the Jackson Community Foundation.
Visitation and services were held at Arthur-Day Funeral Home (www.arthur-day.com) in Michigan Center with interment at Oak Grove Cemetery in Napoleon.