Louise Ann Richardson was the eldest of four children born to the late Beatrice and Samuel Bell, Sr. Born on May 17, 1928, in Weyanoke, West Feliciana Parish, located near Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Being raised on a farm, she learned how to tend a garden, cook, and raise farm animals early in life. She frequently talked about her childhood horse, Dan, and her family pig, Sarah. Louise loved Louisiana, especially New Orleans, and always spoke fondly of her memories and pastimes with her family.
She met the love of her life, Thomas Richardson, while working at her uncle’s grocery store while visiting New Jersey. Their love quickly blossomed, and they were married on March 19, 1946. Louise and Thomas, who was an entrepreneur and mason, purchased their first home on Churchill Avenue and later purchased their lifelong home on Matilda Avenue in Somerset. In 1954 they welcomed a baby girl, Gwendolyn, into their lives. They were affectionately called Uncle Tommy and Aunt Louise by everyone in their community. Louise had a very close relationship with her parents and siblings. After moving from New Orleans to marry and build a life with Thomas, she sent for her mother, stepfather, sister, and her sister’s family to move to New Jersey for a better life. Louise and Thomas were so giving and hospitable that, at one point, 7 people lived in their two-bedroom home. They were married forty-two years prior to Thomas’ death in May 1988.
Louise was an excellent homemaker. She enjoyed cooking southern soul food meals, cakes, and pies–all from scratch. It brought her so much joy to cook for the people she loved. Once their daughter became school age, Louise entered the workforce and worked at various companies including Middlesex Hospital, Alexandra Unger, and several banking institutions. She retired from NatWest Bank in 1997.
Most of her life was devoted to the work of the Lord. For over seventy-five years, she was an active member of Macedonia Church of God in Christ. Louise enjoyed singing in the choir and preparing homemade dishes for church functions and fundraisers. She was an Adult Sunday School teacher for over sixty years and was an original member of the adult senior choir and a lead singer. Her favorite songs included “Sweeping through the City”, “Stood on the Banks of Jordan", “Beams of Heaven", and “I Can Go to God in Prayer”. Louise frequently visited the sick and shut-in to sit with them, bring them meals, and encourage them in the word of God.
One of Louise’s favorite pastimes was watching westerns and murder mysteries on television. She would sit for hours watching “Gunsmoke”, “Wagon Train”, “The Virginian”, “Laramie”, “Rifleman”, “Murder She Wrote”, “Perry Mason”, “The A-Team", and “MacGyver”. If you came to visit her, you would sit and watch those shows with her. When she was asked why she enjoyed watching westerns as much as she did, she’d say that the programs reminded her of her childhood when her father and uncles would take her for a ride in their wagon. If you tried to change the channel to something more modern or with scenes of adult content, she would quickly tell you that she doesn’t watch foolishness on her TV.
Family visits made her eyes light up. In earlier years she enjoyed riding the train from New Brunswick to Maryland to spend a few weeks with her daughter and granddaughter. Every time she’d leave Maryland to go back on the train, her daughter and granddaughter would watch her from the train platform as she found her seat, and blow endless kisses to her until the train began to take off. Once the train started to move, her granddaughter, Tahira, would run alongside the train until the platform ended and cry as the train went out of sight. Later in life Louise enjoyed spending time with her great grandchildren and was frequently tickled by their expressions and boy energy. On their last family trip to New Jersey a few months ago, her great grandchildren, Jackson and Jamison, cried as they left to go back home saying they didn’t want to leave MomMom. While Louise enjoyed this family time, she made it clear that the only places she wanted to live was in Somerset or in Heaven.
Louise was predeceased in death by her husband, Thomas Richardson, her parents, Samuel Bell, Jr. and Beatrice Bell Williams, her brother, Albert Williams, and sister, Ernestine Smith.
She leaves to cherish her memory one daughter, Gwendolyn Lindsay, Columbia, MD, one granddaughter, Tahira L. Christmon (Dean), two great grandsons, Jackson and Jamison Christmon, one sister, Minnie Wagner, New Orleans, close nieces, Jacquelyn Lindsay and Patricia Walker (Jerome), close nephews, George K. Smith III (Alise), Samuel M. Smith (Yolanda), Pastor Lennox Gary Richardson, and Richard Richardson (Elaine), a host of nieces, nephews, great nephews and nieces, and dear friends including Gladys Livingston, Shirley Thomas, Barbara Crayton, and her Macedonia Church Family.
The family would like to extend a special acknowledgement and endless thank you to her friend and caregiver, Sheila F. Tooles (Wayne) who brought so much laughter and joy to Louise everytime you came by. To her patient helper Mark Smith, who served in endless capacities of care. To her dear friends and family who always provided a listening ear as she told you what you should or shouldn’t do, your patience as she preached The Word to you,and the endless love you gave to her throughout the years, Thank you for all you did for mom. May her lessons and love live within each of us for generations.To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Louise A Richardson, please visit our flower store.