Edward M. Richardson, 85, school assistant principal


Edward Mayfield "Bill" Richardson, a retired Baltimore public schools assistant principal who also taught driver education, died Monday of congestive heart failure at his Ashburton home. He was 85.

Born and raised on what is now the campus of Morgan State University, where his father was an engineer, he attended city public schools until the eighth grade, when he was sent to a Roman Catholic military and vocational school, St. Emma's Institute in Rock Castle, Va.

While in the school's cadet corps, Mr. Richardson achieved the rank of battalion commander. He was captain of the school's varsity basketball team, ran track, played basketball and made the honor roll. He received an athletic and academic scholarship to Xavier University in New Orleans.

His studies there were interrupted by his World War II service. He initially served in the Army's military police and was later sent to Calcutta, India. Assigned to a trucking company, he drove supplies over the Himalayas as part of the effort to supply war materiel to China over the Burma Road. He left the military as a staff sergeant.

After the war, he earned a bachelor of science degree in physical education at Xavier. He earned a master's degree from New York University.

He was a coach and physical education teacher at Savannah State College in Savannah, Ga., before returning to Baltimore and becoming a Department of Recreation and Parks center director.

In 1960, he became a city schools physical education teacher. He taught at Lombard Junior High before being named assistant principal at Walbrook High School. He retired in 1982.

"He could reach and inspire the troubled kids, the ones who had been put out of class or put out of school," said his wife of 41 years, the former Loretta McAdory, retired dean of the Coppin State University School of Nursing. "He had high expectations for them, and it imparted high self-esteem."

She recalled that years after he retired from the school system, his former students would tell him how he had changed their lives for the better.

Mr. Richardson also taught driver education. Family members said he seemed to have a knack for helping those who had failed a driving test to pass it.

"It was all a part of his confidence-building techniques," his wife said.

In his free time, he helped recently widowed women, whose husbands had done the driving, to get their licenses.

He also bowled and played bridge, pinochle and Scrabble.

A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. today at Heritage United Church of Christ, 3106 Liberty Heights Ave. A wake will precede the service. He had been president of the church council and treasurer and president of its Men's Fellowship.

In addition to his wife, survivors include a son, Edward "Butch" Richardson of Randallstown; a daughter, Jeanne Boone of Owings Mills; two granddaughters; and two great-grandchildren. A marriage to Julia Brown ended in divorce.


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