Irene Hope S. Richardson, aged 97, died at 7:15PM on 13 October 2019, after complications due to hip replacement surgery at Riverside Methodist Hospital. The eldest daughter of Harold C. Smith and Daisy Bankes Smith, she was born on her parent’s Lemon Hill farm outside McConnelsville, Ohio, and delivered by her father’s uncle, Dr. Worley Mercer. She is survived by her only child, John Vinson Richardson Jr. and his wife Nancy B. Richardson of Los Angeles, California as well as four siblings: Robert Smith of McConnelsville, OH; Wanda Thompson of Malta, OH; Bea Harrison of Miramar, FL; and Kay Moellenkamp of Pickerington, OH.
Hope grew up in rural Morgan County, Ohio. She graduated from Malta & McConnelsville High School, Class of 1939. She also graduated from Bliss College in Columbus, Ohio, a member of Delta Chi Sigma. During the early war years, she worked at Ranco and Curtiss-Wright, and then moved to New Orleans to be with her husband, Second Lieutenant John V. Richardson, whom she had married on 2 April 1942. In New Orleans, she served as the social secretary to Richard Foster of Foster Manufacturing Company. After the war, Hope and her husband returned to Columbus and she worked for the realtor, Preston Cooke, as his private secretary.
Hope’s later life was actively spent in community projects inclluding serving the Allegro Unit of the Columbus Symphony Orchestra as well as TWIG 62 of Children’s Hospital, chairing a PTA study group, and organizing the local Stepping Stones Unit for Ohio Valley College (now University). Perhaps her true interest, though, was in the Columbus Museum of Art. She joined Beaux Arts in the mid-1950s, served as chair of the Children’s Museum, and was elected Beaux Arts President in 1960. She served as a volunteer Docent at the Museum for twenty years, touring children from local Columbus public schools. In 1982, she joined the Central Ohio Unit of the Herb Society of America, edited their newsletter for ten years, and published several journal articles about gardening and herbs. She also published several items related to family history and joined the DAR on her maternal line. Most notably, she wrote a weekly column “Herbs with Hope” for the Morgan County Herald for seventeen years and co-managed with her husband, Day Spring Christmas Trees, a choose-and-cut Christmas tree plantation in the county.
A memorial service lead by Adam Metz will be held at the Wesley Glen Retirement Community, 5155 North High Street in their 8th floor auditorium on Thursday, 17 October at 3PM followed by graveside services for immediate family and friends at Lemon Hill Cemetery on Friday afternoon at 1 PM. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Central Ohio Parkinson's Society, 1380 Dublin Rd., Columbus, Ohio 43215. Funeral arrangements by Miller-Huck Funeral Home, 62 South 7th Street, McConnelsville, OH 43756.