Allegan County News & Union Enterprise

Obituary: James E. Richardson

James E Richardson of Allegan finished the final lap of his dash on June 10, 2022. Jim was born to Howard and Lillian Richardson in Allegan, Michigan on December 4, 1938. Jim attended Allegan Public Schools and graduated in 1957. Jim joined the Marine Corps Reserves in 1956 because he liked the uniform. He was honorably discharged in 1965 with the rank of Lance Corporal (E-3). Jim attended Western Michigan University looking to pursue a career in teaching Metal Wood Shop. After two years at Western, Jim left the university and joined the Beach Boys in Surf City. Jim returned to Allegan and eventually started his own business, Jim’s Autobody Repair. He owned and operated his shop for almost 35 years. Many high school boys worked for Jim, and he was always willing to work around their sport and education schedules.
In 1979, Jim married Grace Oisten Bale and her four children. Jim and Grace blended their 7 children and became the Brady bunch plus 1. Jim always said, “steps were fine for ladders and stairs, but not worth a darn in families.” His children were his children, all 7 of them, and they knew he meant it. Jim always said he did not recognize his wife the first 10 years of their marriage without her head in the dryer. Jim made it a habit that everyone sit down for dinner each night, knowing that some may have to leave early to get to a sporting event or job, and he would often leave to go back to his shop to finish something up.
His children could always count on him to be at their home sporting events and he would make as many away events as he could, most of the time with paint or compound stains on his work clothes, but he was always there, and they knew it. He would then return to work to “finish something up.”
Jim worked very hard on the 3 on 3 Basketball Tournament that was held during Bridgefest in Allegan and took pride in being the Constable for 20 years, retiring in 2021. Most of all, Jim plain enjoyed life. He was a GIANT of a man who loved his family and friends. Jim always looked on the bright side and would always look for the good in everyone. His grandma Priest told him if he couldn’t say anything good about someone then say nothing at all. Jim was always encouraging and complimenting anyone whenever he could, and he had a great sense of humor that he shared with everyone. He did not like to travel and was a homebody, he loved to sleep in his own bed. His passing has left a big hole in our lives, but he has left us with so much love, caring, laughter, wisdom, and respect for all we shared as a family that we will laugh, dance, and sing until we see and greet him in heaven.
Those who remain behind and are better off for having loved him and always knew he loved them are his wife of 42 years, Grace and children Catrina Richardson, Kathy and Tony Coopmans, Mechelle and Edward Cone, Tyrone Richardson and Deb, Dionne and Ross Gorby, Gina and Cory Allen, Allen and Carey Richardson, 18 grandchildren, 19 great grandchildren, and 1 great great grandchild, his little sister Janet and Dave Rasmussen, sister in laws Peg and John Kraak, and Candy Oisten and many cousins, nephews, nieces, grand nieces and nephews, his Uncle Jerry Oisten, and many friends of Bill W.
Jim was preceded in death by his parents, Howard and Lillian (Priest) Richardson and in laws, Clayton and Marion (Esseltine) Oisten, granddaughter Courtney Richardson, brother-in-law Dale Oisten and sister-in-law Judith Massie. At Jim’s request, a cremation has taken place. A private ceremony for the family will take place and a celebration of life is being planned for a later date. Per the family’s request, in lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the American Cancer Society, Wings of Hope Allegan, or the Congregational Kitchen.

7 Replies to “Obituary: James E. Richardson

  1. I love you very much Daddy and will see you again. Please know that I have “all my ducks in a row”.

  2. Not a second goes by that I don’t miss you. The world just doesn’t seem as bright anymore and the stars just don’t want to come out. Until we meet again dad, I love you.

  3. I will always remember Cousin Jim’s great sense of humor! He was older than I by 11 years and I didn’t see much of him except when he was visiting Uncle Howard and Aunt Lillian or Grandma Priest, whom he loved dearly. RIP, Jim. You’ve certainly earned it. My sincerest condolences to his immediate family and dear friends.

  4. Such sad news.Jim was one of my favorite people I will always remember his great sense of humor and his willingness to help anyone in need. He will be missed by anyone that ever met him. Praying for his family and friends. RIP my dear friend.

  5. A Giant of a man for sure. A great sense of humor and a talented story teller. Prayets for His family, He is at peace May He Rest in Peace and Rise in Glory

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