The Passing of Walter Richardson

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Walter Richardson.

Walter Lee Richardson was born March 3, 1935, in Monticello, Kentucky, and departed this life peacefully on February 22, 2021, reaching the age of 85.

Left to mourn his passing are his wife of 64 years, Virginia Kennett Richardson, his daughter Robin Richardson Cady, grandson Travis Lee Cady (Stephanie Connolly), granddaughter Olivia Nicole Cady (Dylan Graves), and great-grandsons Ollie Graves and Ozzie Graves. He is also survived by his siblings Elaine Burton (Orman), Daniel Richardson (Sallye), and Loretta Crowley. Walter was preceded in death by his son Alan Dwayne Richardson, by parents Robert & Evelyn Richardson, and by his siblings, Wilbur “Bill” Richardson, Arlie Richardson, Mary Carolyn Piercy, and Donna Goforth.

Walter served his country proudly in the U.S. Army for two years, earning the rank of Staff Sergeant while stationed at Ft. Hood, Texas. After leaving the military, he spent years traveling as a lumber grader before becoming a partner in the family sawmill business with Robert, Arlie, and Bill Richardson in the early 1960s. Wayne Lumber Company was formed in 1967, incorporated in May 1969, and expanded in 1978 by opening a second location. Walter and Virginia became the sole owners in 1982. In 1988, Walter and Wallace Murray opened W&W Hardwoods, Inc. and subsequently established Wayne Dry Kilns, Inc. in 1990. Walter and Virginia also entered into a partnership with Cumberland Woodlands in the late 1990s and later sold their interest to Wayne Lumber Co., Inc.

During his many years in business, he was a well-known and respected leader in the lumber industry. He was a longtime member of the Kentucky Forest Industries Association, where he also served as President from 1981-1983 and remained an active member throughout the years. He also served as a member of the Daniel Boone Advisory Group from 1980-1989. He was one of the Founding Members of the Forest Industries Workers Compensation Fund in Kentucky and served on the Board of Trustees from 1993-2003. He was a member of the Appalachian Hardwood Manufacturers Inc. and a Trustee from 1990-1996.  He was also a member of the National Hardwood Lumber Association since 1974. Walter served as a Business Development Board Member for First Southern National Bank.

Walter was an avid reader, opera enthusiast and enjoyed his early morning round table conversations with friends at various local diners throughout the years. He also mastered the game of golf after much practice and loved golfing at Monticello Country Club and traveling to golf courses throughout Kentucky and surrounding states. He will be missed by family, friends, and all who knew him. His kindness, good humor, and intellectual curiosity will be especially missed by his daughter and grandchildren, on whom he left a lasting impact.

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