MASKS ARE REQUIRED
Deaconess Elma Ruth Johnson Richardson
September 6, 1944 – November 7, 2022
Scripture: Proverbs 3: 6
Elma Ruth Johnson Richardson was born on September 6, 1944, to O'Bell "O.B." Johnson and Rosemary Ellerbee Johnson in Shreveport, Louisiana. A native of Shreveport, Elma became a lifelong resident of New Orleans. After Hurricane Katrina in August 2005, she relocated to Shreveport, her hometown, with her husband until God called her from labor to reward on November 7, 2022.
Elma was the fifth of 7 siblings: Althia Marie Johnson Fuller, Josie Johnson Reliford, Harold "O.B." Johnson, Farmer Hartwell Johnson, Elma Ruth "Baby Girl" Johnson Richardson, Donald Gregory Johnson, and Reginald Vann Johnson. She attended Brookstreet Elementary, Central Junior High School, and Booker T. Washington High School. Elma was a proud 1963 graduate of Mary McLeod Bethune High School Cougars, where she was a member of the 4H Club, Girls' Basketball Team, and member of the choir. On the campus of Southern University A&M College, in the fall of 1963, she met the love of her life, Fred "Mr. Cool" "Flying Fred" Richardson; before graduation, she was a renowned chorale member, and for her final examination, she sang Ave Maria in three languages, receiving a standing ovation from all who attended, including her parents and Big Sister Althia Marie. In the Spring of 1966, she received her B.S. in Education & Fine Arts. On June 24, 1967, she married her "Good Man," Fred, and to this union, they bore Nena Nicolette, Freda Gredel, and Fred IV. Elma was a dedicated educator for over 30 years at elementary schools throughout St. Charles, Orleans, Jefferson, and Caddo Parishes, especially Thomas A. Edison (Orleans), Ella C. Pittman (Jefferson), and Greenlawn Terrace (Jefferson).
After being baptized at Antioch Baptist Church at an early age, Elma would lead songs for the Youth Choir and attended State Youth Encampment at Grambling State University, where she won several awards annually, as her family watched & encouraged her relationship with the Lord, especially her mother Rosemary while they attended Mission Meetings. After graduation from Southern University, she & her husband joined Pilgrim's Rest B.C. #2 in New Orleans in 1975, where she served as Women's Day Chairperson, Cheerful Givers Ministry Head, Mission Ministry member, Vacation Bible School Teacher (arts & crafts, which was her natural passion), organizer of the John Seymour Duncan Scholarship Foundation, Gospel Chorus President, and proudly served with her husband, and couples Jonathan & Phyllis Billingsley, and Jerry & Clemmie Craft on the Beautification Committee and Food Fellowship Ministry, which they sowed into tirelessly! In addition, she was well-known for leading soul-stirring songs in first soprano voice in the Senior Choir and Gospel Chorus. While singing had been her passion all her life, Elma enjoyed singing alongside her husband and children with Dimensions of Faith and Val & Love Alive Fellowship Choir. After Hurricane Katrina, Elma & Fred joined Avenue Baptist Church under Pastor Clarence L. Hicks, Sr. She immediately went to work in the vineyard by singing & leading in Voices of Victory and the Encouragement Choir. On May 20, 2012, her husband was ordained as a Deacon. She served proudly alongside her husband as Deaconess. She also was a Sunday School Teacher Assistant. As they did in New Orleans, she ministered with her husband in the M.E.T. (Ministering to Elderly/Sick by Telephone) Ministry until God called her to Glory.
She leaves to cherish her memory her beautiful & devoted children, Nena Nicolette Richardson-Lee of Shreveport, LA; Freda Gredel Richardson-Taylor (Edgar) of New Orleans, LA, and Fred Richardson, IV (Sarah Baker) of Gonzales, LA; her adorable granddaughter, Shelby Victoria Lee; her brothers, Donald Gregory & Reginald Vann Johnson; her sister-in-law, Stella Richardson Sapp (Murve); godchildren, Darryl Sapp & Montessa Robichaux; nieces, Melanie (Cedric), Jacqui, Monica, Nicole (Dennis), Crystal, Elizabeth, Yvette, Rachelle, Rhonda, and Amanda; nephews, Ecotry (Phyllis), Leroy, Carl, Reginald, Emmett Jr., Darryl (Michelle), Murve, Jr.; and a grand host of cousins, other relatives, and friends. She was preceded in death by her parents, loving husband Fred Richardson, III, four siblings, and godson, John "Johnny" Clayton, Jr.