Born in 1905, Richardson dies at 108

by W. Winston Skinner

Bessie Eudora Dooley Richardson, 108, who had lived in Newnan since 1995, died Friday in Atlanta. 

Richardson, who was a telephone operator before spending years as a farm wife in Tennessee, died at Serenity Hospice. A native of Maury County, Tennessee, Richardson was born Oct. 16, 1905, to Charlie Irving Dooley and Frances Luella Scott Dooley. She had outlived all nine of her siblings.

She married Joel Davidson Richardson on Christmas Eve in 1924. They lived for years on a farm in the Bigbyville community in Maury County. Later the Richardsons moved to Columbia, Tenn.

In both places, Bessie Richardson was known for the beautiful flowers she grew.

Richardson moved to Coweta County to live near her daughter and son-in-law, Sandra and Al Kennedy, in 1995. Before moving to Newnan, Richardson was still mowing her own lawn and gardening at age 85 and driving at 90.

For the past 13 years, she had lived in Newnan at Emeritus, previously Georgian Place, retirement home. Richardson enjoyed word-solving and crossword puzzles, Bingo and reading. She also was a lifelong consumer of vegetables.

Richardson was a member of the Newnan Church of Christ. Prior to moving to the local area, she had been a member — for more than 55 years — at West 7th Street Church of Christ in Columbia, Tenn. Bible classes for women in both places were important to her.

Richardson was a woman of strong faith. In 2011, she said she did not know what she has done to deserve such a long life, but added, “The Lord does."

In that interview, Richardson said she did know the secret to life. "I've tried to live by the Bible," she reflected — adding that her advice to young people for a long, happy life was simply “prayer.”

She is survived by two daughters, five grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. Her family was central to her life. "I still feel like someone's mother," Richardson said in 2011.

A treasured possession was a photograph of Richardson at 103 with a newborn great-grandchild.

A graveside service was held in Columbia on Monday, and a memorial service followed Tuesday at Newnan Church of Christ . Her family has asked that memorial contributions go to Churches of Christ Disaster Relief Effort, www.disasterreliefeffort.org.



More Local

Gray found guilty of rape

Guilty was the verdict reached in the sleepwalking rape trial of Benjamin Gray. After three hours after beginning their deliberation, the ju ... Read More


Sexsomnia or rape? Verdict in jury’s hands

Closing arguments in the sleepwalking rape trial of Benjamin Gray concluded Friday. Coweta County Assistant District Attorney Herb Cranford ... Read More


118 Newnan High students tested for TB

More than a hundred tuberculosis exposure tests were administered at Newnan High School on Friday, as earlier in the week a NHS student was ... Read More


Senoia man arrested after fleeing from officer

A Senoia area man was arrested Tuesday and taken to the Coweta County Jail after allegedly leading a Coweta County sheriff's deputy on a hig ... Read More


UPDATE

Wreck victim in fair condition

James Hand, who was injured in a motor vehicle crash Thursday morning, was listed in fair condition Friday at Atlanta Medical Center. Hand w ... Read More

Prescribed burn smokes out Lake Redwine

A large fire that brought days of smoke and acrid smells to the Lake Redwine area was a prescribed burn that was done in accordance with cur ... Read More