SARANAC LAKE — Wallace Ernest “Peter” Richardson, 74, of Jay, passed away at the Adirondack Medical Center following a heart attack on Monday, Feb. 9, 2009.
He was born in Keene Valley on Nov. 21, 1934, the oldest of four children born to Gerald and Hazel Bruce Richardson, and was educated in AuSable Valley schools. He later studied art for two years with Molly Lennon at the School of Art in Plattsburgh.
Peter worked as a Corrections Officer at the New York State Prison in Dannemora for 25 years, and also worked part time as a guard for the Bums Detective Agency.
During the 1970s, his community service included coaching women’s softball and serving as a leader for Explorer Scouts Troop 54 in Au Sable Forks. He also founded the Samurai Karate Association in Keeseville.
In 1988, he married the former Wanita Green of Peru, and they lived on the Valley Road in Jay. They enjoyed fishing trips, bluegrass festivals, home renovation projects and hosting musical gatherings at their home “Cro-Mo-Kee.”
An avid outdoorsman, he enjoyed hiking, camping, hunting and fishing. His hobbies included writing poetry, painting, karate and bluegrass music. He was an accomplished musician, and played mandolin, bass, guitar and dobro. Throughout the years, he performed in several bands and enjoyed field picking at festivals with his friends and many well-known bluegrass recording artists. He was a member of the Adirondack Mountain Bluegrass League.
He was extremely proud of his Native American heritage, and was chairman of the Abenaki Mazipskwik Nation of Swanton, Vermont. He enjoyed attending powwows with his wife, sharing Native American lore and the Mohawk language.
He is survived by his devoted wife Wanita; son and daughter-in-law Rocky and Celia Richardson of Au Sable Forks; granddaughter Jessi Richardson of Clintonville; step-grandson Craig Mitchell of Lake Katrine; stepdaughter Farrah Nephew and her fiance Adam Whitney of Westport; stepsons Gary Nephew and his wife Sara of Detroit, Mich., John Bryant of Greenville, Tenn., and Robert Bryant of Plattsburgh; his former wife and mother of his son, Shelby Payro Richardson of Black Brook; a brother Tom Richardson, his wife Darling and their son Tommy; his sisters Nancy Richardson Marrs and Juanita Richardson Daby, both of Upper Jay; many nieces and nephews, grandnieces, grandnephews and countless friends.
He was predeceased by his parents and a stepdaughter Beverly Bryant in 2000.
A memorial service will be held at the convenience of the family, time and place to be announced at a late date. In lieu of flowers, donations toward a memorial garden may be sent to: The Peter Richardson Memorial Garden Fund, 36 Valley Road, Jay, NY 12941. Funeral arrangements are in care of the Fortune-Keough Funeral Home. Family and friends may share their memories and sign the online guestbook at fortunekeoughfuneralhome.com.