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H.M. Patterson & Son-Oglethorpe Hill Chapel

4550 Peachtree Road Ne, Atlanta, GA

OBITUARIO

Spurgeon Richardson Jr.

5 abril , 194118 octubre , 2019

Atlanta’s Biggest Cheerleader

Spurgeon “Spurge” Richardson, Jr., 78, of Atlanta, passed away during the morning of October 18, 2019. After a courageous battle with Parkinson’s Disease and Mantle Cell Lymphoma Cancer, Spurge was surrounded by his family when he was peacefully called to Heaven.

Spurgeon was born April 5, 1941 in Edison, Georgia to the late Helen Grantham and Spurgeon Richardson, Sr. He attended Edison High School where his activities included sports editor of the “Hi-Voltage” newspaper, Vice-President of the Beta Club, member of the 4-H Club and FFA chapter, class treasurer, member of Edison’s debate team, baseball, basketball and track. After graduation, Spurgeon moved to Athens to attend the University of Georgia. While at UGA, Spurgeon was a member of Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity, worked at Dick Ferguson’s clothing store, and most importantly, met and fell in love with his beautiful wife, Mary Frances, whom he married in 1962. He would later be inducted into the Gridiron Secret Society (Go Dawgs). Spurgeon loved everything about Athens and his GEORGIA Bulldogs. Upon graduation in 1963, he received a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and Education and began his career in Athens working for the Georgia Center for Continuing Education. In 1965, Spurgeon and Mary Frances moved to Atlanta where he worked for the Georgia Bankers Association. Spurgeon began his career at Six Flags over Georgia in 1967 in Public Relations and soon became Director of Marketing. Spurgeon spent most of his 25 year career as the park’s President and General Manager, and became an avid fan of roller coasters with The Great American Scream Machine being his favorite. In 1991 Spurgeon became President and CEO of the Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau, and spent 17 years at the helm of the organization – the longest tenure of any ACVB president. During his career at the ACVB, Spurgeon was instrumental in securing major events to Atlanta including conventions, 2 Super Bowls, numerous NCAA events, and the 1996 Olympic Games. One of his greatest experiences was participating in the Olympic Torch Relay.

Spurgeon was a well-regarded and accomplished business man in the Atlanta community. His career highlights include: Rotary Club of Atlanta; past chair for the International Association of Convention and Visitors Bureaus; International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions; Georgia Hotel and Travel Association; Cobb Chamber of Commerce; and past president of the of the Southeast Tourism Society. He held board positions with the Chick Fil A Foundation; Salvation Army; Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce; Georgia Chamber of Commerce; Central Atlanta Progress; Atlanta Sports Council; AAA South; the Alliance Theater; the Travel Industry Association; the Tourism Development Authority of Georgia; Chairman for the International Association of Convention and Visitors Bureaus (because of his outreach, London and Paris joined IACVB and the organization expanded its international presence); the Advisory Board for the Georgia Department of Economic Development; and the Board of Trustees for Leadership Atlanta. Spurge was inducted into the Atlanta Hospitality Hall of Fame; Destinations International Hall of Fame; the Georgia Trend magazine Hall of Fame; the Georgia Hospitality & Travel Association Hall of Fame; and most recently the U.S. Travel Association’s Hall of Leaders. He was selected as one of the “100 Most Influential Atlantans” by the Atlanta Business Chronicle and as one of the “90 Movers and Shakers” by the Georgia Society of Association Executives.

While Spurge had many professional accomplishments, his biggest accomplishment was the person himself. Spurge was a loyal member of Wieuca Road Baptist Church for over 50 years. One of his favorite activities was his Sunday school group at church. He loved his family dearly; and, emphasized the importance of Faith, love, enthusiasm, passion, laughter, positivity, and treating people with respect. He was a devoted husband, dad, and grandfather. He valued family more than anything and his 8 grandchildren brought him great joy. He truly loved people and relationships. Spurge enjoyed spending time in Hilton Head and Amelia Island, and particularly enjoyed sitting in his chair on the beach reading books. Spurge was an avid runner and participated in many Peachtree Road races. He had a great sense of humor and loved making people laugh. His boisterous laugh was one of a kind and easily recognizable. He had many sayings, some of which he made up and some he borrowed: “Sitting on a ham sandwich starving to death;" "Don’t be at the airport when the boat comes in;" "My My My;" "That’ll make a bulldog break his chain;" "No use to be stupid if you don’t use it once in a while;" and many more.

He leaves behind his wife of 57 years, Mary Frances (Estes); his three children: Spurgeon Richardson, III (Frances), Kathryn Gerrick (Charles) and Carter Richardson; eight Grandchildren: Rachel (24), Sarah Grace (21) and Spurgeon Richardson, IV (Knox) (18); Katie (17), Will (15) and Noah (12) Gerrick; Jack (15) and Dorsey Richardson (12); his brother Randall Richardson (Mary); nephews Carl Anderson, Jr. and David Anderson; Bryan Richardson and Grant Richardson; his nieces Tracy Dionne and Amy Defoor, and nephew James Allan.

In lieu of flowers contributions can be made to The Rotary Club of Atlanta primary initiative to end polio at www.endpolio.org; The Greatest Needs Fund at The ASH Foundation (American Society of Hematology) to help cure blood-related cancers at https://www.hematology.org/Foundation/7735.aspx; or The Salvation Army (give.salvationarmyusa.org).

The family will receive visitors Wednesday, October 23, 2019 from 4:30 to 8:00 p.m. at H. M. Patterson and Son-Oglethorpe Hill in Brookhaven. A celebration of life service will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, October 24, 2019 in the Sanctuary of Peachtree Presbyterian Church, with a reception following in the Williams Center.

Servicios

  • Visitation miércoles, 23 octubre , 2019
  • Memorial Service jueves, 24 octubre , 2019

Recuerdos

Spurgeon Richardson Jr.

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Debbie MONTAG Galladora

11 noviembre , 2019

Please forgive me for not writing sooner, but I just learned tonight of Mr Richardson’s passing. He was a very dear friend of my father’s, Bob MONTAG. I know what a wonderful man he was from the way Dad always spoke of him. My sincere sympathy...
Debbie

Ted SPRAGUE

25 octubre , 2019

Spurgeon was always a unique positive person in all situations during the close to 10 years I had the privilege of knowing him in the convention and tourism industry in Atl.....Mary Frances , Tudi and I also often enjoyed each other's company....she was a wonderful compliment to her husband. Spurgeon impressed me often with his love of his family. Our prayers are with Mary Frances for God's peace, strength and comfort....said so well in
2 Corinthians1:3-7....."the God of all comfort..." We are also praying for the entire family... Ted and Tudi Sprague

John Smith

23 octubre , 2019

As general manager of the Georgia World Congress Center, fondly remember many experiences with Spurgeon Richardson over the years. One time in particular, we traveled to Chicago to call on a convention client. After a long and exhausting day returning on a late night flight to Atlanta...on the "plane train" getting to the terminal, we were all tired, but Spurgeon continued greeting people on the train and welcoming them to Atlanta! He was definitely our #1 Cheerleader. On another occasion, we were together with a group of customers at a posh restaurant on Nob Hill in San Francisco looking out over a beautiful harbor with two spectacular bridges. When it was time for Spurgeon to give his speech on why these customers should choose Atlanta...he simply said confidently..."We're going to build all of this in Atlanta for your next convention..." He will be missed...

Dale and Ellen Provenzano

23 octubre , 2019

We had great fun with Spurge as he came out of the Marketing division and had to learn how to use a radio....and find places inside the Park not named Naylors Fried Chicken. I would accompany him on the "inspections", while Ellen gave him great instructions on "pushing the button in" before talking! His enthusiasm and insight about park operations created many deep conversations about business, customer service, and life! Spurgeon introduced me to politics when he asked me to meet with Governor elect Joe Frank Harris, and we produced, cast, and directed his inaugural ball. He introduced us to Chamber execs and Association icons that guided careers, always wanting to push his team to be involved in the community.
Our thoughts and prayers will always be with Mary Frances and the Richardson family. Thank you for sharing Spurge with us for the last 45 years!

Steve and Judy Martin

23 octubre , 2019

Mary Frances, God bless you and your family. We have such fond memories of you and Spurge at the AAA meetings, dinners, and parties. You were a wonderful caregiver, teaching me how to give care with love and dignity. Now I am on my care journey, remembering how Spurge felt support and tenderness from you and your family the whole time. You deserve rest knowing you did all you could for him. Love and hugs, Judy and Steve

Ron Ebert

22 octubre , 2019

Ron and Cheri Ebert
Spurge was a friend and mentor. It was truly an honor to work under Spurgeon's leadership. Spurge will be counted as one of the greats. He will be truly missed. RIP Spurge.
Our condolences to Mary Frances and family.

Brenda Blackwood

21 octubre , 2019

I was a member of the Georgia Chapter of Executive Women's International and was at a reception the night before the announcement was made about Spurge taking the position as President of ACVB. I asked him is he was going to be the next President and he said I had to wait and gave me his wonderful smile and a big wink. It was a privilege to call Spurge a friend. I was always welcome at the ACVB with a hug and a big welcome. He was one of a kind and gave the hospitality industry across the county a real treat by being associated with a true Southern Gentleman. Brenda Blackwood

Bonnie Briel

21 octubre , 2019

I was a new ride operator on the Scream Machine in 1981 :) I can see you now, like it was yesterday...walking out from the RR gate, smiling, telling jokes... All the supervisors in tow... It always amazed me how you knew every single employee name! You made quite an impression on a young 15 year old 😀 You are missed!

Bob and Alex Johnson

21 octubre , 2019

One of the best always.. love you Mary Frances he will be so missed but Heaven gained an amazing Georgia bulldog!!!

wayne stetson

21 octubre , 2019

I was surprised and saddened when I learned of Spurg's passing. As the VP of The Builders Show, which convened in Atlanta for several years, he was instrumental in booking this major event in the GWCC. No matter what we asked of the city, Spurg welcomed the request with a smile and action. He was a great asset to the Atlanta Convention Bureau and will be always remembered.

DE LA FAMILIA