Dorothy Ava Shipman Richardson
Passed away on October 7, 2019
Dorothy Ava Shipman Richardson (1923-2019)
Dot or Dottie, as she was known to her many friends and relatives, was born July 1, 1923, in Shelby, North Carolina, to General McClellan Shipman and Deloris Verene Mauldin Shipman. Her brother G. M. Shipman Jr. (later Gary Mack Shipman) was born the following year. Her father’s employer moved them to several South Carolina towns before he joined Liberty Life Insurance company and settled in Greenville. There she graduated from high school and then from Furman College (later University) with a degree in education. Dot taught elementary students in Greenville until she married Haskell D Richardson, a WWII veteran, in 1948. The couple moved to Chicago where he attended the American Academy of Arts while she again taught school at the elementary level. Upon completion of his studies in 1950, they moved to Nashville, where he began employment as an artist at the Sunday School Board of the Southern Baptist Convention. A year or so later she was fully employed as a mother with the birth of their first son, Haskell Dean (later Dean Haskell). Over the next several years they added three more children, Russell McClellan, Mark Douglas, and Deloris Ellen. Mother managed four preschoolers without a car, which Dad needed to get to work and back. How Dot did that without becoming “dotty” is a mystery to her children now. All the children remember that she sang to them in French and read them poetry and stories, instilling in them a lifelong love of reading. In the late 1950s she was a contestant on the television game show The Price Is Right (gaining their attention by waving a pink glove from the audience). She charmed host Bill Cullen with her South Carolina accent and won a silver coffee set, a marble coffee table, and a small organ. In 1967, Dot returned to teaching, starting and directing the kindergarten and later also preschool at Woodmont Baptist Church, where the family had been members since 1952. During her tenure, she and Haskell put all four children through college at Belmont. She updated her education skills with courses there as well, and in return provided opportunities for Belmont student teachers to gain experience teaching in Woodmont’s preschool program. After Haskell’s death in 1977, she continued to direct the kindergarten/preschool program (one grandson, Kevin, and one granddaughter, Rebecca, were among her students, and daughter-in-law Gayle was one of her teachers) until her retirement in 1988. Over the years, as a member of Woodmont, she participated in several mission trips (including Jamaica, Japan, and Metairie, Louisiana), sang in the choir (once at Carnegie Hall), and was involved in many other church activities. Her actions demonstrated her faith and her love for her church family. Throughout her life she spent a portion of her summer at her family cabin (and later cottage) in Cedar Mountain, North Carolina. She loved the mountains and instilled that love in her children. Dot was an avid gardener, a voracious reader (especially of mysteries), a lover of music and birds, a skilled knitter and seamstress, a gentle, patient, diplomatic teacher, and a wonderful wife and mother. Her children can testify to that. Dorothy died October 7, 2019. She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, her daughter-in-law Gayle, and her brother. She is survived by her four children (Dean [Susan], Russell [Gayle], Mark [Suzanne], and Dee Morrison [Bob]), eight grandchildren (Rebecca Bloom, Claire Richardson, Keith Richardson [Nicole], Sean Richardson [Jennifer], Kevin Richardson, Ellen Morrison, Richard Morrison [Jaclyn], and Laurel Morrison), nine great-grandchildren, and eleven nieces and nephews. We all will cherish her memory until we meet again in heaven. She is in a better place now, but she made this world seem a better place as well.
- Gathering of Family and Friends Saturday, October 19, 2019
- Memorial Service Saturday, October 19, 2019