THE LIFE AND LEGACY OF STANTON
Stanton (Stan) Edgar Richardson, Jr. was born in Winslow, Arizona to parents Stanton Richardson, Sr. and Shirley Renfro-Richardson. Stanton, Sr. was from Shreveport, Louisiana and was based at Radar Air Force Base in Winslow, while serving in the military. His mother, Shirley Renfro was a native Navajo Indian from Morton, Mississippi but, she grew up in Winslow. In her eyes, Winslow was home.
Shirley had six kids from a previous marriage, namely, Geary Norris, Michael Norris, Janet Green, John Norris, James Norris, and Nada Norris. Stanton, Sr. and Shirley’s blended family started with their first child together, Stanton, Jr. in 1962. They later had his younger brother (the baby of the bunch) Anthony (Tony) Richardson.
In 1965, Stan’s parents moved their family to the Freedom West area in San Francisco’s Fillmore District. Stan grew up in Freedom West and attended Sheridan Elementary, James Denman, Jr. High and Galileo Academy of Science & Technology High School.
In January of 1985, Stan’s younger brother, Tony, fell ill and passed away from cancer. Tony’s passing was hard on the entire family. Stan took it especially hard because he always felt like his little brother was also his best friend. After Tony’s passing, Stan traveled a rough path for a while; however, his life took a turn towards good when he began to follow the advice of his mother and family, as well as his childhood friends, Eric and Donna Crawford. Eric and Donna also lived in Freedom West, and it was there that they would meet, in the 70’s and become friends. Their mother, Shirley Estelle Crawford (also known as “Shirley” like Stan’s mother), opened her home and heart to him, and treated him like he was her own. Stan had a profound amount of respect for her, and the entire family and always credited the Crawford family and his younger brother, Tony for sparking the fire in him to become the best version of himself. They always believed in him and showered him with love. It was because of those individuals that Stan decided to further his education and become what he always was— a teacher, in life and the classroom.
At the age of 19, Stan met Sylvia Jean Whitley in 1981. Stan and Sylvia had Stanton, III (Papa) in 1983 and Dominique Denise (Poon) in 1985. It was then that they became a blended family. Sylvia blessed Stan with bonus children: Edward (Pete) M. Pierre, Laffite (Sug) Dupree, Emma (Puk) J. Barnett and Tiffany (Big Mama) R. Simpson. Stan and Sylvia moved their family to Potrero Hill and started a life together.
Sylvia also traveled a rough path, and it took her away from her family, for a time. Hard times fell on Stan when Sylvia went away, around the end of the eighties. It was at that time that Stan realized he had to do more with his life. Unfortunately, the family they created would separate. Stan was left to raise Stan, III and Dominique without their mother present. Stan moved his two children out of Potrero Hill to his mother’s house in Daly City, CA on Orizaba Street. They lived with her until Stan began to get his life together.
For a while, it was hard for Stan. His pride led him to leave his mother’s home and attempt to raise his children on his own. He went on to attend San Francisco City College in San Francisco. While doing so, sometimes he brought the children to class with him because he could not afford childcare.
In 1997, Stan earned his AA degree in Criminal Justice. After graduating from City College, Stan and his children moved to Richmond, CA in 1999. He then went on a search to find Sylvia and his bonus kids because it was always his dream and belief that they would reconnect and rebuild their family and legacy together. He was always in love with Sylvia so much so, he would sit on the porch most days singing songs about her return… Brandy by the Ojays was his favorite to describe his pain of missing Sylvia. Stan found Sylvia as she was on her journey to better herself and reconnect with her children. They rekindled their love in 1999.
Sylvia moved to Richmond with Stan and their two youngest children. Together, they went on a hunt to find Sylvia’s 4 older children and bring them home. They succeeded and reconnected all of their children.
In 2000, they married and remained so until their deaths in 2023, less than a month apart from each other.
Stan continued his education and earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management, and a Master of Arts in Education & Educational Studies from the University of Phoenix. Stan was enrolled in the Doctoral program at Alliant International University, at the time of his passing.
Stan’s first job was as a bank teller at Bank of America in San Francisco. He went on to work as a social worker for Travelers Aid, a company dedicated to helping the homeless. Stan got that job by the Grace of God because at the time he and his two children were homeless due to Stan’s decision to leave his mother’s home. He went there to seek aid in finding housing and employment and found both. It was Travelers Aid that helped Stan not only with employment with their company and the funding, and other resources, to place he and his kids in a better situation. Travelers Aid also helped Stan find a home in Richmond and from there life began to get better for them.
As his educational pursuits continued so, did his career path become, clearer. Eventually, he became a junior high and high school teacher. Stan worked at Richmond High, Kennedy, Gompers, and Lavonya Dejean Middle School. He was known to work at the schools where his children and even his grandson, Emons attended. He made sure that his kids stayed on the right track, while pursuing his career.
Stan demanded that every kid in his home receive a high school diploma. And they all did just that. Stan and Sylvia made sure of it!
In his final days, Stan became an Educational Specialist at Oakland Charter High School where he was also the track and basketball coach, and mentor to the young men, at the school.Stan always encouraged his students and showed them how to make the right moves towards their goals in life. His students came to him with their challenges for direction and several of them dedicated their efforts to succeeding in school this school year in honor of Mr. Richardson. “What would Mr. Richardson say…?”
Stan loved his job and his colleagues. He referred to them as his “Work Family.” Especially Ms. Booker. He considered her a friend and honorary daughter.
Stan loved when it rained. He used to sit on the porch in the rain and enjoy the sound and smell. He enjoyed sitting by the water and at any given time, he would go to the Marina to “watch the water and think.”
He loved to sing, rap and listen to music. Mostly 70’s music but, he loved Bay Area rappers namely, Too Short and E40. Stan loved to dance, always doing the robot when he was in full party mode. He loved to watch football and basketball with Sylvia, both of them, screaming at the TV when the games were on.
When he was younger, Stan ran track and still was known to beat anybody on the track up until he passed. That man was fast on his feet and light even though he was 6 ft. 3 in.
Telling Jokes was also his favorite thing to do, and his specialty. As a result, Stan will definitely be remembered as the “family comedian.” He had a great impression of Bernie Mac.
Stan was a Jehovah’s Witness. He began studying the word after moving to Richmond and he and Sylvia’s marriage was ordained by a pastor of the Jehovah’s Witness faith. Stan and Sylvia as well as their two younger children studied the word, and attended the Kingdom Hall in Richmond, CA.
Stan was preceded in death by his wife Sylvia Whitley, his bonus son, Laffite (Sug) Dupree Pierre; his parents, Stanton, Sr. and Shirley Renfro-Richardson; his bonus mom, Shirley Crawford; his siblings: Gary Norris, Anthony (Tony) Richardson.
Stan is survived by his children: Stanton (Papa) E. Richardson, III and Dominique (Poon) D. Richardson-Nickleberry; his bonus children and he and Sylvia’s god-children, Jimmieka (LuLu aka Fubu) D. Mills and Chaz G. Sonniera. His Grandchildren- Emon R. Hopkins, Xander L. Nickleberry, David (Deuce) Tatmon, Jr. and Emari (Boom) Jones. His bonus grandchildren: Ontariana (MooMoo) Gant, Princess T. Talimoni (Tasi), Tyloni Mason (Red), Anthony H. Pierre, Jai (Pierre) Boatman, Damien Pierre, Jalen Pierre, Devon Pierre, Jason McClain, DeMarco McClain, Deontae Pierre, Danielle Pierre and Dupree (Peanut) Pierre. His Siblings: Micheal Norris, Janet Green, Nada Norris, John Norris, and James Norris. His best friend (more like a brother) Eric Crawford and Donna Crawford as well as well, as a host of other nieces, nephews, cousins, and family members; along with his students in class, on the field, the basketball court and the young men he mentored, as well as the many friends he met in life. There are too many to name, but were just as important, loved, and respected by Stan.