Cover photo for Willie P. Richardson's Obituary
Willie P. Richardson Profile Photo

Willie P. Richardson

d. April 10, 2020

Willie Price Richardson

Willie Price Richardson was the only child born to Pearl Ree (Griggers) Bonner and Leonard Richardson on April 26, 1940. He was raised by his mother and step-father William Bonner, his best buddy who he loved dearly and fondly called him Bunny. Since Willie was the only child he was spoiled and showered with lots of love from his mother, Aunt Della and Bunny. His mother, Bunny and Aunt Della all preceded him in death.

For the first 14 years of his life Willie grew up and attended school in Yazoo City,  Mississippi. In 1954, his family moved to Detroit, Michigan where he completed his education in the Detroit Public School System and graduated from Northwestern High School in 1959. While attending Northwestern High School he was one of their star basketball players. For many years his picture hung on the wall of Northwestern's Athletes Hall of Fame. Upon graduation from high school Willie attended Kentucky State University. During the summer of 1962, Willie was introduced to his future wife and soulmate Roberta Collier, by one of his best friends Bernard Irby. By the end of the summer Willie and Roberta knew that a special bond had developed between them. Fall came and it was time for Willie to return to Kentucky State and Roberta, who was visiting her sister Jean that summer had to return to her home and college in St. Louis, Missouri. Love letters were written between them for a full year and Willie convinced Roberta that she should move to Detroit to finish school. During the summer of 1963 Ro as he fondly called her, left her home in St. Louis and moved to Detroit to be close to Willie.

Willie's mother was a little unhappy when Willie told her that he was not returning to school that fall and in September 1963, he started working for Ford Motor Company (Rawsonville Plant). In October, of 1963 on Sweetest Day, at a romantic dinner, Willie asked Roberta to be his wife. It was also during this time that Willie accepted Christ in his life and decided to join along with Ro, Goodwill Baptist Church, under the leadership of Rev. Leland Williams. Willie and Ro also developed a strong family bond with Rev. Williams, Clara and all the children. On April 11, 1964, Willie and Roberta in the presence of many family members and friends were united in marriage with Rev. Williams officiating. To this union two children were born. One daughter Deneen Trevae Richardson-Jessie, who preceded him in death and one son Jason Willie Richardson. Willie was considered one of the Good Guys, not because he was easy going, he gave tough love, he was a strong role model to all his children, grand and great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and cousins who came to visit over the years during the summer or live with us until they got on their feet. He was a family man, an awesome provider, well respected, he had this off-beat but cute sense of humor. All the grandchildren loved their PaPa, he never met a stranger, to know him was to love him. Willie worked at Ford Motor Company for 33years and retired in January of 1997. He use to say he retired to become the go-to person for money or whatever the family needed, school bus or Uber driver and sometimes babysitter for all the grand and great- grandchildren children. As time passed Willie and Ro moved their church membership to West Side Unity under the leadership of Ruth Moseley, and later followed Ron D. Coleman when he started Godland Unity Church. After the transition of their minister Rev. Coleman Willie & Ro decided to join Pastors James and Melanie Moss of Living Waters Church.

On Good Friday (Jesus Day), April 10 2020 at 3:55 p.m. A Dear and Loving husband, father, grand and great-grandfather, brother-in-law, uncle, cousin, and friend to many, made his transition after a brief illness at Royal Oak Beaumont Hospital. God saw that Willie was tired so he called him home to rest, he had a long good memorable life and most certainly had earned his wings.

Willie leaves to cherish his memory his wife of 56 years, the love of his life & soul mate Roberta (Ro) M. Richardson; a son Jason Willie Richardson; five granddaughters Joi and Kia Richardson- Jessie, Jaela, Jaliyah and Justice Richardson; and grandsons David Jessie and Paris Richardson; seven great-grandchildren Cherish Prater, Eternity Rutledge, Miracle, Paris Jr. Maniyah, Payden Richardson, and Jace M.Washington; four sisters-in-law Carolyn Holland, Patricia Jackson (Vernon) Dorothy Ingrum and Alice Michel in St. Louis Missouri; his special daughter/niece LaRonda McFadden; special nephew/son Waddell Sherrod White, (Atlanta, GA); special cuz/daughter Valerie Gaines, Chicago, IL; godsister Pamala Broner; and a host of other nieces, nephews cousins, our church and other family and friends, too numerous to name that lived not only in Detroit but also in St. Louis, MO, Chicago, IL, Atlanta, Georgia, Maryland, Mississippi, New Orleans, Texas, California, Alaska and Charlotte, N. Carolina. Special friends to the end Calvin Williams (deceased), Bernard Irby, Charles Boyd, Ralph Edwards, David Watkins, and close neighbors in Oak Park, MI.

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