Former McKeesport resident Rudy Eugene Richardson, 84, of White Oak, PA, went home to be with the Lord on Wednesday, August 12, 2020, at the Canterbury Place Hospice in Lawrenceville, PA.
He was born in the Bronx borough of New York City on December 7, 1935, to the late Rita Giles Wilson and Will Richardson. He is also preceded in death by stepfather, Moses Wilson, two brothers, Stanley and Reggie Richardson, and a sister, Gertrude Easterling Coles. He was also raised by his late Uncle Phillip and Aunt Blanche Easterling of McKeesport.
Rudy is survived by his wife, Dorothy of 57 years, daughter, Tonya (Gerald) Johnson of Montclair, NJ, two grandchildren, Deven and Bria Johnson of Montclair, NJ; three godchildren, sister-in-laws, numerous, nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.
He attended McKeesport Area Senior High School, and was a member of the track and field team through his service in the military. He served the U.S. Army from 1954 to 1962, and received honorable discharge.
As a competitive athlete, he was also a master pool player, very passionate about the game his entire life.
During his professional career as a lightweight boxer, Rudy fought locally in his hometown, and competed in the U.S. National Golden Gloves championships. In 1965, he was featured in The Ring, an American boxing magazine published in 1922, for his achievements in the sport of boxing. He fought Billy Backus, a retired New York-based World Welterweight champion, in 1965. During his match against Rex Agin, the two appeared on the same fighting card, featuring Cassius Clay (Muhammad Ali) at the Pittsburgh Civic Arena on January 24, 1963. He also connected with one of his favorites, Sugar Ray Robinson.
He traveled around the country and to Canada to defend his boxing record. And according to fightstat.com, that includes a total of 39 Bouts, 218 Rounds, 16 Wins, 22 Losses, and 5 knockouts. As a longtime community mentor, he launched a neighborhood boxing program to train local youth in Harrison Village. In 2014, his name was inducted on to The Spirit of Youth Moran Field monument wall, dedicated to yesterday’s and tomorrow’s legendary sports figures, great educators, veterans and civic organizations of the McKeesport community.
As a police officer for the City of McKeesport for 21 years, he held various roles on the force, including the SWAT team, and filled in as acting lieutenant and warden, as needed. Optimist International presented him with the 1976 Respect for Law Award for his outstanding service to citizens in the McKeesport community. He received numerous other awards and certificates throughout his police career, and beyond.
During retirement years, he assisted his wife as a part time teacher’s aide in their family owned day care center, and outside daycare facilities that she later directed. He held various security jobs, and was a youth counselor at the New Castle Development Youth Center where he mentored teen boys.
This man of God, grew up in Bethlehem Baptist Church for 50 years, and served on the Men’s Senior Usher Board. Rudy also became a member of Elizabeth Nesmith A.M.E. Church in West Mifflin, and served on the usher board. In 2002, he was ordained as a Deacon at the Lighthouse of Peace Ministries of the McKeesport Towers, where he and his wife, Dorothy, an ordained minister, served the elderly community tenants at the Towers. He was a participating member of the Community Life Living Independence for the Elderly for 12 years before his home going.
Services for Rudy were held August 22, at the House of Jackson Memorial Chapel in Donora.
Call 1-800-272-3900 to donate to the Alzheimer’s Association in his honor. Also visit, http://act.alz.org/goto/Rudy_Richardson