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Paul Edwards Richardson

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Born July 15, 1935, to Edward Richardson and Elaine (Edwards) Richardson, Paul Edwards Richardson passed away Sunday Aug. 7, 2022. He was preceded in death by his parents Elaine (1993) and Edward Richardson (1986), and brothers Mike (2013) and Cecil (circa 1937) Richardson. He is survived by his wife, Juanita (Barton); brothers Delphis and Donald Richardson; sisters Malia Henriquez, Carmenceta Perkins and Tereseta Hicks; daughters, Natasha Dela Cruz and Tonia Richardson; grandsons, Alexander and Emmanuel Dela Cruz; and a multitude of beloved nieces and nephews.

Paul studied accounting at the University of Northwestern Ohio and worked at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base for 45 years as a program manager in Air Force Logistic Command, where he was fondly nicknamed Paul of Procurement. He founded Richardson Consulting to provide his procurement expertise as a contractor during retirement.

While Paul was passionate about grilling, college basketball and football, he filled his retirement life with purpose through his work through the Catholic Church, the Ignatian Spirituality Project, touching hundreds of lives along the way. He was ordained a Catholic Deacon in 1976 in the first class of deacons for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati and was their first Black deacon.

Paul served for 10 years as president of the National Association of Black Catholic Deacons, and in 2005 was recognized with the Fr. Joseph Davis Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2013 he was among six Black Catholics honored for service to the Archdiocese with the prestigious Ministerial Award from Archbishop Schnurr.

For 36 years Paul served St. Paul’s Parish as a deacon and spiritual director, where his homilies were renowned for the way they touched people’s souls. He also coached people interested in improving their prayer relationship with God and assisted in bringing awareness of the Divine in all creation.

Paul volunteered as a retreat facilitator for the Ignatian Spirituality Project and helped train other facilitators to provide retreats to men in recovery in Dayton area homeless shelters.

Visitation will be held Friday, Aug. 12, at 11 a.m. at Saint Paul Catholic Church, 308 Phillips Street, Yellow Springs, Ohio. A funeral Mass will be at noon. Interment will follow at Saint Paul Catholic Cemetery, Yellow Springs, Ohio. Social distancing protocol will be observed, and face masks will be required. Out of respect for Paul’s wife and others in attendance with compromised immunity, please honor this requirement. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made in Paul’s memory to the Ignatian Spirituality Project at

Arrangements entrusted to Porter-Qualls-Freeman Funeral Home.


8 Responses to “Paul Edwards Richardson”

  1. Pam Marion says:

    Deacon Paul will be remembered by my family for his kindness and for his hearty laughs. He had time for all, especially the kids. He will be missed by everyone who knew him. My thoughts are with Jaunita and all his family.

  2. Jeff Koeller says:

    My deepest condolences to the Richardson Family. Through the catechism at Saint Paul’s Church, Deacon Richardson had a profound impact on my life. I will always remember his kind heart, and uplifting and impactful words. I still remember vividly Deacon Richardson’s homily during the Christmas season where he conveyed that Christmas is not about the “presents”, but rather the “presence” of Christ. I am confident that Deacon Paul is now in the presence of Christ.

  3. Marsha Ridenour says:

    Deacon Paul married Bill Bebko and me in a private but meaningful service. Juanita was the only attendant. Bill always appreciated his willingness to come to any one’s aid and did so many times. While I am no longer in Yellow Springs Deacon Paul will always be remembered with fondness

  4. George Rike says:

    If ask for one word to describe Paul it would be “jolly”.

    Paul would be the conductor on the “ Polar Express” taking kids to see Santa,
    But Juanita would be driving the train!

  5. Jane Hubschman Baily says:

    I was TRULY saddened to hear this news!Deacon Paul and Juanita were our neighbors too. He was a WONDERFUL MAN!!
    Like my brother Don’s comments Deacon Paul officiated at my wedding as well…29 years…My Husband Joseph converted 3 years ago and we pray our daily Rosary for All the Deacons who have helped us and that includes Deacon Paul.
    I converted also and he taught the CCD class I attended several times with a childhood friend.

  6. Don Hubschman says:

    Condolences to the Richardson family. Deacon Richardson was not only
    a long time neighbor of ours, but he also officiated my marriage to my wife of 32 years and baptized my two oldest children. I will fondly remember these events as well as Deacon Richardson and other neighborhood dads hosting the Block bonfires on Trick or Treat nights when I was a child. It was also fun to take break from collecting candy and visit the bonfire to roast a hot dog or marshmallow and grab a cup of apple cider under his guiding eyes and hearty laughs. The world was a better place because of men like Deacon Richardson. Rest in peace.

  7. Deacon Joseph Connor says:

    Rev. Mr Paul Edwards Richardson was a warm, supportive and funny brother in Christ. He was a mentor to me in the National Association of Black Catholic Deacon (NABCD). As a mentor, Deacon Paul was very knowledgeable, honest and candid. His spiritual insight and passion for the organisation and its success, helped guide me as I sought the position of president of the National Association of Black Catholic Deacons. As a Black Catholic Deacon his knowledge of the deaconate and the history of this organisation helped me in my duties as president. Our conversations the last 10 or so years were over the phone were informative and enlightening. My wife and I enjoyed being in his present when we shared lunch and dinners over the years. We will miss him. Deacon Joseph Connor, President National Association of Black Catholic Deacons.

  8. Dear Juanita and family,

    Paul was a person of joy , faith and spirituality.
    I was fortunate to ride with him to several conferences.
    I will miss his laughter, smile and humor.

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