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Hortense "Tense" Earl Richardson

1918 ~ 2010

Our saintly mother passed away on August 14, 2010, at 6:14 p.m., in St. Mark's Hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah, surrounded by family who stood watch over her day and night. She was born August 23, 1918, in Delta, Utah, to Orange Wight Earl and Effie Jane Jones Earl.

She was married to Justin Veryl Richardson (dec.) for 50 years, and is the mother of 10 children: Verla (Raymond) Davidson; Hope (Steven) Barrowes; Dee; Bonnie (Blair) Stephens; John El (Lenny) Richardson; Sam (Clara) Richardson; Nancy Petersen; Susan Brady; Randy (Jody) Richardson; and Glen Richardson (dec.). Mom took Jeff (Julie) Svare into her heart, and he became the "11th of 10 children." Her 42 grandchildren and 68 great-grand children and one great-great-grandchild will miss her sorely.

Mom was a genius in her own right, although her husband was an acknowledged one. The two of them forged through life, enlivening our lives with insight, strength and grit. Mom's gentle touch taught us all what love meant, and she never wavered in her devotion to us.

Although she only had a 10th grade education, Mom accomplished much in her life--besides raising 10 rambunctious children, who were her greatest achievement. Among other things, she wrote and directed many plays and road shows for over 50 years, wrote the narration and text for two successful cantatas and three books of poetry. Her poetry penetrated deep into the heart, poetry that seemed to flow from her effortlessly, her last one being a few weeks before her death. Her paintings were coveted at weddings and special occasions. She traveled to Egypt, the Holy Land, Mexico City, and various U.S. cities.

She served in the New Mexico Albuquerque Mission soon after her husband's death on March 15, 1985; was nominated for Utah Mother of the Year in 1981; was President of Utah Mothers Association in 1983; worked with the "50th Anniversary Salute to Mothers" in New York in 1985; held many church callings; sang in the ward choir and the Salt Lake Oratorio Society; was honored as Citizen of the Year in South Salt Lake; and eagerly devoted her life to serving others. She was an active and faithful member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Among other awards, Mom won first place in the Deseret News-sponsored poetry contest in 1945 for her poem "Gifts of the Heart." To you, our mother, the gifts you bequeathed to us, we now return to you: Strength, Courage, Patience, Kindness, Forgiveness, Happiness, Love, Service, Truth, Sustaining Love, and Humor. Mom, we hope we deserve your love.

Our Mom was preceded in death by her parents and all her brothers and sisters: LaVar (Violet) Earl; Elaine (David) Richardson; Arlene (Milton) Carlos; and Elmo (Patricia) (Florence) Earl. Her mother passed away during the flu epidemic of 1918-1920 when she as two years old; her father died when she was 10. She never knew a mother and was raised by her brothers and


The funeral will be held at Haven Ward, 2280 S. 300 E., Salt Lake City, Utah, at 11:00 a.m. Friday, August 20. A viewing will be held Thursday, August 19, 6:00 to 8:00 p.m., at the Cottonwood Memorial Mortuary, 4670 S. Highland Drive, Salt Lake City, and one hour prior to the funeral, 9:45 to 10:45 a.m. Condolences may be sent to