Theadore “Ted” Richardson, 86, of the Conch Republic died peacefully surrounded by family October 25, 2019 from complications of Parkinson’s Disease.
Ted was born to the late Ethelyn and Bob Richardson in Trinity, North Carolina. He graduated from Randleman High School and North Carolina State University before establishing his lifelong business—Rhododendron Farm in Mountain Home, North Carolina.
He is survived by his loving wife of 57 years, Ann, daughters, Julie and Georgia and sisters, Mary Lee and Bonnie. He was preceded in death by brother, Bob, and sisters, Margaret and Alice.
Ted was passionate about education and was instrumental in founding the JC Raulston Arboretum in Raleigh, The North Carolina Arboretum in Asheville and Bullington Gardens in Hendersonville. He was a member and officer of the NC Nursery and Landscape Association, the American Rhododendron Society, Kiwanis, and International Plant Propagators Association. One of his great honors was being the invited keynote speaker to the Royal Horticultural Society in London during the Chelsea Flower Show.
Ted’s sense of wanderlust and adventure never waned. In the early years he cooked up a crazy scheme to move rhododendron back and forth between North Carolina and Florida as a business primarily so that he had an excuse to fly his airplane. In retirement he traveled around the globe. In his later years he wore out a beach cruiser by biking twenty miles a day.
Friends and family will fondly remember Ted’s dry sense of humor and some of his favorite sayings. He often said, “physics is physics” an adage that applied to most any situation—especially one where a daughter found herself in some sort of a predicament. Another, “any meal is a good one as long as it includes cornbread” was generally meant as a not-so-subtle hint to the cook.
Ted’s fondness for Hawaii originated with brother Bob’s stories from Pearl Harbor. Throughout his life, when he was not visiting, he was dreaming of his next trip. This was apparent in his wardrobe which consisted primarily of Hawaiian shirts. Ted appreciated the double meaning of the Hawaiian word “Aloha” as both a hello and a goodbye.
In lieu of flowers please consider a gift to the Bullington Gardens 95 Upper Red Oak Trail Hendersonville, NC 28792 https://bullingtongardens.org