Vivian Jones Richardson

Published 7:37 am Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Vivian Jones Richardson, 102, joined her family in heaven Monday, March 25, 2013. She was born on March 20, 1911 in Enon.

In her 102 years, she lived through many changes in her rural community and in the world. Her life began on her parents’ small farm before cars, electricity or even indoor plumbing came to Washington Parish. Through the years, she has passed on so many family “stories” of the hard work and joys of her growing-up years. One of the most endearing is her remembrance of the end of World War I.

There was a terrible flu epidemic in 1918, and it touched her family. Her mother was just recovering from a bout with the illness, when the family learned that her Mizell grandparents in Rio (near Bogalusa) were suffering, also. Vivian (age 7) and her younger brother were put into the wagon (pulled by two mules) by their parent, and they made the journey to help care for the family. When they arrived, the house was filled with sick relatives and those trying to cook and care for them. One Mizell cousin had already died from the flu in the house, and others were very ill. “Mama” was put to bed on a pallet in the dining room and “Papa” went to work waiting on the sick. A few days later Vivian and her little brother were playing in Grandpa’s wagon just outside the back door of the kitchen, when they heard gunshots. The frightened children ran inside. They had heard the adults talking about the war, and they thought the war had come to them! The adults assured them they were safe and told them that people were actually celebrating the end of the war. Not long after, all the Mizell family recovered from the flu and Vivian’s family returned to their farm in Enon.

She finished school at Enon and attended Southeastern Louisiana College in Hammond. She was recently recognized as SLU’s oldest graduate. She began teaching in 1936 and taught mostly second grade in Enon for the next 33 years. When she retired, she taught at the new Bowling Green School in Franklinton for five years, from 1969 until 1975, when she retired again. She loved working with children, and often taught them at church — Boy Scouts, Vacation Bible School, etc.

In 1938 she married Odell Richardson, also from Enon, on Christmas Day. They moved into a house about two miles from her parents’ home, where she continued to live her entire life. They never raised any children of their own, so they just loved all their nieces and nephews and treated them as their own children.

Mrs. Vivian was always very active in Enon Baptist Church and served her Lord in many capacities there and in the community. She was a great cook, and her family and friends enjoyed many meals. She was also a kind, soft-spoken, gentle soul to her family. She and “Uncle Odell” created many fond memories for her extended family, as well as many others in the Enon Community.

She will be greatly missed by her surviving nieces and nephews, who love her dearly and have remained close because of the common bond of their beloved “Aunt Vivian.” They are Pam Penny, Bill Armstrong, Phyllis Panos, Sandra Nelson, Andy Case, Lionel Jones, Kaylor Jones and Winola Holliday. Many other friend and relatives from the Enon area, many who called her “Aunt Vivian,” mourn her loss.

She was preceded in death by her husband of more than 50 years, Odell; her parents, Amazon Mizell Jones and Lorah Jones; and her four younger siblings, Varnel, Maxine, Voleska and Kyle Jones, as well as nephews Frank Case and Kyle Karson.

Visitation will be held Wednesday, March 27 at Enon Baptist Church from 9 a.m. until time for the funeral service at 11 a.m., conducted by the Rev. Pete Williams and the Rev. Jeremy Ingram, interim pastor of Enon Baptist Church.

She will be buried beside her husband in the church cemetery. Pallbearers for the service will be some of her great–nephews, Kevin, Kasey and Kody Jones, Jeremy Richardson, Brent and Kyle Jones and Frankie Case.

Crain Funeral Home is in charge of services.