David Richardson ’47

David Walthall Richardson, passed away peacefully on July 3, 2020, at Westminster-Canterbury in Henrico County, Virginia.

Dr. Richardson was born on March 22, 1925, in Nanking, China, the youngest child of Presbyterian missionaries Donald William Richardson and Ella Virginia McIlwaine Richardson.

Besides his parents, Dr. Richardson was predeceased by his wife, Frances Lee Wingfield Richardson, who died in January, 2007. Sons, David Morris Richardson and John Lee Richardson predeceased their father. Dr. Richardson’s beloved older sisters, Orene Monette Richardson McRae and Florence Virginia Richardson Robertson predeceased their brother. He was also predeceased by niece, Virginia McIlwaine McRae Long Dodson.

Survivors include daughter, Sarah Carter Richardson and wife, Nancy Anne Jack, of New Kent, Virginia; son, Donald Wingfield Richardson and wife, Anne, of Norfolk, Virginia; and grandchildren, Lesley Hastings Richardson of Seattle, Washington and Caswell Wingfield Richardson of Norfolk, Virginia. Dr. Richardson was very proud of his three great-grandchildren, Sofia Frances Richardson of Virginia Beach, Virginia and Otis Richardson Lang and Elouise Morgan Lang of Seattle, Washington.

Dr. Richardson’s last 12 years were immeasurably enhanced by his abiding friendship with Frances Walker Holladay. Also left to cherish his memory are his nieces, Sandra Robertson O’Neal of Columbia, South Carolina and Donna Virginia Robertson of Chicago, Illinois.

Dr. Richardson is also survived by his nephews, Charles Henry Robertson of Richmond, Virginia and Bruce McRae Robertson of Eden Prairie, Minnesota.

Dr. Richardson graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School in Richmond in 1942 and began his studies at Davidson College. The Second World War intervened, and he served in the U.S. Navy as an electronics technician from 1944 to 1946.

After returning from service, Dr. Richardson finished his bachelor’s degree at Davidson and began his medical training at Harvard Medical School. He married Frances Wingfield in June 1948, after his first year.

Upon graduation, Dr. Richardson completed his internship and residency at Yale University Medical School. The young family then returned to Richmond, where Dr. Richardson received his cardiology training at Medical College of Virginia and also served there as Professor of Cardiology for 35 years.

He was Chairman of Cardiology at MCV from 1972 to 1988, retiring in 1995, but continuing to work one afternoon a week as Emeritus Professor for another decade.

Two European academic sabbaticals were highlights for Dr. Richardson and his family. From 1962 to 1963, he served with the Queen’s Professor of medicine, Sir George Pickering as a visiting investigator at the Radcliffe Infirmary in Oxford, United Kingdom.

In 1971-72, Dr. Richardson served as visiting investigator at the Institute of Cardiovascular Research, University of Milan with Professor Alberto Zanchetti. His children, Sarah and Donald recall those adventurous years with fondness.

Dr. Richardson’s academic accomplishments are too numerous to mention. He was either the main author or co-author of 109 medical articles published from 1957 to 1999.

He was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa at Davidson and Alpha Omega Alpha, a group honoring high achievement in medical studies, while at Harvard. He was a member of 15 medical investigative groups and was either principal investigator or co-investigator in 12 major clinical trials.

He was most proud of his role as principal investigator for the Aspirin Myocardial Infarction Study in the late 1970s. His contributions to Medicine were honored by being made Laureate of the American College of Physicians and the American College of Cardiology and being elected as a member of the American Society for Clinical Investigations, among many others.

Memorial contributions may be made to the David Richardson Professorship in Cardiology at Virginia Commonwealth University, mcvfoundation.org, and to Ginter Park Presbyterian Church.

A Zoom memorial service will be held, with more information at https://www.ginterparkpc.org/post/memorial-information-for-dr-david-richardson.

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