Norman Smith Richards ’57

Norman Smith Richards of Davidson died on June 4, 2022 after a brief illness.

He was born on October 6, 1932 in Lancaster, SC, the son of the late James Prioleau Richards and Katharine Wylie Richards. He graduated from Heath Springs High School in Heath Springs, SC and served two years in Europe with the US Army Airborne. He then entered Davidson College where he graduated in 1957.

He spent his entire career in sales and sales management in the packaging industry, first with Sonoco Products, and finally with JR Cole Industries of Charlotte.

Norman is survived by his wife, Zelime Dickson Richards (Lemie) and their four sons: Joe (Helen), Dick (Garnett), Norman (Lillian), and George (Michelle). Their nine grandchildren were one of the joys of his life. They are John, Genie (Pedro Oliviera), Joe, Henry, Clay, Leemie, Susan, Lilly Carl, and Davis. He also is survived by his sister Jane Richards Elliott, brother-in-law George Dickson (Ann), and nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his parents and brother, Rich (Dot).

Norman had a life-long interest in sports, especially Davidson Wildcats, and loved hiking in the mountains. He and Lemie also enjoyed travel. He was a YMCA member for more than fifty years and served several terms on the Lake Norman Board of Managers. He was a member of Davidson College Presbyterian Church, where he was an elder. In the community, Norman was active with Meals on Wheels, Second Harvest, and Loaves and Fishes. He was also an avid gardener and loyal to Davidson College.

Memorials may be sent to Davidson College Presbyterian Church (PO Box 337, Davidson, NC 28036); The Pines Residents Fund (400 Avinger Lane, Davidson, NC 28036) or Davison College (405 North Main St. 28036). A service of thanksgiving for Norman’s life will be held on Friday, June 10 at 3:00 p.m. at Davidson College Presbyterian Church. The family will greet friends following the service in the Congregation House. Online condolences at