By Dawn Richardson
I would like to tell you a little about a wonderful man. His name was Lance Richardson. All his life Lance loved cemeteries and was intrigued with Archaeology. As soon as he was old enough, he got a job and worked while he was in high school. As soon as he graduated from high school he went to college, all the while working a full time job. He graduated from college with Bachelors in liberal arts. This was not good enough for him though. He wanted to be an Archaeologist. He decided to go back to school to get his Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology. This was not easy. He had to work full time while in school and pay for everything himself. He got a job working for the University of Alabama as an Archaeologist. He worked there for over 12 years. Some people have a bad sense of what they do though. They think of Indiana Jones but it is not really like that. He had to take a second job that he worked at for around 10 years to make ends meet. He worked two jobs for as long as I know.
When I met Lance I felt that I had met a kindred spirit. His passion for cemeteries rubbed off on me very quickly. On the rare times that he had time away from working both jobs, we would visit cemeteries, taking photos, and just walk through looking at the beauty that was contained in them. We talked of getting books published to share that beauty. While we were there we would upright flowers that had been turned over, clear back weeds, and generally show respect to those who were buried there. He always marveled at the big, beautiful headstones and statues. He adored them. Lance shared a lot of his photos with his friends on Facebook. He was proud to talk about them. He was always eager to talk with anyone who shared his love of cemeteries. He made many wonderful friends in the taphophile community. His passion shown through just in his comments of others pictures and the way he would talk about cemeteries.
I lost Lance on August 3, 2012. He was on an archaeological survey in Clarke county Alabama. I still do not know how he passed. We are still awaiting the autopsy report. It was a truly shocking event to many. He left behind me, his wife Dawn, 1 son and 2 daughters. He also left behind many, many dear friends and many of them have helped by giving to a fund for his headstone. More funds are needed and any help you can give is very appreciated. Here is the link to the fund https://www.pleasefund.com/pages/6432