Remembering Melvin Mark Richardsonby Senator Mike Crapo
Posted on 2014-12-16
CRAPO. Mr. President, I wish to honor the life of Mel
Idaho leader with a legacy in public service and broadcasting, who
passed away last week.
Mel Richardson's radio broadcasting career thankfully brought him and his wife of 61 years, Dixie, to Idaho more than six decades ago. And we are better for it. Over the span of his 62-year radio and television broadcasting career, Mel hosted several sports and public affairs programs and was a sportscaster for professional, college and high school athletics.
He also devoted considerable time to public service. During the Korean war, he served in the Active Army Reserves and later was the first elected mayor of the City of Ammon, where he led significant public works projects, paving the way for the town's future progress. I was honored to serve in the Idaho State Legislature with him. During my time in the Idaho State Senate, he served in the Idaho House of Representatives, and was elected to the Idaho State Senate seat I vacated when I was elected to Congress in 1992. For 16 years, he served in the Idaho State Senate, where he utilized his position to expand education opportunities for Idaho students by furthering the adoption of technology in Idaho schools.
Mel served our community and Idaho with civility and excellence. In addition to his tenure in the legislature, he served in numerous other positions. These included serving as director of Idaho Association of Cities; co-chairman of the Idaho Centennial Commission; Bonneville County Recreation commissioner; chairman of the American Family Institute; and chairman of the United Way. His exemplary work was recognized through numerous awards and honors that included being named Legislator of the Year by the Idaho State Republican Party, Idaho Library Association, State Farm Bureau and Idaho School Administrators.
He was also active in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, in which he served in numerous leadership positions. Additionally, he supported the Boy Scouts of America through which he was the recipient of the Silver Beaver Award of Merit. Mel also recognized the life lessons afforded in sports and instilled these values through coaching youth athletic teams.
Mel welcomed me as a regular guest on the radio program he hosted with his son, Mark, who continues to host the talk show. I greatly admired Mel's openness in taking all sides of an issue into account, and his kindness and consideration. Mel had one of the greatest qualities: As his son, Todd, recognized, ``He could disagree with you without being disagreeable.'' I could always count on an interesting, thoughtful discussion, and I looked forward each week to our conversations.
But among all those accomplishments and public accolades, Mel's pride and strength was found in his family and home. He and Dixie raised five children, who have all gone on to contribute to their own communities. He loved the time that he spent with them; in fact, he passed up some interesting career opportunities to ensure that he would be able to spend time with them. Mel's enthusiasm and joy in life can also be found in his 25 grandchildren and 28 great-grandchildren.
I extend my deep condolences to Dixie, their children and his many family members and friends. We are all better for having known him, and his legacy of thoughtfulness, inclusiveness and devotion to furthering opportunities for others and Idaho's future will not be forgotten.