Floral 20

Bernice Tanner Richardson

December 17, 1935 ~ December 5, 2023 (age 87) 87 Years Old

Bernice Richardson Obituary

Bernice Tanner Richardson was born December 17, 1935, in Talladega, Alabama to the late Mattie Tanner and Gross Warwick. Bernice was blessed to have three sisters, Mildred (James) Swain, Annie Ruth (Oscar) Hudson, and Rosie Mae Threat.

Bernice attended public schools in Talladega, Alabama and graduated from West Side High School in 1953. She attended college at Alabama A&M University, St. Joseph College in Whiting Indiana, and Indiana University Northwest in Gary, Indiana, graduating from IU Northwest in 1968 with a BS degree in elementary education. She received her Master's degree in elementary education from IU Northwest in 1973 and received administrative certification in elementary education from Notre Dame University in 1978. 

Bernice began her teaching career at St. Hedwig Catholic School in Gary, Indiana as a kindergarten/ first grade teacher and served as principal for five years before it closed in 1978. In 1979 she began work in the Gary Community School Corporation serving as an assistant principal and principal at three schools until she moved from Gary in 1985: Ivanhoe Elementary School, Williams Elementary School, and Chase Elementary School. During her 41 year career in education she also taught elementary education and reading at Moorehead State University in Minnesota, and served as an adjunct professor in the School of Education at IU Northwest. Bernice served as an elementary principal in the Buffalo Public Schools for four years from 1992-1996. In 2002 she returned to the Gary Community School Corporation and served as principal at two schools until her retirement in 2008: Kuny Elementary School and Brunswick Elementary School.

Bernice was given numerous awards and honors for her achievements as an elementary school teacher and principal. Notable among those was a national teaching excellence award for elementary schools while at St. Hedwig Catholic School. She was also given public recognition for turning around a failing school by the Buffalo Public Schools superintendent upon her resignation in 1996. Bernice was a member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. and served as its president. Bernice loved children and they loved her. Children in her classes and in her schools were the center of her life's work.

Bernice departed this life December 5, 2023. She was married to F C Richardson for 48 years (married in 1975). She was preceded in death by her parents; and her three sisters. She leaves to mourn her passing; her husband, FC; her loving son, Darrell D. Tanner of Denver, Colorado; granddaughters, Britney Tanner and Breana Stampley of Denver, Colorado; stepson, Dr. Melvin Richardson of Gary, Indiana; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, and other relatives, friends and former students from across the country to mourn her loss.

Visitation Wednesday, December 13, 2023, 11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. with Homegoing Services 12:00 p.m.-1:00 p.m. from St. Timothy Community Church 1600 West 25th Ave. Garry, Indiana 46404. Rev. Dr. Rameen Jackson, officiating. Private burial at Ridgelawn Cemetery Gary, Indiana.

In lieu of flowers, the family request donations be made in Mrs. Richardson's honor to St. Timothy Community Church 1600 West 25th Ave. Gary, Indiana 46404

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December 13, 2023

11:00 AM to 12:00 PM
St. Timothy Community Church
1600 W. 25th Street
Gary, IN 46404

Homegoing Service
December 13, 2023

12:00 PM
St. Timothy Community Church
1600 W. 25th Street
Gary, IN 46404


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