It is with great sadness that the family of Kathryn “Kathy” Justine (Behling) Richardson announces her peaceful passing on March 24, 2022, under Hospice care at Trails of Orono Assisted Living in Orono, MN, where she resided since September 2020. She was 94 years old.
Kathy was born in Fargo, ND, on February 11, 1928, to Lydia (Wik) and Fred Behling. She grew up and attended school in Moorhead, MN, with her two older brothers, Fred and Bob. She graduated from the University of Minnesota with the goal of being a social worker. On December 12, 1953, she married the love of her life, Donald “Red” Richardson and together they raised their three children in Moorhead.
Even though Kathy never was employed as a social worker, she carried the values of compassion, empathy and caring with her throughout her life. Early on, she was an active political and church volunteer and member of PEO. Upon her mother’s death in 1973, she and Red took into their home and cared for her brother, Bob, who was developmentally handicapped. After Bob entered Eventide Lutheran Home, she unselfishly visited him almost daily, stating that he enriched her life more than she ever gave to him. She was a lifelong member at Trinity Lutheran Church, Moorhead and co-created the Volunteer Caring Center. She remained an active volunteer at Trinity until illness prevented her from her passion of giving to others. She proudly worked as the Administrative Assistant at Lost and Found Ministry from 1987 until 2003 and regularly attended church at Recovery Worship. At both, she felt blessed and honored hearing the stories of those in recovery.
In 1987, Kathy built a family lake cabin at Lake Melissa on property that had been in her family since the 1940s. She referred to it as her “little piece of heaven on earth.” There she happily entertained family and friends, and was often complimented on being the perfect cook and hostess. Guests and grandchildren still cherish the memories of the large lake breakfasts that Kathy eagerly got up early to prepare. The cabin will always hold many special memories of her laughter from 4th of July boat parades, swimming, boating and playing board and card games.
Kathy was a classy lady who had a zest for life and people. She made friends easily with her positive, warm and caring personality. She found great delight through the years in maintaining close friendships with several of her childhood school friends and neighbors. Kathy also found a very supportive group of friends through her church activities, water aerobics at the YMCA, her apartment building on 8th Street and the Red Hatters.
Throughout her illness these past 5 years, Kathy remained appreciative of all of her caregivers and often showed her sense of humor to them with a mischievous twinkle in her eyes. She believed that life was about Christian faith and love, gratitude, family and friends. She served as a positive role model to those who knew her and she will be greatly missed by those who survive her, including her three children: Trish (Dave) Bergstrom, Plymouth, MN, Karen Richardson, Plymouth, and David (Amy) Richardson, Rochester, MN. She felt both proud and blessed to be a grandmother to her adoring grandchildren: Donald (Felicia) Richardson, Matt (Nikita) Bergstrom, Kaylee (Dumisani) Thomsen, and Maggie Richardson. Also, her cherished great grandchildren Arlo Thomsen and Margot Bergstrom, and several nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her beloved husband Red in 1985, her parents; brothers; infant twin daughters, Jennifer and Ann; grandson, Devin; and niece, Barbara.
The family wishes to express their sincere appreciation to all of Kathy’s friends and family who visited her the final years of her life as that is what brought her such joy. A special thank you to Pat, Mena, and Ruby, who faithfully shared their spirit of compassion and friendship with regular visits while she lived in the F/M area.
Visitation will be from 10-11 AM followed by a celebration of life at 11:00 AM, Saturday, April 9, 20202, at Trinity Lutheran Church in Moorhead, MN. A live stream link will be available to view by visiting: https://trinitymhd.org/, or here on Kathy's obituary page.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to one of Kathy’s favorite charities: Trinity Lutheran Church—Cost and Joy of Discipleship program, Eventide Foundation- Streed Commons Fund, Chaplin's Endowment Fund and Homeward Bound Animal Shelter.
Arrangements by Korsmo Funeral and Cremation Service.