Palo Alto Online - Lasting Memories - John Lloyd Richardson's memorial

John Lloyd Richardson
Jan. 29, 1935-May 13, 2024
Portola Valley, California

John Lloyd Richardson, 89, proud father of 5 children, died at his home in Portola Valley, CA of natural causes in the arms of his loving wife Alice on May 13, 2024.

He was born in Ventura, California in 1935 to Morris and Audrey Hollister Richardson during the heart of the depression, moving residences several times and enduring his father's absence during his service as a decorated naval officer in the Pacific theater in World War II. John was educated at Whittier High School in Whittier, California before earning his bachelor's degree and PhD in chemical engineering at Stanford University. A tenacious worker, he began his professional career at Ford Aeroneutronic and Occidental Petroleum in southern California. His dynamic career path crisscrossed the country to Detroit, Michigan then Vancouver, Canada and finally back home to Menlo Park, California. He led companies in varied industries, including seawater purification, biotech and consulting to public utilities.

John met Thora Bergsteinsson at his and her summer job at Union Oil and later they both graduated from Stanford. After graduation they married and had 5 children--David, Eric, Karen, Kristen and Thomas, who dearly miss his affection for family and his optimistic spirit of enthusiasm.

He took great satisfaction in hard work, decency, service to God and country, and especially in being a parent. He celebrated all of his children’s paths in life, whether it was engineering, corporate leadership, culinary arts or small business entrepreneurship. He also cherished his 10 grandchildren and stepdaughters, Debbie and Suzy Schenk. He demonstrated the love and dedication to all those close to him.

John was dedicated to supporting Whittier College and the Chemical Engineering Department at Stanford through his philanthropy and pursued his interest in jazz as a founding member of the Palo Alto Jazz Alliance. Later in life, he pursued vibrant friendships through Sons In Retirement (SIR) and bocce, while being a devoted husband to his wife and fellow Stanford alum, Alice Schenk, and adopted the community of Portola Valley as his own.

John was preceded in death by his first wife, Thora Richardson and is survived by his wife Alice Schenk and their beloved dog Robbie, his sister, Mary Davis, his five children, and 10 grandchildren.

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Memorial service
A Celebration of Life will be held in late June in Portola Valley and we will notify all friends and family when details are finalized.
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In lieu of flowers, donations to the Peninsula Humane Society of Burlingame.

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