Barbara Jean Dozier Richardson, 76, Daily News, Inquirer employee

Posted: July 24, 2014

BARBARA Richardson could easily have earned a doctorate in the history of the Catholic Church and Tudor England.

And, oh yes, murder.

She loved her Catholic religion and the history of England in the romantic days of kings and queens, the Tudors, the War of the Roses and the like.

And she loved to read about murder - true crime murder. Never fiction.

"She was an extreme Catholic, and a true Anglophile," said her daughter, Kimberly Richardson. "She knew all the stories of saints and miracles, and the scandals.

"If she was in college, she could have had a Ph.D. in Catholicism and murder."

Barbara Jean Dozier Richardson, a 30-year employee of the Daily News and Inquirer, who started in the early keypunch department and worked her way into the classified advertising office, died Saturday of heart failure. She was 76 and lived in Nicetown.

Barbara and her daughter traveled to England in 1985 on a 20-day excursion that included 10 days in France. Barbara got to see the churches and historical points of interest in both countries.

"We visited every church and every castle," her daughter said.

Barbara's favorite saint was Bernadette Soubirous, whose visions at Lourdes, France, in 1858 led to her canonization in 1933.

"She always wanted to go to Lourdes, but she never could," her daughter said. "She loved the idea of miracles in the Catholic church."

Another of her fascinations was the apparitions seen by three shepherd children at Fatima, Portugal, in 1917 and the martyrdom of the 11-year-old Italian saint, Maria Goretti, canonized in 1950.

Barbara's other passions included rock 'n' roll, and the movie musicals of the '30s, '40s and '50s. (She favored Gene Kelly over Fred Astaire.)

She would travel to New York and the Jersey Shore to catch classic rock festivals, and she met disc jockeys Jerry Blavat and Harvey Holiday on the way.

Barbara was born in Philadelphia to Eleanor Smith and Augustus Dozier. She graduated from John W. Hallahan Catholic Girls' High School and spent a year at Temple University.

She married Theodore Richardson, a Philadelphia police officer, in 1959. He died in 1967.

Barbara worked for Cigna Insurance Co. and Vicks Medicine Co. before starting at the Daily News and Inquirer, operating the old keypunch system, in 1970. She retired in 2000.

Barbara was also a big movie fan. She and her daughter attended screenings arranged by former Daily News music critic Joe Baltake and offered their opinions on new releases.

She liked to catch classics like "Gone with the Wind" and "Citizen Kane" when they showed up in Philly, said her daughter, a history teacher at the Philadelphia High School for Girls.

Besides her daughter, she is survived by a son, Terrence Richardson; six grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Services: Funeral Mass noon Friday at Our Lady of Hope Church, 5200 N. Broad St. Burial will be in Holy Cross Cemetery, Yeadon.

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