Janet Richardson, 84: Active in her community, enjoyed traveling

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PORTLAND — Janet Alpers Richardson, 84, of Portland, died from complications related to Wegener’s disease Sept. 5, at the Gosnell Hospice House in Scarborough, with her family by her side.

Born in New York City, she was the daughter of Ernest and Margaret Alpers.

Richardson graduated from Westfield, N.J., High School in 1946, and then Smith College Northampton, Mass., in 1950. She spent her junior year in Mexico, and received her master’s in education from the University of Southern Maine in 1979.

Richardson began her teaching career as a Spanish instructor at Gould Academy in 1950, the same year she married her husband, Vance Richardson, also a teacher at Gould. She left teaching in 1953 to raise her children. In 1967 Janet went back to teaching Spanish at Waynflete School. She was also a private tutor. She retired in 1984.

Richardson’s love for travel started as a child. She traveled with her mother extensively. On many occasions she went to Mexico, including a trip to Oaxaca earlier this year. She traveled with Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, Elderhostel and with friends and family.

A lifelong tennis player, she played competitively as a junior in New Jersey. She also played competitively, as well as socially in Maine. She was active in TIME and MTA events.

Hers was one of the founding families of Sunday River ski resort.  It was there that she learned to ski and later became a ski instructor. An avid reader, she belonged to local book clubs, enjoyed playing bridge, and read the New York Times daily. She also enjoyed spending time at the family camp on Howard Pond in Hanover.

Richardson was an active volunteer with the Alzheimer’s Association, participated in alumni events at Smith College, and was a museum docent at the Portland Museum of Art. She was also the local coordinator for an international exchange program with the Experiment in International Living. She helped high school, college students and young professionals find local host families.

Janet was predeceased by her husband, Vance Richardson, in 2004.

She is survived by her daughters, Carol Rodgers and husband, Jim, and Marta Hunt and husband, David; son Stephen Richardson; and grandchildren Jonathan and Elizabeth Rodgers, and William and Lucia Hunt.

A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Sept. 28, at State Street Church, 159 State St., Portland, with the Reverend Jeanette A. Good officiating. Arrangements are by A.T. Hutchins Funeral & Cremation Services, Portland.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that contributions be made in her name to the Maine Alzheimer’s Association, 383 US Route 1, Suite 2C, Scarborough, ME 04074.

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