A Registered 501(c)3 Public Charity

Jerry Richardson Memorial Fund


Jerry Richardson Memorial Fund


“I’m just a poor dumb farmer,” was one of his favorite comments, in his trademark humble, folksy, self-deprecating manner.

However, he was anything but ‘dumb.’   Jerry Richardson was one of the wisest, most intelligent, most ethical men that ever walked on Planet Earth.  And not only that, he believed in advanced education as a way to improve not only a farmer’s way of life, but the lives of all.

As any full-time farmer does, Jerry had to balance numerous financial challenges to his pocketbook, brought on by the forces of nature, with limited income dictated by market forces far beyond his control.  Jerry walked that fine line very well.    He withstood the rigors of farm life due to his deep and abiding faith in his Lord and Savior, and was a committed tither to his Church.

Not only did he fund his daughter’s college education with farm income, Jerry somehow sacrificed and scraped enough together to financially assist several family and community members with their college educations as well.   He felt like this was his duty as a human being – to help others better themselves with education, even if it meant sacrificing his own needs.

Jerry Richardson’s Obituary

Jerry W. (Jerdo) Richardson, 85, of Etowah, died Friday, April 10 at McMinn Memorial Nursing Home in Etowah, TN.  He was born Nov. 11, 1929.

Survivors include his faithful wife of 64 years, Ruby Bryan Richardson, loving daughter and son-in-law, Ginger and Lester Wheeler; beloved granddaughter and grandson in law, Lindsey Jordan Wheeler and her husband, Heslie Powell, a brother and sister-in-law, Reverend Jack and Eloise Bryan, and many nieces, nephews, and their families, whom he loved like his own.

He was preceded in death by parents James Whitcomb Riley Richardson and Mahala Ellen Long Richardson; a brother, Jack D. Richardson, and a sister, Jimmie Lee Coram.

A fifth-generation farmer, Jerry and his family developed one of the most respected dairy herds in the southeast, Gin-Rich Holsteins, earning national show-ring honors and production awards.   A beef herd was established in later years.  The farm was one of the original switchgrass contract growers with the UT Biofuels Initiative.  Pebblebrook Farms, a true family operation, is a Tennessee Century Farm, with Jerry serving as a mentor to many young farmers along the way.

He was a community leader in many capacities: he received the 1978 McMinn County Outstanding Farmer award from the Athens Chamber of Commerce, and was a member of AgCentral Co-op (through McMinn Farmers), McMinn County Farm Bureau, and the McMinn County Agriculture Extension Committee.

He was a long-term director of First National Bank and Trust Company.

A devout member of First Baptist Church, Etowah, he served as a deacon, usher, Sunday school teacher, and Chairman of the Sanctuary Building Committee.  Jerry warmly greeted folks at the sanctuary door each Sunday.

With grateful hearts, we again say “Thank you, very much!”  for your contributions to the Jerry Richardson Memorial Scholarship Fund.


The Jerry Richardson Scholarship

In honor of his life, in which his actions generously reinforced his belief in education, the Jerry Richardson Memorial Fund has been set up to help fund scholarships to be given to area youth.  We hope to honor Jerry’s legacy by assisting as many as possible with their college educations, and we would be delighted if you will help us fulfill that mission.

Jerry was a full-time farmer for his entire life, and one of his greatest pleasures was carrying on the traditions of his family farm, which has survived for over six generations.  The scholarships will be designed to further the educations of students interested in farming , food science, or agribusiness as a career.

Thank you, so very much, for considering a contribution to this very worthy cause.  It is our wish to grow Jerry’s legacy, just as his life was spent growing food for others.

Fund Administrators

Robert Bryan
Ginger Wheeler


CharitySmith accepts donations in two ways:

By Mail:
Jerry Richardson Memorial Fund
CharitySmith Nonprofit Foundation
13100 Filly Lane
Truckee, CA 96161

Use credit card by clicking the link below:

The above Memorial Fund is established as a division of CharitySmith Nonprofit Foundation (EIN 87-0636433). All donations are tax deductible in accordance with federal tax law. Receipts for tax purposes are sent via US Mail within two weeks of donation. Please consider asking if your employer participates in a gift-matching program. If so, your donation may be matched by your employer. For questions regarding your donation or this memorial fund please contact CharitySmith.