Darrell Richardson receives a desk clock in honor of his selection as the city’s Volunteer of the Quarter.
Mayor Cathy Clark called it “long overdue,” but honoring Darrell Richardson as Keizer’s Volunteer of the Quarter also came just in time.
Richardson and his wife, Shirley, who have lived in the same house next to Sunset Park on the Willamette River 41 years, are pulling up stakes to be closer to family in Texas. Many credit Richardson with the current state of the park. Before he began tending to it as a volunteer, it was nearly unusable because of blackberry thickets.
He was honored during the Keizer City Council meeting Monday, July 15, where he was showered with praise from those whose lives he touched.
“This will be the end of the era when Darrell and Shirley move. They have been stewards, but those that live near the park feel safer with them around and looking out for everybody,” said Barb Smith.
“We have a family in our neighborhood and they have been the hub of that family,” added John Hinckey.
Clint Holland cited Richardson for the hours and time he’s spent helping at the Keizer Rotary Amphitheater in Keizer Rapids Park.
“He’s an anchor of the concession staff for us and I can’t count the number of things he’s done for us over the years,” Holland said.
Richardson said he’s still trying to convince Shirley to buy an RV and return to Keizer during the summers as a park caretaker – something Shirley didn’t seem to be entertaining in the slightest aside from a polite smile – but he will miss the community of Keizer.
“Keizer is family. I love volunteering work and we have the best volunteers ever,” Richardson said.