Ralph Richardson, 94, Orange,
Ralph Richardson, 94, of Orange, passed away on August 17, 2017. Funeral services will be 10 a.m., Sunday, August 20, 2017, at Claybar Funeral Home in Orange. Burial will follow at Cormier Cemetery in Vinton. Visitation will be from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., Saturday, at Claybar Funeral Home in Orange. Born in Orange, Texas, on August 12, 1923, he was the son of Steve P. Richardson and Marie (Benoit) Richardson. Ralph honorably served in the United States Navy during World War II. He started out at American Bridge as a pipefitter by trade. Many people knew him as the owner of Miscellaneous Steel on Strickland in Orange. He was also a Fabrication Inspector for the State of Louisiana for 23 years. He taught himself how to play the fiddle at the age of 13 and was considered one of the best fiddlers in the country. Ralph was one of the original innovators of the western swing fiddle. To hear him play is to hear him give everything he has and to get a look into his musical genius. Music was a family affair and enjoyed by the whole Richardson clan. Bob Wills even asked him to play with the Texas Playboys, but he turned them down because of his family. You may have been lucky enough to hear him play locally, but he has actually played all over the world including Japan. Ralph was affectionately known as “TOAO” (the one and only) and was also known as the “Fiddlin’ Stud”. When he wasn’t playing music you could catch him on one of his beloved boats shrimping or working in his beautiful gardens. He was also an avid Dallas Cowboys fan. Everyone who knew and loved him will miss seeing him around in his cowboy boots and cowboy hat. He was preceded in death by his parents; his daughter, Alana LeLeux; his sister, Opal Simmons; and his brother, Tiny Richardson. He is survived by his wife, Rena Richardson of Orange; his children, Arlene Spurlock and husband, Donald of Orange, Randall Richardson and wife, Brenda of Katy, and Linda Richardson of Orange; his grandchildren, Lori, Kristie, Tracey, Alana, Tiffany, Rachel, Brittani, Cortney, William, and Alicia; his 13 great-grandchildren and his four great-great-grandchildren.