When Lorene Richardson retired from Greenhill School in 2013, she had earned her status as a Greenhill Legend – and then some.
Richardson, who died Saturday, Feb. 6, from complications related to COVID-19, was the longest tenured employee in the school’s history.
After being hired to work in the cafeteria in 1967, Richardson worked her way up to food services manager, a position she held from 1973 until her retirement 46 years later, at the age of 74.
During Richardson’s tenure, the school’s announcement of her passing lovingly recalled, five-day rotating menus ruled the day and kept gastronomical order, and Thursday was always fried chicken day.
“For generations of Greenhill students, Lorene’s warm and welcoming smile and her uncanny ability to remember all our names fed our spirits, while her Ranger cookies, chicken fried steak, and real-deal cream gravy fed our souls,” said assistant head of school Tom Perryman, who graduated from the school in 1981.
“I never heard Lorene say a harsh word,” said former head of middle school (and fellow Greenhill Legend) Lucinda Carder. “She fed us well for many, many years. She had a generous spirit and wonderful smile.”
In 1988, Richardson became the first person to be named an honorary alumna by the school’s alumni association, and a Heart of the Hill legacy group was named in her honor in 2011.
She is survived by her husband, Robert, daughter (and Greenhill class of 1987 alumna Tara Richardson), and grandsons David and Kennard.