Barbara Stevens Richardson, 81, died Dec. 12, 2009, at Anderson Inn, Quarry Hill in Camden, after an extended period of declining health.

Born in Nashua, N.H., Feb. 28, 1928, she was one of three daughters of Isaac B. and Alice E. Shields Stevens. She attended elementary school in Nashua and was a 1946 graduate of Oak Grove Academy in Vassalboro. She later attended Hood College in Frederick, Md.

At 7 years old Barbara was stricken with polio. More than a year of her life was consumed with the battle of that disease.

She met the love of her life, Ralph G. “Bud” Richardson, at Ocean Point, Boothbay, where both families had summered for many years. The couple married in Nashua, N.H., June 18, 1949. They made their first home in Malden, Mass.

In support of her husband’s executive career with Dupont Corporation, Barbara moved with her husband and children from Malden, Mass., to Indiana. They consecutively lived in Wilmington, Del., Birmingham, Mich., Copenhagen, Denmark, Wilmington, Del., and Fairview, Pa. In all of these locations, she was the consummate corporate wife, attending and often hosting business and social gatherings. Her children remembered that with her husband, she turned the family’s time in Copenhagen into a cultural experience, taking in different European trips and life every weekend.

The family spent every summer in Maine, and in 1968 purchased property in Edgecomb on the Damariscotta River, where they established a place where all the family could gather.

In 1975, seeking reprieve from the corporate life, the Richardsons moved to Rockland, where they purchased the Green Thumb in Rockport. They expanded that business to include its present nursery, garden center and floral businesses.

At each new home she encountered, Barbara quickly established flower gardens and landscaping which were appreciated by all.

Her children again remembered that their mother raised them with old fashioned principals and values. She was respectfully referred to by many of her children’s friends as “the radar”, due to her uncanny ability to always know where they were, and what they were doing.

In earlier years, she enjoyed racing One-Design sailboats at Ocean Point. During the World War II years, she worked as a waitress at Spruce Inn at Boothbay.

After her husband’s death, May 16, 1994, and passing along the management of the Green Thumb to family, she became the matriarch of the Green Thumb. She visited that business every day, and enjoyed interacting with employees and customers.

A voracious reader, she always kept a journal and found self-expression in writing prose.  She loved life, family gatherings, creating wonderful meals, bird watching and her many dogs. She kept the leash and harness of each dog that had been part of the family over the years, neatly hung in the entrance hall of her home. In recent years and months, she enjoyed listening to books on tape obtained at Rockland Public Library, an institution she regularly supported.

Barbara is survived by two sons, R. Blaine Richardson and his wife, Laura of Belfast and John D. Richardson and his wife, Leslie of Warren; one daughter, Alice Schultz and her husband, Thomas of Warren; six grandchildren, Katherine Sweetland and her husband, Andrew of Marblehead, Mass., Daryl Richardson and his wife, Erin of Norwood, Mass., Jana Richardson of West Hollywood, Calif., Kyle Richardson of Seattle, Wash., Eric Richardson and his wife, Kelly of Satellite Beach, Fla., and Stephen Schultz of Ocean Side, Calif.; and two great-grandchildren, Nathaniel and Edward “Teddy” Sweetland; as well as several nieces and nephews.

Friends and relatives are invited to visit Thursday, Dec. 17 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Burpee, Carpenter & Hutchins Funeral Home, 110 Limerock St. in Rockland. No other services will be held at this time.

Those who wish may make memorial contributions for the purchase of books on compact disc to the Friends of Rockland Public Library, P.O. Box 764, Rockland, ME 04841.

To sign Barbara’s online guestbook, visit obituaries at