Officials are mourning the death of retired Lake County Coroner Barbara Richardson, who won five consecutive terms serving as coroner for over 20 years.
Richardson joined the Lake County Coroner’s Office on February 1, 1977.
She served as a deputy coroner until she was appointed as coroner on December 1, 1982.
Richardson led the office from 1982 through May 2003 when she retired, winning five consecutive four-year terms.
She died peacefully on Wednesday at the age of 93, an obituary said.
“Throughout her tenure, Barbara Richardson was instrumental in many changes for the betterment of the office as well as the citizens of Lake County,” the coroner’s office said in a statement.
Richardson’s purpose was to provide the most qualified, competent and compassionate service to the county, the coroner’s office said.
Her motto was, “Our commitment…Care of the deceased; concern for the living,” the coroner’s office said.
Lake County Coroner Jennifer Banek said, “Barbara was a legend. She was well-respected and loved by all; from the people that worked for her, to the partner agencies, funeral home community, to the families she touched through her work as the Lake County Coroner. Even prior to serving in this office, I was well-aware of the dignity and respect bestowed on this office because of her dedication.”
“She set the bar high. It is the goal of myself and my staff to continue to strive to serve Lake County by the high standards set by Barbara Richardson. Our thoughts are with her family,” Banek added.
Steve Newton, Banek’s chief deputy coroner, worked for Richardson from July 2000 through her retirement in 2003.
“Barbara was a true leader, always at the ready to do anything to assist families in their worst times. She truly cared about the office and the residents of the county, and consistently went above and beyond to help others in their time of need,” Newton said.
Funeral services by the Kristan Funeral Home in Mundelein are pending.