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Roderick E. Richardson, an accountant whose career with the University of Maryland spanned nearly 30 years, dies

Roderick E. Richardson, an accountant whose career with the University of Maryland spanned nearly 30 years, dies
Roderick E. Richardson worked for the University of Maryland, College Park for nearly 30 years.

Roderick E. Richardson, a University of Maryland accountant whose career in College Park spanned nearly three decades, died Thursday of progressive supranuclear palsy at Howard County General Hospital. The Columbia resident was 63.

“He was a real Baltimore guy,” said Sylvia B. “Jan” Andrews, a senior administrator in the office of the senior vice president and provost at the University of Maryland, College Park, where Mr. Richardson was a budget analyst.

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“Rod was a detail-oriented manager of finances and was very dedicated to his job,” said Ms. Andrews, a Silver Spring resident. “He was such a good person and would do anything for anybody. He was a fine gentleman.”

Roderick Earl Richardson, the son of Clyde Edward Thomas Richardson Jr., a Baltimore firefighter, and Mary Gladden Richardson, a state highway toll taker, was born in Baltimore and raised on Wentworth Road in Gwynn Oak.

From an early age, family members said, Mr. Richardson loved books and numbers.

A 1973 graduate of Mount Saint Joseph High School in Irvington, where he played varsity baseball, Mr. Richardson received a bachelor’s degree in 1977 from Morgan State University, where he was a magna cum laude graduate.

After graduation from Morgan, he worked as a staff accountant for Peat, Marwick, Mitchell & Co. from 1977 to 1979, when he joined the Bank of Baltimore as an auditor.

Mr. Richardson worked for two years as a budget analyst until 1986, when he began working as a budget analyst at College Park, where he was responsible for creating financial reports and supporting the work of his five-person finance team.

Other responsibilities included analyzing, examining and interpreting financial records, compiling financial information and reconciling reports and financial data. He also performed process analysis, communicated recommendations to management, and made certain that all financial records were accurate.

“Rod was always at work and punctual,” Ms. Andrews recalled. “He was the consummate professional and just a wonderful guy, and was a fun person to be around.”

She said that Mr. Richardson was well-liked.

“He was a big personality, but respectful,” she said. “And he never had a bad word to say about anyone.”

Mr. Richardson was diagnosed seven years ago with the illness that eventually claimed his life.

He retired from Maryland in 2015 because of failing health.

“Rod went too soon, and his death is a great loss to his family and friends,” Ms. Andrews said.

Mr. Richardson was a dedicated and active member of the Pi Omega chapter of Omega Psi Phi fraternity, where he held multiple positions through the years since joining in 1984, including first vice second district representative, assistant district keeper of finance, and keeper of records and seals.

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For his work with his fraternity, Mr. Richardson was named Omega Man of the Year, and was presented the Basileus Award, Superior Service Award, Founders Award and Special Recognition Award.

“Rod was very involved and dedicated to Omega,” Ms. Andrews said. “He was always going to meetings.”

An inveterate sports fan, Mr. Richardson enjoyed tenpin bowling and following the Ravens, although he would watch any college or pro sports activity, family members said. Other teams that earned his loyalty included the San Francisco 49ers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Miami Heat and Los Angeles Lakers.

Mr. Richardson was also a music fan, and some of his favorite artists, family members said, included Tupac, The Notorious B.I.G., Bone Thugs-n-Harmony. Snoop Dogg, Warren G and Charlie Wilson.

He attended St. John Baptist Church at 9055 Tamar Drive in Columbia, where funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Friday.

Mr. Richardson is survived by his wife of 33 years, the former Pamela Frazier, a U.S. Defense Department manager; two daughters, Kelly Richardson of Windsor Mill, and Dionne Richardson of Columbia; his parents, of Randallstown; a sister, Rhonda Silva of Randallstown; and several nieces and nephews.

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