Carol Ann Richardson, 86, of Middle Bass Island, Ohio and 25 year winter resident of Boca Grande, passed away on Tuesday Jan.18, 2022 from lymphoma at the Renaissance Retirement Community in Olmsted Falls, Ohio. Carol was born Carol Adams on August 24, 1935 to Wesley Adams and Helen (nee Sutherin) Adams in Canonsburg, Penn.
Carol was a 1953 graduate of Lakewood (Ohio) High School and a 1957 graduate of Baldwin Wallace College, where she earned her undergraduate degree in education and met her husband of 47 years, Mac Richardson.
During her teaching career Carol taught elementary grades and earned her master’s degree as a specialist teaching visually impaired students. In 1966, Carol founded the Berea Area Montessori Association and established the first Montessori school in Berea, Ohio.
In the spring of 1964 Carol saw a small ad in the paper listing for sale a cottage on Middle Bass Island, Ohio. Most likely after some prodding, she convinced Mac to go and check out the property. From there ensued a day trip on the Erie Isle ferry and a purchase agreement. Carol and Mac owned their first island home in the Middle Bass Club and Carol began a 57 year journey of love and appreciation for the Lake Erie Islands and a preference for island living.
In 1974 Carol took inspiration from a visit to a Kite Shop in San Francisco and opened the Island Kite Shop on Put-in-Bay, South Bass Island, Ohio. For over 25 years the shop was a destination for kiting enthusiasts and introduced many to the sport and art of flying a kite. In 1980 she opened the Island Surf Shop, and in 1995 Carol sold the building and business. She and Mac purchased their winter home at 471 Bradley, Boca Grande.
Carol’s proudest accomplishment up north was her involvement in land preservation. Carol was the instigator and mastermind behind much of the original land preservation efforts on the Bass Islands. She worked to preserve the Middle Bass Island Kuehnle State Wildlife Area with the Friends of Haunck’s Pond and led the campaign to establish the Middle Bass Island State Park. She convinced the Black Swamp Conservancy to start the Lake Erie Islands Chapter in 2000 (now the Lake Erie Islands Conservancy) and served on the advisory board. Current board members remember Carol for her vision, hard work, and wonderful people skills that helped make these things happen.
Family meant everything to Carol. She cherished family time and get togethers at Middle Bass and Boca Grande and her door was always open for a visit on the front porch at either location. She was truly a friend to all and lived her life in the present with love and acceptance. In her later years when travel to Boca Grande and Middle Bass was not possible, she enjoyed visiting with family and reminiscing about her dogs, gardening, and the people and events she experienced during her time on each island.
Carol was preceded in death by her husband Mac (2005); Brother Pete Adams (2021); Sister Barbara Nash (2018); Brother Larry Adams (1980); and her parents.
She is survived by son Matt Richardson (Mary Jane); daughter Kate Richardson; Grandchildren Leah, Mac, Maria, Nadia, and Rhett; brother-in-law Mark Nash; sister-in-law Yvonne Adams; and seven nieces.
The family would like to extend thanks to those who made Mom’s last few years on the island possible, including Michael and Grace Ott.
A celebration of life will be held at Middle Bass Island, Ohio on July 23, 2022 at 1 p.m. in the Middle Bass Town Hall, reception to follow. Memorial contributions can be made in Carol’s name to: Lake Erie Island Conservancy, P.O. Box 461 Put-in-Bay OH, 43456. lakeerieislandsconservancy.org