Lt. Col. Rod “K2” Richardson, USMC, Retired
Lt. Col. Rod “K2” Richardson died on October 4, 2006 near Baghdad , Iraq as a result of injuries received from an improvised explosive device while serving his country as a civilian manager of a private security company.
He was born on Oct. 3, 1952 in Lamar , Colo. , the son of Gene and Reta Richardson. He was reared and educated in Kansas and Oklahoma graduating from Boise City High School in 1970.
Following high school graduation, he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps and served in Vietnam . Returning to Oklahoma he graduated from East Central University in Ada .
There he met his wife, Rita Aleene Wiley. They were married on July 2, 1977 in Shawnee .
Re-entering the Marines after graduation from college he attended Officer Candidate School at Quantico , Va. and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant. He held ever increasing assignments and responsibilities with the Fleet and in the Far East , mixed with shore duty and Marine schools in the United States . He was selected and served a two-year tour of duty with the British Royal Marines in England .
Throughout his years in the Marine Corps, he was a leader in training and fighting in the jungles, in the desert or with the Fleet, including some operations still not known to the public. He was credited with many paratroop jumps. He also exited from submerged submarines through the torpedo tube to lead his reconnaissance unit swimming to shore to recon the beach. He developed a love and ability to teach mountain climbing and warfare tactics at the Pickle Meadows training site in the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range. Later this climbing ability allowed him to ascend several of the highest peaks in the Himalayas and elsewhere.
He and his wife Rita built their home near the Marine's Sierra Nevada training site in Gardnerville , Nevada in 1987. Even though serving with the Marines in other areas of the world they have resided in Gardnerville since his retirement from the Marine Corps in 1994.
Following his military retirement he began work with Rite of Passage, a program designed to assist youths with discipline, education and training. He also completed his Master's of Business Administration from Chapman University .
Shortly after the war began in Afghanistan he signed on as a contract employee providing VIP security services. He said, “I was trained for it and I want to help”. As the war spread to Iraq he continued this work in Iraq . Except for brief periods returning to the United States to spend time at home with his wife he served in the midst of this unconventional war zone from the onset.
Rod strongly believed in service, discipline, physical training and developing the abilities of those he commanded. He cared for his men but did not expect them to do anything he could not do. He was known for always being out front as a leader.
He is survived by: his beloved wife, Rita; three sisters, Deb Crabtree, Pam Thrall and Sandy Wells all of Boise City; one brother, Mike Richardson of Guymon; several nieces and nephews and a host of other relatives and Marine friends throughout the world.
Funeral services were held on Saturday October 14, 2006 at the Boise City Baptist Church in Boise City .
Interment was in the Boise City Cemetery .
Services were under the direction of Cimarron Mortuary of Boise City.
The family requests memorial contributions be made to Wounded Warriors, 1719 North 60th Street , Omaha , NE 68104 . They may also be reached online at www.woundedwarriors.org.
Boise City News