Robert E. Richardson, 90, of Elkhart, passed away Monday, July 17, at his home.
He was a 2016 inductee into the RV/MH Hall of Fame.
He was born Sept. 14, 1926, in Elkhart, to the late Clifford and Florence (Congdon) Richardson and married Patricia McDonald of Bronson, Mich., in 1948. She passed away in 1973. In 1974, he had married Beverly Swihart of Elkhart, who passed away in 1998. He later married Sanita (Sandy) Wynykoski in 1999 and she survives him at home.
After graduating from Elkhart High School in 1944, Bob served several years in the U. S. Army Air Corps. Upon his return home, he co-founded Richardson Trailer Manufacturing with his father.
He purchased his father’s interest in the company in 1959, and for the next 10 years, he transformed the company from a small trailer manufacturer into one of the premier corporations in the mobile home industry.
The main plant on Elkhart’s Nappanee Street was among the largest in the world with a capacity of producing 40 homes a day.
By many, Bob was considered to be one of the industry’s top leaders in innovation and design, which revolutionized the industry.
In 1969, Bob sold Richardson Homes Corp. (RCH) to Macco Corp. It was also at this time he led a group of investors to develop Timberbrook Mobile Home Community, a 288-unit upscale community which was among the first of its kind at the time.
In 1971, he retired from RHC as its chairman, president and CEO but remained active in the development of Timberbrook until it was sold in 1977.