AUGUSTA, Maine (WABI) - Family, friends, and colleagues of former Speaker of the Maine House of Representatives, John Richardson, came together in our state's capitol Wednesday to honor his life and legacy.
Richardson who's from Brunswick passed away unexpectedly last week at the age of 62.
Those who loved him say he'll be remembered as a dedicated public servant, and most importantly, a man who loved his family.
"He had a strong sense of who he was as a person and he matched it with a desire to help in a way that only he could,” said Richardson’s son, John A. Richardson.
A public servant, loyal friend, a great politician, and a family man.
All words to describe John Richardson.
Loved ones came together Wednesday morning in his memory at a ceremony outside the State House in Augusta.
Due to coronavirus concerns, only 50 people were allowed to join on the lawn. Others were invited to listen to the service through the FM radios in their cars.
On stage, former colleagues, friends, and loved one's shared memories of Richardson, including former Governor John Baldacci.
After serving in the Maine House of Representatives, Richardson was appointed commissioner of the Department of Economic and Community Development in 2007 by Baldacci. He held that position until 2009.
Baldacci says he always appreciated Richardson's leadership in politics and beyond.
"I really admired the way that Jon kept in touch with people. He never felt that he was better than anybody else and he treated people with respect,” said Baldacci.
Richardson grew up outside of Maine but had roots here, especially in Washington County.
He later moved to Maine to raise his family, practice law, and run for office.
Outside of politics, Richardson is remembered as a great friend to many and for always having genuine empathy for others.
"John epitomized what public service is and how to work with people. John Richardson was a man of character, and he's left you with a wonderful legacy to carry-on,” said friend and colleague, Phil Harriman.
Richardson had many titles throughout his life, but those closest to him say his favorite one was being called "dad."
Richardson leaves behind his wife, and three children.
"I think my father embodied the spirit of public service and it started at home with us, and emanated out into the community and all the lives he touched. Dad, I love you. I'll miss you. And, I promise you always carry you with me,” said Richardson.
Flags will be flown at half-staff through Thursday in honor of Richardson.