Richard Thedford was born on February 4th, 1936 in Boligee, Alabama to the late Rev. W.E. Thedford and Ida McGrew-Thedford.
He was called home on March 21st, 2019.
Richard joined the U.S. Air Force in 1954 and completed an intensive
12-week training to become an Aircraft Control and Warning Operator in the
772d Squadron at Claysburg Air Force Station in Pennsylvania.
His role was to guide interceptor aircraft toward unidentified intruders.
This experience translated into a career as an Air Traffic Controller after his honorable discharge in 1958.
Richard moved to New York City in the 1960’s where he studied business at Bronx Community College and founded The Third World Cultural Center.
The center was a place for African-American intellectuals to share arts and ideas. Among those who frequented were the late Dick Gregory and Amiri Baraka.
Richard then partnered with his son, Harace.
Together they grew a flea market booth into two retail fashion stores.
Their stores introduced the world to urban fashions such as the infamous
“8-Ball” leather jacket.
After 40 years in New York and having traveled much of the world, Richard decided it was time to return home to be with family. He packed up and returned to Alabama to live in the home his father had left for him.
Richard diligently studied the bible for most of his life.
He attended 37th Street Baptist Church founded by his father and became a deacon at 46th Street Baptist Church founded by his grandfather.
He taught Sunday school and led Bible study. His passion for the Lord’s Word was unmatched.
Richard is preceded in death by his parents,
Rev. W.E. Thedford and Ida Mcgrue-Thedford ,
his sister, Willie Del Body,
and his son, Harace Carpenter
In his passing he leaves to cherish his memories
his children, Glenda Jones, Marcello Thedford, Engel Thedford;
Grandchildren Tabitha Patterson-Hughes, Kevin Patterson,
Ha-Sun Patterson, Richard Hernandez, Elijah Thedford,
and Kali Bronx Thedford
Richard also has a host of uncles, cousins, great-grandchildren, and friends.
Richard Thedford impacted the world, was a wonderful man, a loving father, and a generous person.
He will be missed.