Wilbur “Bill”‘ Richardson was born on November 17, 1922 in Long Beach, California. Wilbur graduated from Wilson High School in 1940 and continued his education at Long Beach City College. In 1942, he enlisted in the Army Air Corps and at 21, flew 30 missions as the ball turret gunner in a B-17 Flying Fortress. Wilbur earned many honors during his service, including a Purple Heart and the Distinguished Flying Cross. Home from the war, Wilbur earned his Bachelor’s in music at BYU and went on to pursue a Master’s degree in education at Cal State Long Beach. There he met his wife, Virginia. Wilbur taught for 33 years with Los Alamitos Unified School District. He was active in his community, running for local office and participating in the Kiwanis Club. Music being a lifelong passion, Wilbur sang with the Choral Society of Southern California for 20 years.
After retiring and moving to Chino Hills in 1991, Wilbur spent the majority of his time volunteering at the Planes of Fame Museum in Chino. He loved sharing stories of his wartime experience with visitors and students, young and old. Wilbur still loved to travel and was named Chino Hills Citizen of the Year in 2012. He loved spending time with family and was still camping and boating into his 80’s. Wilbur passed away on March 1, 2020 in Winchester, Virginia.
He is survived by daughter Pam Runge and son Bryan Richardson, 6 grandchildren, and 3 great-granddaughters. He was preceded in death by his wife of 31 years, Virginia.