Obituary: Charley Richardson of JP; union leader and anti-war activist

(Courtesy Photo) Charley Richardson.

(Courtesy Photo) Charley Richardson.

Charley Richardson, 60, died May 4 in his Jamaica Plain home after a long battle with cancer.

Richardson was a prominent activist in the labor union and anti-war movements. Along with his wife, Nancy Lessin, who son was a Marine, he cofounded the anti-war organization Military Families Speak Out, which was based in JP until two years ago and now has branches across the country. Richardson and Lessin were featured speakers at the very first of the now successful Jamaica Plain Forum events in JP in 2007, in a program titled “Military Voices in Opposition to the War.”

Richardson was a former shipyard steelworker and union activist and educator. He was the former director of the Labor Extension Program at the University of Massachusetts Lowell.

Besides wife Nancy, Richardson leaves two sons, Nick of Jericho, Vt., and Joe of Davis, Calif.; parents, Peter and Corinne Richardson of Exeter, N.H.; sister Marcie of Jamaica Plain; three brothers, Chris of Chevy Chase, Md., Peter of New Jersey and John of Golden, Colo.; two stepdaughters, Nikki Rivera and Nina Lessin-Joseph, both of Roxbury; and a granddaughter and two grandsons.

A “Celebration of Life” for Richardson is scheduled for Sat., June 29, 3 p.m. at the University of Massachusetts Campus Center Ballroom, 100 Morrissey Boulevard.

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