Longtime MSSU employee passes

SuAn Richardson

SuAn Richardson


A familiar voice has left Missouri Southern State University.

SuAn Richardson passed away this weekend.

She was 76-years of age.

Richardson worked full-time as the University’s switchboard operator from 1972 to 1999 and on a part-time basis from 1999 to the time of her death.

Hers was one of the friendly voices answering the telephone with “Thank you for calling Missouri Southern.”

In December 2012, she was recognized at MSSU’s Employee Appreciation Brunch for her 40 years of service.

Barbara Spencer, who has worked at the University for about the same amount of time and knew Richardson for over 60 years, says it is a very personal loss for her.

“She was kind, giving, loving,” Spencer said.

“Everyone loved her because she was so easy to talk to. Everybody who knew her was crazy about her.

“I am privileged I had her for a friend.”

Spencer taught Richardson to run the switchboard at Joplin Printing Company where they worked before coming to MSSU.

“SuAn had a heart for people,” said Rae Surber, who works in the switchboard at MSSU.

“She always had a positive attitude and a smile on her face.”

One of Richardson’s interests was knitting. She made many afghans for employees at the university, including President Bruce W. Speck.

“Every once in a while someone comes along who touches everyone,” Dr. Speck said

“SuAn was one of those people. She exemplified the attributes of positivity, hard work and loyalty.

“In many cases, she was the first contact people encountered when they were calling for information.”