Richard Donald Rierson, Sr. was born on January 7, 1929 to John McCoy Rierson and Martha Anne Searcy Rierson of Forsyth County, North Carolina. Richard departed his earthly life on December 1, 2022 and was welcomed to eternal life in heaven by Jesus, his Savior. Preceding him in death was his wife, Katherine Hege Rierson. Surviving is his son, R. Donald Rierson, Jr. (Jodie) of Charlotte; his daughter, Carolyn R. Carpenter (Ken) of Lewisville; and three grandchildren of whom he was very proud: Joshua Rierson (Laura) of Matthews; Andrew Carpenter (Katelyn) of Montgomery AL; and Lindsay Shelton (Stewart) of Indian Trail. Great grandchildren are Ada, Josiah, and Millicent Carpenter of Montgomery AL, and Abigail and Elijah Shelton of Indian Trail.
During childhood, Richard was active at Friedberg Moravian Church. He and Katherine were joined in marriage at Advent Moravian Church, where they became leaders of the Senior High Youth Fellowship. Richard's interest in music, combined with his piano and voice talent, led him to accompany several gospel singing groups in the community as well as to direct choirs in area Moravian and Baptist churches. Richard was a published composer of sacred music. He also enjoyed teaching Sunday School classes in each of his home churches. In recent years, he was an active member of Konnoak Hills Moravian Church in Winston-Salem.
Richard excelled in school and claimed both the Forsyth County and North Carolina Spelling Bee Championships in 1942, going on to compete in the National Spelling Bee at Washington DC. After graduating from Griffith High School in 1947, he enrolled and graduated from Draughon's Business College and began work with the Missouri Pacific Railroad. Over the years, his career interests included insurance work but he found his calling at R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, where he retired after many years of service. During his working years, Richard came to share Katherine’s love of flowers and gardening as a hobby, which evolved into a business for which they built and maintained several greenhouses. Richard was a prominent fixture at the Winston-Salem Fairgrounds Farmer's Market, selling flowers, plants, and produce for over 40 years. A Celebration of life will be held 3:00 PM Sunday, December 18, 2022, at Konnoak Hills Moravian Church with Rev. John Rights officiating. The family will hold a reception and receive friends 1:30 PM - 2:50 PM prior to the service. Committal will follow at God's Acre.
The family is deeply grateful to Brookridge Baptist Retirement Community and its dedicated staff for their care of Richard.
In lieu of flowers, donations are kindly referred to the Sunnyside Ministry, Moravian Church (sunnysideministry.org).