James Richard Conder
July 20, 1930-Aug. 5, 2021
Richard, a resident of The Cypress of Charlotte, went home to his Lord and Savior on Aug. 5. He lived a life full of love for family, public service and friendships that knew no boundaries.
Richard, born in Hamlet, spent the majority of his life as a public servant for the citizens of Richmond County, as chairman of the Richmond County Board of Commissioners for 22 years. He later served as president of the National Association of Counties. He served as North Carolina senator from 1984-1997. During his last term he was elected Democrat Majority Leader. Richard was appointed to the North Carolina State Utility Commission following his term in the Senate. Richard is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force, and served in the Korean War. Richard was also a recipient of the Order of the Long Leaf Pine.
His passion was cultivating opportunity in his town, his county, his state and country. Education was a top priority — he served on the Education Committee during his time in the Senate. He was a major contributor to Richmond Community College, where the Learning Resources Center bears his name. In addition, he spent his career in banking, retiring from First Union National Bank in 1997.
He was a member of Sardis Presbyterian Church in Charlotte. He was formerly a member, deacon and elder at First Presbyterian Church of Rockingham.
His contribution to Richmond County was tremendous; Richard’s legacy is to challenge us all to live a life of kindness to everyone, love without judgement, and to give back to the community. Richard had an innate ability to connect with people and communities — he was a friend to everyone and a stranger to none.
Richard was a loving and devoted husband, father, grandfather or “Potts,” and friend. His love of family and time together became his constant source of life during the latter years. He is survived by his wife of 66 years, Barbara Speight Conder; his children, daughter Rebecca Conder Hunter of Charlotte, Elizabeth Conder of Naples, Florida, and son James Richard Conder Jr. and wife Dawn of Naples, Florida; grandchildren, Meredith and Chase Hunter of Charlotte, and Amelia and Brady Conder of Naples; nephew and family Robert Conder, wife Alana, niece and nephew Lauren and Robert.
The family would like to express gratitude to all of the loving staff at the Stewart Health Center at the Cypress of Charlotte for the care given to Richard over the past two years.
In lieu of flowers, the family would request a memorial to Richmond Community College scholarship in the name of James Richard Conder: http://richmondcc.edu/about-us/rcc-foundation/donate-here-rcc-foundation
Due to COVID-19 guidelines and current protocol, the family will have a private graveside service with a celebration of his life to be scheduled at a safer time to gather.
Online condolences may be made at www.watson-kingfuneralhome.com. Watson-King Funeral Home in Rockingham is serving the Conder family.