Zia Elizabeth Richardson Ridgeland On Tuesday, a cool sun-washed morning on a beautiful stretch of the Natchez Trace, the blithe spirit of Zia Elizabeth Richardson, 15, was released from earth to soar among the stars. Zia, a native of Alabama, was born on June 30, 2001 to Jeffery and Christina Richardson, proclaiming herself to be their favorite daughter soon after learning to speak. From a very early age she demonstrated a gift for gab, an edge for style, transforming strangers into bosom buddies and annoying her older brother Jaron in persistently loving and embarrassing ways. She was a sophomore at Ridgeland High School where she excelled in art, show choir, making friends and vexing her chaperones. She often summered in South Dakota riding the plains on her horse Twizzler, head back, wind streaming through her hair and laughing uproarishly. Her dream of becoming a veterinarian will remain unfulfilled in this world, but future incarnations in any place inhabited by sick or injured animals will find Zia near at hand, offering love, comfort and care. The gift of her life and the memory of her gentle, but fiercely independent spirit, will defend and preserve her family from despair at her absence and the disability of perpetual grief. In addition to her parents and brother, she is survived by step-mom, Morgan Richardson; great grandmother, Jimmie Reynolds; paternal grandparents, Dr. Douglas Richardson and Dr. Patricia VanDecar of Flowood, Betty and Stan McCombs of Byram; and maternal grandparents, Chester Leonard and Patricia Baker of South Dakota; as well as an extended family of aunts, uncles and cousins. Visitation will be from 3-6 PM Friday and 12-2 PM Saturday at Lakewood Memorial Funeral Home on Clinton Blvd. with a brief graveside service following in Lakewood Memorial Park. Memorials may be made to the Animal Rescue Fund of Mississippi, 395 Mayes St., Jackson, MS 39213.
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