Following the untimely death of daughter Nicole in 2006, Nancy Richardson and husband Charles Krogmeier and Guy Richardson and wife Katie created a lasting legacy in her honor – the Nicole Richardson Memorial Fund through the Community Foundation of Johnson County. Nicole was 27 when she died.
The University of Iowa (B.A., 2001) and University of Oregon School of Law (J.D., 2004) alumna was known as an uncompromising crusader with a passion to provide legal representation for society's vulnerable populations, especially indigent criminal defendants.
Nicole's drivers license indicated she was an organ donor. In death, Nicole continued her commitment to serve others with the donation of lungs, kidneys, heart, pancreas, liver and corneas, helping improve the lives of seven critically-ill patients.
Since Nicole's death, her parents have hosted a charity auction and golf tournament. Proceeds from the annual event support two of Nicole's passions: helping people in need secure quality legal services and organ and tissue donation.
A longtime family friend received one of Nicole's kidneys. Nancy says, "Witnessing what Nicole's compassion meant to our friend, and to be able to sense her living through him and other recipients of her organs, has brought us peace."
Nicole's Memorial Fund generously supports the work of the Iowa Donor Network's organ / tissue donation and transplant services; UI Law School Access to Justice Fund sustaining public law summer internships; the Nicole Richardson Outstanding Pro Bono Service Award Fund, awarded to a law student whose pro bono work has made a significant impact to the community; training efforts for the Iowa Public Defender's Office; and PAWS, an animal rights and advocacy organization, in recognition of Nicole's love for her pet Shih Tzu, Riley.
In 2011, Nicole was among 72 organ/tissue donors and recipients honored on the Donate Life Float in the Tournament of Roses Parade.
Nancy, who serves on the board of directors for the Community Foundation of Johnson County and Iowa Donor Network, says, "The Nicole Richardson Memorial Fund, like many small charitable efforts, has no staff. Working through the Community Foundation provides administrative support that helps make our fundraising efforts more viable and reliable. We have chosen these two areas to support because we have seen firsthand how lives can be saved and improved through organ / tissue donation and quality legal service for those most vulnerable, but mostly because we want to honor our daughter's legacy and memory."
Nancy Richardson (right) is pictured with a kidney machine.