George J. Richardson, 86, secretary treasurer emeritus of the International Association of Fire Fighters, died of cardiac arrest Saturday at the Long Beach Memorial Hospital in Long Beach, Calif.
A resident of the Washington area for the last 60 years, Mr. Richardson was spending the winter at the home of his daughter, Helen Thompson, in Long Beach at the time he was hospitalized for a heart ailment.
Mr. Richardson was born in Winchester, Mass. He moved to British Columbia, Canada, at the age of 18 and joined the Vancouver Fire Department in 1913.
He was a delegate to the following convention of the International Association of Fire Fighters in 1918. Two years later, he was elected secretary-treasurer of the organization and moved to Washington at that time.
He held job until 1956, when he retired and was named secretary-treasurer emeritus. In the course of his service to the IAFF, Mr. Richardson served on a number of government commissions and represented the old American Federation of Labor at various internation conferences.
During World War II, he visited combat area in the Pacific under the auspices of the AFL and the Secretary of War. In 1947, he was appointed by President Harry S. Truman to the President's Commission of Fire Prevention. In 1951, Truman named him to the Federal Civil Defense Advisory Council. In 1947, he was the AFL representative to the British Trade Union Convention.
After retiring from the IAFF, Mr. Richardson became a special assistant to George Meany, the first president of the AFL-CIO. Mr. Richardson continued to take part in government and labor affairs and travelled to Australia, India, Malaya and Thailand as well as to Europe. He retired a second time in 1962. He then worked as a private consultant to the Defense Department on Civil Defense matters until his third retirement in 1972.
Mr. Richardson was a hockey player in his youth and he used to say that his skill on the ice helped him get his first job as a fireman in Vancouver, since all the city departments had hockey teams. He also was a fan of the Washington Redskins and manned the down markers at home games from the team's first game in 1937 until 1975.
Mr. Richardson also was a member of the Washington Optimist Club and the Congressional Country Club.
His wife of 60 years, Gertrude Gant Richardson, died in 1977.
In addition to Mrs. Thompson, his survivors include four grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.