December 31, 2012

Midge Turk Richardson, 82, former nun, Seventeen editor

She left a religious order after 18 years, joined the New York social swirl and married a former tennis star.

By ELAINE WOO Los Angeles Times

(Continued from page 1)

Richardson, who was Sister Agnes Marie in her religious life, was particularly upset about what she saw as the church's inadequate attention to the concerns of the poor community she served, especially the need for birth control. After experiencing two episodes of temporary blindness that her doctors said was caused by stress, she decided to leave religious life.

"The amount of compromise we were asked to make -- I just couldn't do it," she told The Times in 1978. "I had to realize people I believed in didn't want to give as much as I did."

In 1970, four years after she left the order, its mother superior, Anita Caspary, and the 300 nuns who followed her broke with the church and formed the Immaculate Heart Community, a lay Christian group.

Richardson moved to New York, where she was hired as a teacher and assistant to the dean at New York University's School of the Arts. She attracted the attention of Glamour magazine after participating in a "design-in" at Central Park and in 1967 became its college editor.

After leaving Glamour in 1974, she briefly edited Scholastic's teen magazine Coed before she was lured to Seventeen as executive editor.

She was 44 when she married Hamilton Richardson, a Rhodes scholar and former Davis Cup tennis star who had gone into the oil and gas business. He died in 2006. She is survived by three stepchildren; two sisters; and five step-grandchildren.

 

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