Dr. Daniel Richardson, a DCI Hall of Fame member long known for his affiliation with the Phantom Regiment, died on Saturday. He was 75.
Phantom Regiment executive director Rick Valenzuela made the announcement late Saturday night, reporting that Richardson passed with family members at his side.
"The world has lost a great man, one who was loved and adored by everyone," Valenzuela said. "The Regiment has lost a legend, a friend, a huge supporter, a mentor, and its number one fan."
A native of Rockford, Illinois, Richardson joined Phantom Regiment in his youth as a charter member of the corps in the 1950s. He joined the corps' staff in the late 1960s most notably serving as the corps' program coordinator for nearly two decades.
Also serving stints as corps director and as a longtime board of directors member, "Dr. Dan," as he's known to everyone in the Phantom Regiment organization, also developed the corps' medical program which focuses on the health and well-being of the organization's performers each and every summer.
But perhaps his greatest contribution to the corps has been, in the words of DCI Hall of Fame member Gene Monterastelli, "as the heart and soul of the organization. Everyone loved the guy; I don't think you could find anyone with the corps who wouldn't think he was the best person in the world."
Outside of the drum corps arena, Richardson received bachelors, masters, and doctoral degrees from Loyola University's Stritch School of Medicine in pharmacology and pharmocognosy, and he was highly regarded as a prominent expert in nutrition and botanical medicine, so much so that he was in demand as a presenter of seminars to health care professionals throughout the United States and Europe.
Richardson served on the post doctorate faculty at National University of Health Sciences, Logan College of Chiropractic and the Continuing Education University. Other affiliations included the Federation of the Society of Experimental Biologists, the American Botanical Counsel, the American Association of Nutrition Consultants, and the DARE Program for the City of Chicago, in addition to service on the boards of multiple hospitals and universities, guest lectures, countless research papers, and appearances on radio and television as an expert on topics in nutrition, botanical medicine, pharmacognosy and pharmacology.
Despite that busy schedule, Richardson still found time to spend several days each month with Phantom Regiment throughout the year, continually renewing his friendships with managements and staffs from many corps.
"Dr. Dan always offered a warm embrace to everyone he came in contact, both literally and figuratively," DCI executive director and CEO Dan Acheson said. "He was a gentle but very impactful force in the activity. His love for the people within the activity will be missed, but will always be carried in the hearts of those who were fortunate enough to know him."
Richardson was inducted into the Drum Corps International Hall of Fame in 2011 and lauded for the personal interactions he had with all who he came into contact with.
"It is Dr. Dan's positive and remarkable influence on the human condition that really allows him to rise above," the late DCI Hall of Fame member Myron Rosander wrote in his nomination letter for Richardson. "It is through his amazing support of our most precious commodity, our kids, where Dr. Dan's light shines the brightest."
Remembering Dr. Daniel Richardson