DENVER - For years, Elbert "Big Al" Richardson, Jr. was a staple in the African-American community around Five Points.
"Our dad came to Denver in 1946 after serving his country," Larry Richardson, son, said. "He wanted people of color to create businesses and property and prosper."
Big Al was a long time leader of the Five Points Business Association. He ran a popular nightclub called "Big Al's" in Five Points while also serving as a Deacon at the Graham Memorial Church of God.
"When the spirit would get high in the church, he'd get happy," Leona Masters, district missionary of Graham Church, said. "He'd get crying, tears running down, praising the Lord."
Richardson helped established the Juneteenth celebration in Denver to honor the freedom of slaves.
"He was always helping. He was a giving person," Wilma Webb, wife of former Denver Mayor Wellington Webb, said.
The resurgence of Five Points and the establishment of the light rail through the area are part of the work that Richardson is credited. He died at 89 years old. The Air Force veteran was buried at Fort Logan.
"He was our rock and the Lord was his," Lucritia McCoy, daughter, said. "We love him dearly. You can weep that he is gone or you can smile because he lived."
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