Missionary to once-cannibalistic tribe dies of cancer

( [email protected] ) Mar 06, 2004 03:10 PM EST

Carol Richardson, wife of well-known missionary author Don Richardson, died the morning of Wednesday, March 4, after a 17-month battle with cancer. She was 67.

The Richardsons moved to a remote swamp in Irian Jaya in eastern Indonesia, where for 15 years they lived with the Stone Age cannibalistic Sawi tribe. From their time there, they wrote Peace Child, the story of how a tribe of headhunters that honored treachery was transformed into a peace-loving group. While Don was writing a Sawi language alphabet, he taught the men how to read in their native language and translated the entire New Testament into Sawi. All the while, Carol shared her nursing skills with the native people. She treated tens of thousands of patients during those 15 years, sometimes treating the locals skills used by doctors in order to survive.

Carol was known to venture out into the jungle at midnight during a tropical downpour to help deliver a baby and was fondly known in the villages as "the woman who ever keeps all the people well." Carol, originally from Iowa, met and married Don at Prairie Bible Institute in Three Hills, Alberta. In addition to her husband, she is survived by four children and 12 grandchildren.