Arleta M. Richardson was born March 9, 1923 in Flint, MI. She graduated from Spring Arbor Junior College (now University) in 1944 before going on to receive her B.S. from Western Michigan University. She returned to the community of Spring Arbor as a teacher and librarian at the Junior College until 1953, when she moved to work in Los Angeles. Her writing career began in 1970, and she published her first book in the popular Grandma’s Attic series in 1974. In the years following she wrote over thirty children’s books and other publications that have been translated into several languages, including Afrikaans, Japanese and Braille. Her other accomplishments included serving in the army during WWII, working as Director of Missions Education for the Women’s Missionary Society, and conducting a speaking/book-signing tour in Japan in the spring of 1996. She received several awards for her writing and service, including 1986 Writer of the Year through the Mount Hermon Christian Writers conference, and 1996 Alumni of the Year awarded by Spring Arbor University. She passed away July 25th, 2004 at the age of 81 as a beloved member of her community, and her books and writings continue to be celebrated and cherished today.
Marilyn Woody, the donor of the Arleta Richardson Collection, became the "keeper" of Arleta's writings after Arleta passed. Marilyn generously donated the items to the Spring Arbor University Archives for safekeeping. Marilyn was a student in Arleta's class at Los Angeles Pacific College from 1954-1956. Marilyn and Arleta also worshipped together at the Hermon Free Methodist Church.