Once Richard made up his mind, that’s the way it would be. As a dad he led through example: hard work, personal responsibility. As a coach he was equal parts student and teacher: he devoured all sorts of books on the sports and passed it on to the kids. Richard maintained things for a lifetime and if he built something it wasn’t going anywhere. Measure twice and cut once: he wore out many a level and plumb line. He was a car guy with an affection for Fords, though he may have wrecked a couple in his youth. He could watch TV and tell you make, model and year of any car, loved old westerns and shared a special bond with his siamese cat, Mia. Sunny days were for his victory garden; he distributed the bounty by the basketful. Summertime found him heading off to the shore; Ship Bottom and the Outer Banks for a little body surfing. He experienced most major sporting events; Stanley Cup, Superbowl, World Series, U.S. Open, Nascar, and Barrett Jackson Auto Auction in Scottsdale. He survived a cross country road trip with his son. A pioneer in the field of computing, he spent a career writing COBOL Richard was really meant to be a granddad. Pop never missed a game (even as far away as Florida). As a poppy to great grandchildren Vincent, Giovanni, and Aurora, his laughter was heard on the sidelines enjoying their athletic antics.
At Bristol High School he earned more than a diploma; it’s there he’d meet a pretty girl named Charlotte Hadfield; their 62-year marriage was blessed by children: Sherry (Peter) Spezzano, Jo Ann Newell, and Steven (Susan); grandchildren, Peter (Lisa), Dave, Stacy (Michael) and Jill; and great grandchildren, Vincent, Giovanni and Aurora. He is survived by his sister, Bertha Howard and many nieces and nephews.
Come celebrate 83 well-lived years Tuesday 6-7 p.m. at Sweeney Funeral Home, Riverside where there will be a service at 7. Donations in lieu of flowers to Samaritan Hospice, 3 Eves Drive, #300, Marlton 08053 will be appreciated.