We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Graham Funeral Home & Cremation Services
Richard Allen Small met the love of his life on a gently rocking dock while swimming one warm summer day at Hampton ponds in Westfield, MA in 1957. He had recently joined the United States Air Force and the girl of his dreams was in nurses training at the Cooley Dickinson Hospital School of Nursing. Richard and Roberta May Carrington were married three months later. They spent almost 65 unbelievable years together.
Richard was born August of 1936 in Attleboro, Massachusetts to Guy and Laura (Cruff) Small. He was one of six children, with siblings Everett, Eleanor, Virginia, Betty and Donna. With his father being from Rockport, Maine and his mother from Prince Edward Island, Rich, also known as Dick developed a love of being out on the water. While his children were little, he started building boats in the basement; row boats, sail boats, speed boats and a cabin cruiser (causing the walk-out cellar door and wall to be unexpectedly altered due to some of the crafts not fitting out). He took his family on many adventures, with highlights including being tossed around in the waves at the tall ships parade in New York Harbor in 1976 and trips on the Hudson River and up the Erie Canal.
After serving as a Jet Aircraft Mechanic and being honorably discharged from the Air Force, he started work as a Service Technician for Sears, Roebuck and Company, retiring 34 years later as the Northeast Regional Service Manager based out of Albany, NY. Not ready to leave the workforce, he had a brief stint as a car salesperson, then joined Kleenbore in Easthampton for ten years and finally Beskos Appliance in Easthampton for ten more years; two businesses where he truly loved his work and those he worked with.
Eclectic in his interests and talents, Rich was a Scout leader when his children were young, a woodworker, custom doll house maker, fine artist painter, truck and vehicle enthusiast, competitive shooter, and later in life, golf enthusiast. When he took up a new hobby it was all or nothing, resulting in a basement full of truck pull and marksman accolades, along with golf highlights when teamed up with his grandchildren in league play or tournaments.
Until his very last day, he was thankful for his wife’s tender loving care, and would boast to anyone that would listen about how amazing his five children were (to their utmost embarrassment). If you were there long enough, he would start telling you about how incredible each and every one of his fifteen grandchildren were. In addition to his wife Roberta of 64 years, he leaves his sister, Donna Wiswall, children, Richard A. Small Jr. and wife Susannah of Chester, Dale E. Small and wife Barbara of Huntington, Robin L. Grimes and husband Gary of Ludlow, Audrey F. Antosz and husband David of Westhampton, and Laurie A. Small of Huntington and her fiancée Scott Martell, and many close nephews and nieces. Richard’s wit, wisdom, and unconditional love will be missed by his grandchildren, Thomas, Rachel, Caitlin, Nathan, Jared, Matthew, Sean, Ian, Evan, Alexander, Jake, Garrett, Abigail, Tiffany and Johnny, as well as his great grandchildren Harley, Roxanne, Wilder, Elam and Asher.
Dedicated to his faith, Richard followed Montgomery Community Church with Pastor Noe and then First Congregational Church of Chicopee with the Reverend Gary Grimes. He gained his place in heaven on July 4, 2022 when he passed away at the age of 85 surrounded by his loving wife and five children. He was forever thankful for God’s blessings.
Our sincere thanks to the VA Central Western MA Healthcare in Leeds, MA for their years of dedicated care and thank you to the caring nurses and staff at Cooley Dickinson Hospital and Holyoke Medical Center, especially the compassion of his nurses in his final days.
Huntington Fire Association
PO Box 122, Huntington MA 01050
First Church of Chicopee
306 Chicopee Street, Chicopee MA 01013