RICHFORD — Richard W. Ryea, age 82, passed away Friday, Nov. 10, 2017 at the Northwestern Medical Center in St. Albans after a short battle with cancer.
He was born in Richford, Vermont on Sept. 22, 1935 to the late Ira and Kathleen (Nutting) Ryea.
Richard enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served abroad many aircraft carriers. The U.S.S. Wasp and the U.S.S Tarawa were among them. While serving in the Navy, he traveled overseas and loved to talk about all the ships on which he served and all the places he visited. Richard was an avid fan of the Boston Red Sox and enjoyed Nascar. He loved country music and wherever he was – in the car, outdoors or inside – the music was always playing. He loved to dance, read westerns and take his wife Donna on Sunday drives. He always looked forward to visiting his grandchildren and all the big holiday family dinners. He loved all his “grand-dogs” as he called them, but his daughter’s little miniature schnauzer, Smokey Joe, was his buddy. He used to go get him and keep him for a while because he would miss him so.
After his discharge from the Navy, Richard went to work for Sweat and Cummings Furniture. He worked there until the factory closed and then went to Richford High School where he worked maintenance until his retirement. He was a member of the American Legion for 27 years and served on their board. Richard was a master furniture maker who loved to work with wood and made many one-of-a-kind cradles, hope chests and picture frames, etc. for his family. He will always be remembered for his tremendous sense of humor and the love he had for his family and friends, of whom he had many.
He is survived by his wife Donna of Richford and their children Linda Ryea Richard and her husband Robert of Waitsfield, Randall Ryea and his wife Cindy of Richford, and Douglas Ryea and his wife Kimberly of Swanton; his brother Leland Ryea and his wife Rebecca of Milton and his grandchildren Brittany Ryea of Milton, Brandon Ryea of Swanton, Travis Ryea of Richford, Desiree Gingras and her husband Travis of Kannapolis North Carolina; very special sister-in-law Esther Combs and her husband Melvin of Richford and many nieces and nephews. Besides his parents, Richard was predeceased by his sister Gladys (Ryea) Deuso; his brothers Ira Ryea Jr. and Eugene Ryea and his wife Melba; half-brother Robert Nutting and his wife Grace and his very special sister-in-law Regina Stewart.
In keeping with Richard’s wishes, he will be cremated and there will be no calling hours. A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017 at Spears Funeral Home, 96 Dickinson Ave., Enosburg. A private burial will be arranged at a later date in the Richford Center Cemetery.
Flowers are welcome and, for those who wish, contributions in Richard’s memory may be made to the Vermont Cancer Center, c/o The University of Vermont Foundation, 411 Main St., Burlington, VT 05401.
Condolences, photos and favorite memories may be shared through www.gossfs.com