Buskirk, NY- Psalm 116:15 “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints!” Richard Warren Coolidge, 92, of Buskirk, NY, spent his last day here with us on Monday the 28th of November, 2022. In the grand scale of life this 4th great grandson of Thomas Jefferson was not famous, but he was grand in his own right. With his small stature of barely 5’4’ he might easily fade into the background as was more his style than to seek attention. However, when you met him, he somehow got your attention without trying and made a HUGE impression that you will always carry with you.
The youngest of three boys born to Eleanor and Thomas Coolidge, Dad spent his early years in and around Cambridge, MA, with cousins on the Cape, and at his Grandmother’s house in Plymouth. The trips to the family house on the rugged Maine coast Pops would relive til the end. He would attend several private schools including Hampshire Country School, Dublin Academy, and Bement School. Dick loved to swim to the point that he had even recalled in his zanier days a dip in the Atlantic in January!
His early 20’s found him with a small farmstead in North Hebron where Richard would meet the one and only love of his life, Norma Tucker. Together they would make their home there and start their family: Dollene, Warren, and lastly Thomas John who they would bury only a couple of short days after his birth. Mr. C loved his horses, cattle, and goats but always held a soft spot for dogs.
Richard worked varied jobs in the early years along with his farm including lawn care, chauffeur, and for several years working for Adam’s, Miller’s, and McLenithan’s livestock auctions concurrently. Upon selling the farm, the Coolidge family moved to Cambridge to shorten his commute to Mary McClellan Hospital where he would work for over 30 years, first in the boiler room and then in housekeeping. When he retired at age 72, only 22 folks remained working at the MMH. Having lost his beloved wife 2 years earlier, Dad would not sit at home after retirement but was involved with his church New Life and their food pantry and outreach in Troy.
Living to 92 has its rewards yet with these rewards comes the sadness of losing most of your peers. Richard also lost his parents, his newborn son Thomas John, his brothers Tom and John, his dear bride Norma, and other friends and family along the way. As he aged he was blessed to have a growing family; Dollene would be blessed to meet and marry Eric Targan and their marriage would lead to his dear pride and joy, Hannah, who would be his greatest coach and encourager. Warren would follow and marry his love Dorothy Watkins. With this marriage dad’s family would grow to include Dorothy’s 4 children: Andrea, Karen, Jeremy, and Philip and to this their children.
Our inheritance from dad includes, but is not limited to the following: Faith, Trust, Love, Meekness, Devotion, Joy, our love of the northeast coast and Maine, a Yankee sense of humor, zaniness, and a little white Toyota pickup with 165,000 miles on it.
Directions for living to 92:
#1- First and foremost give your life to Christ for in him is your foundation and fortitude. We can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens us.
#2- Love your family with your whole heart.
#3- Be a help to others. Encourage. Forbear.
#4- Be your “Chipper self full of Vim, Vigor, and Vitality and the picture of youth and exuberance”. If you think you know Mr. C and you have never heard this, perhaps you didn’t know him quite as well as you think!
#5- Be a bit zany mixed with just a little mischievousness. Add to that a subtle smile and a wink.
#6- Optional-Take a dip in the northern Atlantic in January!
Calling hours are 5-7 pm Friday, December 2, 2022 at the Center White Creek Baptist Church, 28 Center White Creek Lane, Eagle Bridge.
Funeral Service will be at 12 pm Saturday, December 3, 2022 at The Center White Creek Baptist Church. A reception will follow the service at the church hall.