Richard Pickering
Richard Pickering
Richard Pickering
Richard Pickering
Richard Pickering

Obituary of Richard L. Pickering

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Obituary for Richard Loring Pickering March 7, 1936 – January 30, 2022 Richard Loring Pickering was born in Salem, MA, son of John and Ruth (Benson) Pickering. He was a “surprise” younger brother to three much older brothers – John, Tim and Henry – and a sister – “Bunty.” When his older brothers left home to serve during WWII and his sister married, his parents moved to a farm in Middleton, MA where he had a pony named Toby. He spent glorious summers sailing and fishing in Ogunquit, Maine. He attended the Brooks School where he was proud to have earned 6 varsity letters in crew, as a coxswain in 7th and 8th grade, then as a first boat rower after he suddenly had a growth spurt. He went on to graduate from Trinity College, after which he joined the army and attended the Army Language School in Monterey, CA. There he met Jane Bowler who was teaching kindergarten in the Bay Area, through their dear mutual friend John McGlennon. Dick was called to a two-year post on the Black Sea in Turkey interpreting Russian radio messages. He befriended a local fisherman, bought a boat, and spent many days sailing and fishing. Jane taught kindergarten and, when Dick returned, they were married at her parent’s home, “Hillside” in Plymouth, MA, in August, 1961. Dick and Jane began their life together teaching, coaching, and living at independent schools, first at the Rectory School in Pomfret, CT, then at Lawrence Academy in Groton, MA. They spent summers in Salem while Dick obtained his teaching credentials through Salem State, and created shortcuts through Lynn, MA with his close friend Hank Burns. Three children, Christina, Richard and Nathan were born. They bought a farmhouse in Arundel, Maine where they spent summers, eventually moving to Kennebunkport year-round. Dick put teaching aside and began a new career with Tom’s of Maine in the early days of the “health food” movement. They spent happy years on Paddy’s Creek in Cape Porpoise, mucking around in boats. After Tom’s, Dick owned Cape Hardware store and Cape Floor Refinishers, then Meadowside Antiques after moving to two 18th century homes in West Kennebunk. In mid-life, Dick and Jane moved to the mid-coast of Maine and into another 18th century cape in Waldoboro, then to a home on Damariscotta Lake in Jefferson. Here they frequently hosted their children and grandchildren for swimming, water skiing, and fourth of July parades. They became dedicated members at St. Giles Episcopal Church, where Jane helped lead a fundraising campaign for a new parish hall and Dick helped to build the hall. They began to spend winters in Apalachicola, FL where they were faithful members of Trinity Episcopal Church with a wide circle of dear friends. They built a house there, where Dick grew fruits and vegetables, sharing his garden know-how freely with passersby. Jane was diagnosed with dementia and they moved to Penobscot Shores in Belfast, ME. As her illness deepened, Dick was a loving and patient caregiver, both at home and at Quarry Hill, where he continued to volunteer even after Jane’s death in 2019. He worked to support unhoused people in Waldo County and served at the Belfast soup kitchen. Dick’s final project was “tarting up” the small ranch home he purchased next door to son, Nathan, in downtown Belfast with handmade roof molding and turning the front lawn into an English cottage garden that was featured in the 2021 Belfast Garden Club tour. This past Christmas, despite advancing cancer, he still schooled his young adult grandchildren in cards and pool. Dick will be remembered for his passion for gardens, birds, and boats; his curiosity and love of learning; his bridge and pool game; his quiet faith; and his devotion to Jane, his children, and his extended family and friends. He is survived by daughter Tina, who is married to Matt, and Tina’s children Quincy, Carter and Sydney and Matt’s children Dan, Tori and Andrea; son Richard who is married to Meg, and their children Alex and Grace; son Nathan who is married to Deb, and their children Kaylee and Madison; and his dear friend who was like a son, Brian Harris who is married to Alison Hawkes, and their son Jackson; in addition to many beloved nieces and nephews and friends. A funeral service will be held at St. David’s Episcopal Church in Kennebunk, Maine on Saturday, April 9, 2022 at 11:00 a.m. The Rt. Rev. A. Robert Hirschfeld will preside, and the Rev. John Van Siclen will offer a homily. A luncheon reception will follow at a place to be determined. Please respond to christinawpickering@gmail.com. Attendees in person should be vaccinated and wear masks. There will also be a livestream. Contributions in Dick’s memory may be given to the Belfast Soup Kitchen or St. Giles Episcopal Church in Jefferson, Maine. Our family would like to thank David, Regina, Courtney and all of the hospice caregivers at Sussman House and Maine Health. Memories and condolences may be shared on his tribute wall.
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