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Roland D. Richard
June 4, 1932 ~ January 11, 2023 (age 90) 90 Years Old
Roland D. Richard, "Rol, Rolo, Rollie, Racy, Dad O' Dad", of Bristol, CT, and recent resident of Burlington, MA, died on January 11, 2023, at 90 years of age. In 1953, while playing basketball for Hillyer College, he was introduced in the press as a "little bundle of dynamite," which accurately reflected how he lived his life.
Despite a valiant effort, he lost to his rival, cancer, after beating it in 2017.
In the months before his death, he was lovingly cared for by his adoring wife of 63 years, Ann Marie Richard, who was always by his side and whose heart was won over the years by Roland's sense of humor and his kindness.
Roland lived his life with enthusiasm, passion, and a sense of adventure; however, it was his generosity, kindness, and willingness to lend anyone a hand that will truly be remembered. He was a natural athlete and a lover of the outdoors. He enjoyed skiing, golfing, hiking, swimming and time at the lake with his family.
Roland was born on June 4, 1932, to Amedee and Marie-Louise (Gosselin) Richard and grew up in Bristol, CT.
One of four children, growing up during The Great Depression and World War II, Roland understood what it was to go without and worked hard all his life. He started with a paper route, and when he was in his early teens, he hitchhiked his way to Lenox, MA, to work at a recreational family resort where he lived each summer working in the kitchen and entertaining guests. Roland also worked hard in the tobacco fields in Windsor, CT, and passed on his strong work ethic to his children.
But when it was time to play, he spent endless hours at the Bristol Boys Club, which served as a fun respite for him and his brothers. There he became a great athlete and team player and, later in high school, lettered in golf, soccer, and basketball. He always remained humble even when awarded Bristol High Class Athlete of the year.
Roland graduated from Bristol High School in 1951 and served as class President. Along the way, he met treasured, life-long friends, setting an example of friendship and the importance of it. Roland and his childhood friends, Stan Ozirsky and Fred Majewski enjoyed many adventures together through the years.
He attended Hillyer College and contributed to the Hartford school's most successful season in basketball. After Hillyer, Roland joined the Army to serve his country. Although he trained for heavy artillery, his skills as a typist got him a job as a captain's clerk stationed in Germany. He took advantage of his free time traveling Europe, which provided many experiences he later shared in stories and pictures with his children and grandchildren. When he returned from the Army, he worked as a data processor and retired from Combustion Engineering after 30 years.
In 1959, Roland married Ann Marie (Zimbouski) Richard and was blessed with three children. Ann Marie and Roland loved music and dancing together and valued family and friends, welcoming all into their cherished home in their beloved neighborhood in Bristol.
Roland leaves his wife of 63 years, Ann Marie Richard, their son Steven Richard and wife, Pam of Newton, MA, daughter Bethanie Tobin and husband, Mark Tobin of Wayland, MA, daughter Karen Fallon and husband, Michael Fallon of Bedford, MA as well as six grandchildren, Liliana Richard, Ashley Fallon, Cameron Fallon, Matthew Richard, Lauren Fallon, and Cecilia Tobin. He loved watching his grandchildren grow and attending their soccer, hockey, baseball, dance, and gymnastics events. His grandchildren will remember him for his playful, mischievous spirit and willingness to jump into any game.
He is also survived by his loving sister Bernadette Richard who he shared a special sibling bond. As well as his loving sister-in-law, Kathy Schubert, his nephew, Michael Zimbouski; niece, Amy Elmazaj; and her husband, Misto, and son, Owen.
He was predeceased by his two brothers, George Richard and Henry Richard. As well as his brother-in-law, Owen Schubert, and David Zimbouski, the latter of who encouraged AnnMarie to date Roland because "he was a good guy."
We will all miss his memorable smile, a smile filled with warmth, kindness, and a little mischief, and one he graced us with until he could smile no longer.
Funeral services will be held on Monday (January 16, 2023) at 10 AM from Funk Funeral Home, 35 Bellevue Ave., Bristol to St. Gregory Church, 235 Maltby St., Bristol, for a Mass of Christian Burial at 11 AM followed by military honors. Burial will be private. Relatives and friends may call at Funk Funeral Home on Sunday between 2 and 4 PM.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the BBGC, Attn: Donations 255 West Street, Bristol CT 06010 or go to BBGC.org. Please specify the donation is in memory of Roland Richard and is specifically for the Boys & Girls Club of Bristol.
Please visit Roland’s memorial web-site at www.FunkFuneralHome.com.