Obituary : Richard A. Gale
Richard Allen Gale of 10 Locust Lane, Vineyard Haven, died on March 16 following a brief illness. He was 83. Born Jan. 23, 1925 in West Tisbury, he was the son of Allen and Mary Gale of Vineyard Haven.
Dick, as he was known to his friends, graduated from Tisbury High School in 1943 and Massachusetts Maritime Academy in 1944, where he received degrees in marine and electrical engineering. He received an honorary degree from the University of Michigan, and attended Boston University, Texas Christian University, and Columbia University.
Upon graduation from Mass Maritime, Mr. Gale was enlisted as a Lieutenant in the United States Navy. He served as an engineering officer during World War II and the Korean War, serving aboard the USS Huntington and USS LST 611, and in Hawaii and Newport, R.I. From 1951 to 1953, he was Director of Athletics at the Newport Naval Base.
His engineering career spanned over four decades and included extensive experience with General Dynamics in Groton, Conn., where he was Marketing Manager; General Dynamics in the Quincy Shipbuilding Division and Electric Boat Division. His experience led him to design and patent several rotary engines, pumps, and compressors. He is listed in Who's Who in Industry and was a member of the American Institute of Plant Engineers.
Richard was an exceptional athlete throughout his life. Islanders of the time would long remember his basketball and baseball prowess. He pitched a no-hit, no-run game as a Tisbury High School Senior and led the basketball team to many victories, including one over Wellfleet High in 1941. The final score was 18-15 and Dick scored half of Tisbury's points. The Dukes County Intelligencer selected him as Tisbury High "player of the early 40's." During his Mass Maritime career he starred on the varsity football, basketball, and baseball teams. He loved tennis and golf and had been a member of Farm Neck Golf Club since 1987.
Everyone who met Dick was impressed by his passion for life. He had an infectious laugh and an ever-present sense of humor. Always curious, he traveled extensively all over the United States and the world. His children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren remember him affectionately as Santa at family Christmas gatherings where he distributed gifts with equal parts love and laughter.
Richard is survived by his four children; Lynne Silva and Raymond Gale, both of West Tisbury; Richard B. Gale of Oak Bluffs; and Leigh Reynolds of Edgartown; beloved companion, Nancy Tesch of Vineyard Haven and her children, Linda Tesch of Chicago, Kurt Tesch of Vineyard Haven, and Lisa Dolan of Medfield and Martha's Vineyard; a sister, Elizabeth Cottle of West Tisbury; a brother, Robert Gale of Vineyard Haven; eight grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
Richard was respected and admired by all who knew him and well loved by his family and friends. He will be deeply missed.