Richard was born on July 1, 1948, in Grand Isle, Maine. He graduated from Van Buren District High School, the University of Maine, and Thunderbird School of Global Management. Rich was a man of many talents. He served in the Army Signal Corps with distinction in Vietnam, and then worked for many years in banking, global trade, and financial analysis. A lifelong learner and educator, his love of math led him to volunteer as a tutor for 4th grade students for over 15 years. Throughout his life, he had a strong passion for baking and carpentry, each of which he excelled at and eventually took up professionally.
A true citizen of the world, Rich loved languages and travel, growing up speaking French, learning English in kindergarten, and becoming fluent in German while stationed in Heidelberg, Germany. Over the years, he picked up bits of nearly a dozen languages and was always eager to strike up friendly conversations.
Rich was a proud husband, father, and grandfather, and considered his family to be his greatest accomplishment. He is survived by his wife of 43 years, Sherrie Saint-Amant; his daughter, son-in-law, and grandson, Darcy, Buzz and Conrad Covington of Alexandria, Va.; and his son and daughter-in-law, Chris Saint-Amant and Zoe Zarkades of San Jose, Calif. One of 13 children, Rich is survived by his brothers Val, Clarence, Paul, and Gene, and sisters Loretta, Cecile, Bertha, Jackie, and Diane. He was predeceased by his brother Emilien and sisters Carol and Rella.
Friends and family are invited to celebrate Rich’s life at a memorial gathering on Saturday, July 19, from 12:30 to 3:30 pm, at Mt. Hood Clubhouse, 100 Slayton Road in Melrose, Mass.
In lieu of flowers, contributions in Rich’s name may be made to The Bridge: A School/Community Partnership, a nonprofit organization which coordinates volunteers for the Melrose Public Schools. Checks payable to “The Bridge” can be mailed to The Bridge, Atten: Jen McAllister, Melrose Public Schools, 360 Lynn Fells Parkway, Melrose, MA 02176. Alternatively, Martha’s Vineyard Hospital is a small, community hospital that provided Rich with excellent, loving care in his final days. Contributions to the hospital can be made through mvhospital.com/charitable-giving/make-a-gift/.