Richard J. “Dick,” “Rich” Barbieri, 83, of Southington, passed away peacefully in his home on Saturday, January 21, 2017, surrounded and comforted by his loving family after a brave fight with primary central nervous system lymphoma. Simply put, he was an amazing husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle, citizen and friend. He will be sorely missed.
Dick was born on April 12, 1933 in Torrington, CT to the late Anthony and Marion (Falivene) Barbieri. Dick will be forever missed by Rita (Collyer) Barbieri, his loving wife of more than 55 years; his sister, Adeline Albano of Torrington; and his three children, Richard (Debra) of Aldie, VA, Raye (George) of New York, NY and Roberta (Declan) of Ridgefield, CT. Dick also leaves behind eight grandchildren, Alex (Brooke), Erik (Catie), Zackary, Elias, Olivia, Colton (Alexandra), Conor and Cooper; and two great-grandchildren, Madelyn and Logan.
Dick was predeceased by his sister and brother-in-law, Dorothy and Ralph Graziani, and his brother-in-law, Larry Albano, and sister-in-law Annie Sutton. He will be remembered fondly by a broad extended family, including his brother/sister-in-laws, Jack Sutton and Ronald and Roberta Collyer, as well as all of his nieces and nephews and countless dear friends.
Dick enjoyed a long and rich life. After growing up in Torrington, he entered the U.S. Navy as a Seaman First Class, serving in the Korean War aboard the USS Shannon and USS Jeffers, and ultimately retiring after 23 years as a Lt. Commander, USNR. After active duty, Dick began his career as an electrician apprenticing for his mentor, Danny Laria, in Torrington, CT, eventually rising to the level of Master Electrician. Dick attended Central Connecticut State University on the G.I. Bill, earning a B.S. in Education and later an M.S. in Education. He began teaching in the Industrial Arts Department of Bloomfield Junior High School, followed by a move to Eli Whitney Tech in Hamden, where he retired as head of the Electrical Department after 22 years.
Dick ran his own electrical business – Barbieri Electric – for more than 30 years, employing former students and working happily alongside many contractor colleagues and friends. Dick was also a long- time volunteer at Bread for Life, a member of the American Legion, and could always be counted on to man the polls every election day.
Dick enjoyed a number of hobbies, including travelling the world with his family, fishing trips to Hamburg Cove and along the East Coast with the B&G Fishing Team , voraciously reading naval and outdoor adventure novels, cultivating tomatoes and lettuce into the Fall in his garden, and climbing mountains, including more than a dozen of New England’s highest peaks and summiting Mount Rainer. He was an avid golfer who described himself as a ‘hacker’ and enjoyed many a prank on the golf course, when he wasn’t telling corny jokes or spinning tales of the gingerbread boy for his children and then his grandchildren. His family will continue to cherish many summers together at the house that Dick built on Big Indian Lake in St Albans, Maine.
A viewing will be held at Della Vecchia Funeral Home at 211 North Main Street, Southington on Friday January 27, 2017 from 4 pm to 7 pm. A funeral mass will take place at St Thomas Church at 99 Bristol Street, Southington, on Saturday January 28, 2017 at 10 am. Donations in Dick’s memory to the Hartland Public Library in Hartland, Maine would be appreciated (Hartland Public Library, 16 Mill Street Hartland, Maine 04943). For online condolences and directions please visit, www.dellavecchiafh.com