Frederic Benjamin Richardson 86, of Oakdale CT, passed away peacefully on May 26, 2020 after a courageous battle with cancer. He was born in Providence RI on December 21, 1933 to Leigh Hugo Richardson and Bessie Alberta (Hall) Powney. He had three siblings - brother Robert Leigh Richardson, sisters Virginia Alberta Renfree Fournier and Lois Elaine Thornlimb.
Fred had a variety of interests and will be remembered as a friend to all, always smiling, optimistic and realistic. Above all, he was devoted to his family, wife Doreen Louise (Gustafson) and his children and their families - daughter Keri, husband Andrew Ferland, and grandchildren Jenna and Drew, of Holliston MA; son Carl of South Berwick ME; and son Brad and wife Deborah of Bardstown KY.
Fred was a 1951 graduate of Gorton High School in Warwick, RI. He served in the Army during the Korean war as a helicopter mechanic from 1953-1956 in Nuremberg Germany where he made many lifelong friends. After 5 years of night classes, Fred graduated from Roger Williams Junior College and worked at designing bridges for the yet-to-be built I-95 thru Providence. He started work at Electric Boat in Groton CT as a draftsman, then worked his way up to supervisor in the structural engineering department. He retired from EB at the end of 1995.
He was also a proud member of the Mason’s Brainard Lodge #102 for over fifty years.
Fred took an interest in woodworking in his pre-high school years and pursued it throughout his life. Following in his father’s footsteps, he learned the general contractor and carpenter trades. His father had him work summers in exchange for a piece of woodworking equipment. An avid tool collector, Fred had a well-equipped shop where he spent countless hours. In the 1950’s, Fred obtained his pilot’s license for a small plane he co-owned and he considered becoming a commercial pilot.
After getting married in 1961, Fred and Doreen purchased an unfinished home in Oakdale CT. He used his carpentry skills to expand on and add personalized touches to their home over the years including a shed, blacksmith shop, garage, breezeway, deck, and a meticulously landscaped yard. No project was too involved. He would have the drawing board out and have it detailed to scale and, miraculously, all would go according to plan. Working alongside him, you knew it would turn out ok. He remained in their home until just a few months ago.
Fred always had an interest in farm-related activities and antique tools. He often returned to the family dairy farm in Clinton ME where his father was raised. He had a great time there with relatives since he was a teen, and enjoyed bringing his kids there also.
Over the years, Fred was involved in his kids’ activities from cub scouts, boy scouts, baseball, high school band, track as well as his kids’ own home projects. Fred and Doreen could always be counted on to be supportive as leaders, coaches and spectators.
Fred loved camping with extended family and friends. When he took a job in California in 1970 for two years, the family camped across the country with a tent trailer and made weekend camping trips in the western third of the country while there. Later, he took another cross country trip in a revitalized truck and truck camper in 1986 for his wedding anniversary. In 1989, he switched to an RV which he personalized and enjoyed traveling to parks, historic sites, amish country, and family gatherings.
An avid birdwatcher, there were plenty of bird feeders in Oakdale. Fred and Doreen also traveled the east coast following bird migrations.
For the last few years, Fred had been a caregiver to Doreen, currently at Masonicare Mystic.
Fred’s final resting place will be at the RI Veterans Memorial Cemetery, Exeter, RI.
The family would like to thank the staff at Masonicare Mystic and Hartford Healthcare Hospice for their wonderful care.
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