WESTFIELD- Richard (Dick) Speight, of Westfield, was called safely home on July 25, 2012.
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Richard was born and raised in East Longmeadow. He was predeceased by his parents, Thomas W. and Emily (Deity) Speight.
He Joined the Navy at the ripe age of 14 and served two years before he was discovered to be only 16 and was honorably discharged. He then embarked on a long career as a Pipefitter.He was a member of Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 104 for over 50 years, serving his last six years as business agent for his beloved Local 104.
Richard was a renowned political confident to many politicians. He served for years as a close political aide to former Presidential candidate and longtime U.S. Senator Christopher Dodd. He was also a close friend and confident of U.S. Congressman Samuel Gejdenson, 2nd Dist. Connecticut, for over three decades. In addition to national politicians, he served as the sounding board for countless state and local candidates, including his longtime friend, former Senator Stephen Buoniconti. Richard (or "Dicky" as his friends affectionately called him) was a brilliant assessor of political winds and often spoke in "dickyisms" that captured the tenor and message that needed to be delivered. His political genius and common sense wisdom will be sorely missed by all.
While Richard was a great success in his professional life, he was even more successful as a family man and lover of people. He will be missed by countless friends and family but especially his loving wife, Maureen (Sullivan) Speight and his two step daughters, Michele Tola and her husband Sebastian and Katie Narvaez and her husband Victor; as well as two step sons, Brian and Keith Burrows. He also leaves behind his mother-in-law, Stella Sullivan; his sisters-in-law, Kathleen Hupfer and her husband Karl and Patricia Cialek and her husband Steven; his brothers-in-law, Richard Sullivan and his wife Carol, Timothy Sullivan and his wife Jayne, Edward Sullivan, William Sullivan; and his sisters-in-law Patricia Speight and Margaret Sullivan.
Richard was predeceased by his first wife, Margaret (Bernache) Speight and leaves his very special step children, Sissy Bernache, Kathleen Bernache, Michael Bernache, and Timothy Bernache. He was predeceased by his step children, Kimberly Bernache, Kenny Bernache and John Bernache. Richard also leaves his beloved sister, Ruth (Speight) Connor and her husband James of East Longmeadow. He was predeceased by his sister, Jane ("Nellie") Speight, as well as his brother and best friend, Thomas W. Speight, Jr . He also leaves behind 16 nieces and nephews, nine grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren, all of whom love him dearly.
He was a longtime member of the Knights of Columbus.
We will always cherish Richard's memory including countless times on Cape Cod, riding his horse, "Duke," his dry sense of humor and his ever-present smile.
Funeral services will be Monday at 9:30 a.m. from the Toomey-O'Brien Funeral Home, 1043 Westfield St., West Spingfield, followed by a Liturgy of Christian Burial at 10:30 a.m. at St. Mary's Church, 30 Bartlett St. Westfield. Burial will follow in St. Mary's Cemetery. Calling hours will be Sunday from 3 to 7 p.m. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in Richard's memory to Baystate VNA & Hospice, c/o Baystate Health Foundation, 280 Chestnut St., Springfield, MA 01199 or Pipefitters Local 104 Scholarship Fund, 168 Chicopee St. Chicopee, MA 01020.
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Published in Daily Hampshire Gazette on July 27, 2012