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Richard "Dick" McCusker

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Richard "Dick" McCusker Obituary


Richard L. "Dick" McCusker, 87, of Newington, died peacefully with family at his side, on Sunday, Jan. 12, 2014. He was the beloved husband for 53 years of the late Valeria (Bernier) McCusker. Born in New Britain, son of the late Andrew McCusker, II, and Ann (Albrecht) McCusker, he was a Newington resident for most of his life. Like many young men of his generation, Dick left school to enlist in the U.S. Marine Corps during World War II. After his honorable discharge, he returned to school and graduated from high school in New Britain. Throughout his life he remained a proud U.S. Marine. He began his career selling oil for Ratcliff Oil Company. Dick found his calling with the love of sales and was then employed by Oil Heat and Engineering in 1950, where he served as Sales Manager through the 1950's. In the early 70's he began his wholesale company, New England Equipment Distributors. He founded an HVAC retail business, New England Heating and Cooling in the late 70's, and operated the business for many years. Dick was a generous person, especially when it came to folks who might be down on their luck or otherwise needed a break. If you were willing to work hard, Dick was always willing to find a job for you in his companies. Countless individuals got their start and found success in the HVAC business through Dick, many of whom went on to form their own businesses or otherwise continue in the HVAC business to this day. Upon his retirement, the business was continued by his son Greg as Southern New England Heating and Cooling, where Dick continued to consult and sell on a part time basis. Dick was a member of St. Mary's Church, Newington, and a third degree member of the Knights of Columbus. At age 22 he was appointed to the Newington Democratic Town Committee. He was an organizer and first president of Newington Young Dems in 1948. He was also a longtime member of the Newington Board of Tax Review. He served as the first president of the Newington Police Benevolent Association and was a Newington Supernumerary Police Officer with the Newington Police Department. He was also a member of the CT State Police Auxiliary. Dick was an elected member of the Board of Education for eighteen years and chairman of the board for one year. Well versed in the educational requirements of the town, he was one of the prime forces in the accelerated school construction program, including the new high school and Elm Hill and Elizabeth Green School additions. With the help of Senator Thomas Dodd, he was instrumental in obtaining land from the VA Administration for the present Newington High School, and advocated tirelessly for its eventual construction. In 1968, the Newington Jaycee's honored him by bestowing the "Distinguished Service Award", given annually in recognition of outstanding leadership, service, and community development activities. Acknowledging his "outstanding educational contributions", he also received an award from the Newington Federation of Teachers in 1968. Dick loved spending time at Point O' Woods Beach, where he was a member of the Board of Governors, and at Marco Island, FL. He was an avid boater and fisherman and a member of the U.S. Power Squadron. His survivors include four sons, Rick R. McCusker and his wife Michelle McCusker, M.D. of Summerland Key, FL, Colonel Daniel A. McCusker, USAF (ret.) of Burke, VA, Greg McCusker and his wife Debra of Rocky Hill, and William Bradford McCusker and his wife Ann-Marie of Grafton, MA; his daughter Valeria Jean DeSantis and her husband Peter of Accord, NY; eight grandchildren, Kevin, Drew, Kelsey, Scott, Dylan, Katie, Del and Libby. He also leaves a brother Andrew McCusker, III, of Ft. Meyers, FL; his dearest friend Dorothy K. Duksa of Newington; and several nieces and nephews. He was pre-deceased by a sister and three brothers, Mary, Robert, Gerald and Raymond McCusker. His funeral service will begin on Friday, Jan. 17, at 11:00 a.m. at the Newington Memorial Funeral Home, 20 Bonair Ave., Newington, followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 11:30 a.m. at St. Mary's Church. He will be laid to rest with military honors in West Meadow Cemetery, Newington. Relatives and friends are invited to call on Friday morning from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. at Newington Memorial. Memorial donations may be made to the Peter Lavery Scholarship Fund, P. O. Box 44, East Berlin, CT 06023-0044. To share a memory with his family, please visit us at www.newingtonmemorial.com.



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Published in The Hartford Courant on Jan. 14, 2014
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