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Richard Pfannenstiel

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Ledyard - Richard Pfannenstiel, 89, died on Saturday, June 7, 2014.

He was born Oct. 2, 1924, in New London, the son of Alois and Lucy (Riley) Pfannenstiel. The family moved to Gales Ferry when Richard was a child. He lived there until his death.

After graduating from Norwich Free Academy in 1942, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy, ultimately becoming a torpedoman on the submarine USS Finback. He was aboard the Finback in 1944, when it rescued future president George H. W. Bush from the waters of the Pacific after his plane had crashed. In 1989, President-elect Bush invited the entire crew of the Finback to his inauguration. Richard and his wife Alys attended.

Richard was active in numerous Gales Ferry civic activities, once serving as Town Prosecutor. He helped form the Ledyard Little League and coached many teams over the years. He remained a strong and consistent supporter of the town's youth organizations. In addition, he was a member of the Submarine Veterans, the VFW, and the Teamsters.

Apart from his family, his passions in life were gardening, history, and the Boston Red Sox.

He is survived by his wife of 69 years, the former Alys Brown; his son, Richard of Old Saybrook; two daughters, Kathleen Pratt of Owls Head, Maine and Jackalyne Pfannenstiel of Piedmont, Calif.; and by his sisters, Margretta Norcross, Jane Hipp, and Isabelle Gorman. He is also survived by four grandchildren, Jeffrey and Emily Pfannenstiel and Matthew and Steven Deutsch.

Richard's family would like to express their deep appreciation to Janet Arthur, Richard's caregiver, for the care and compassion shown to him over the past several years. In addition, they extend their sincere thanks to the Ledyard Regional VNA.

A graveside service will be held at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, June 11, at Avery-Stoddard Cemetery, Stoddards Wharf Road, Ledyard, followed by military honors. There are no calling hours.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Ledyard Regional VNA, 741 Colonel Ledyard Hwy., Ledyard, CT 06339.

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Published in The Day on June 9, 2014
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