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Lent, Richard W. - West Palm Beach  
Richard W. Lent, 93, of Tequesta FL and East Dennis, sailor and former owner of Sesuit Marine. Richard Waring Lent, formerly of New Paltz, NY and East Dennis, died April 22, 2015, at home in his sleep. He was born in Highland, NY, son of Harold and Elizabeth Lent, and raised in New Paltz, NY. He entered Union College in the fall of 1940 and in 1942 enlisted in the US Army Air Corps. Trained as a navigator, Richard headed overseas to Italy in June 1944 as a navigator in a B-24 bomber of the 449th Bomb Group, 15th Air Force. On Friday, October 13th, 1944, returning from a mission to Austria (his 50th), the damaged aircraft ran out of fuel over occupied Yugoslavia. He and the other crew members bailed out, but he landed badly and broke both legs. Pro-Allied Yugoslav partisans found him and carried him over mountains to the Adriatic coast, dodging German patrols. He endured a 5-day journey before he was rescued and evacuated to a hospital in Italy where a surgeon saved his legs from amputation. Returning to the US, Richard spent a year in rehabilitation and regained full use of his legs. Like so many of his generation, his war experiences became one of the defining moments of his life. Richard completed his studies at Union and entered Albany Law School, graduating with an LLB in 1949, and married Babette "Bobbie" Bird, of Woodstock, NY., in 1948. He had a law practice in New Paltz for many years and raised two sons, Christopher and Ryck. He and Bobbie celebrated 61 years together until her death in 2009. A self-taught sailor, Richard involved the whole family in this activity, which became his passion. He raced and cruised sailboats from their summer home in East Dennis, and was a member of the Dennis Yacht Club, serving as Fleet Captain and Commodore. At one time the family owned and operated Sesuit Marine, the marina on Sesuit Harbor. His sailing adventures took him, along with family and friends, to destinations throughout New England, north to Nova Scotia and Cape Breton, south to Bermuda and down the US East Coast to Florida, the Bahamas and the Caribbean, and back. He and Bobbie retired to Florida in the 1990's and spent the last years of their lives together traveling the world and visiting with family and friends. Despite physical ills that confined Richard to a wheelchair in recent years, he was always on the move, seeking out the next new place, or returning to favorite places. One of his last trips was to attend his 70th Union College reunion in May 2014, one of five members of the Class of 1944 to attend. Richard is survived by his sister Betsy and her husband Martin of Palm Beach Gardens, FL; his brother David and wife Susanna of New Paltz, NY; his sons Christopher and wife Mary Ann of Bethesda, MD and Ryck and wife Jennifer of Waltham; his granddaughters Elizabeth and Eleanor and her husband Kevin; his great-grandson Jordan, and many nieces and nephews and their children. A memorial service celebrating Richard's life will take place at The Reformed Church of New Paltz, 92 Huguenot St, New Paltz, NY, on Saturday May 30, 2015, at 11 a.m., followed by a reception at the church. Memorial donations in memory of Richard may be made to the Wounded Warrior Project, 4899 Belfort Road, Jacksonville, FL 32256; Legal Services of the Hudson Valley, 90 Maple Ave, White Plains, NY 10601, or to a charity of your choice.
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Published in The Barnstable Register from May 19 to May 28, 2015
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