Photo courtesy of Bangs Funeral Home, Inc. - Ithaca

Richard John Archer

Jun 8, 1948 - Sep 14, 2019 (Age 71)

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I am so very sorry to hear of Dick's passing~ Sending prayers to the Family~

I am so very sorry to learn about Cousin Dick's passing. Although we did not stay in touch over the years, he was still family. My deepest Sympathy to all of you.


Richard's Obituary

In his final days, Richard John Archer (Dick), quipped to family and friends that he would break out of bed and fly to infinity and beyond. Saturday evening he did just that, and blasted off after a hard-fought battle with cancer. He was 71.

Born to Inglis and Margaret Archer, Dick graduated from Boston College (1970) with a dual degree in Mathematics and Economics. But the theatre was always calling, and of course, Dick answered. He received his MA in Theatre Technology (1974) from the University of Missouri at Kansas City.

In 1979 Dick began his academic career when he settled with his wife Noreen, in Ithaca, N.Y. to teach at Cornell University and raise a family. He served as an associate professor of theatre arts and the Technical Director of the Performing and Media Arts department, overseeing the building and creation of Cornell’s stage productions for forty years.

Since 1986 Dick also worked closely with his longtime friend, MJ Herson (I.D.E.A.S. Inc. and Herson Group Ltd.) creating and producing strategic special events for universities and companies including, Princeton, Cornell, Harvard, Yale, Duke, Texas A&M, University of Chicago, HBO Skating Spectacular, and the opening for Bass Performance Hall starring Carol Burnett, Van Cliburn and Frederica Von Stade.

Somehow around all these jobs Dick managed to serve as a seasonal Technical Director for numerous regional theatres including the Indiana Repertory Theatre, the Missouri Repertory Theatre, and the Great Lakes Theatre Festival (1976-1988 seasons). His favorite set was the 1988 Great Lakes production of Love’s Labour’s Lost. The set was purchased by Joe Papp and moved lock, stock, and stagebrace to the New York Public Theatre.

Dick’s hobbies included: Work. Research. More work. Drawing sets on napkins during dinner time, and emailing his kids political cartoons, advice, and mansions that none of them could afford. He was a loving father and teacher, a sardonic, smart, loyal and kind human being who will be dearly missed by all who knew him.

Dick is survived by his wife Noreen, children: Laura, Lisa and Christopher, his brothers: Robert (Christine) and Stephen (Gail); as well as many nieces and nephews. A memorial service will be held on October 26th, at 4pm, at the Schwartz Center for the Performing Arts, Cornell University (Mainstage). For those wishing, kindly direct donations in Dick’s name to Ithaca Hospicare.

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