Richard Thomas "Lefty" Marr
1936 - 2016
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March 11, 1936 - November 11, 2016


Richard Thomas Marr, 80, widely known as "Lefty," died unexpectedly on November 11, 2016 in Pittsboro, North Carolina. Dick dedicated his life to teaching, coaching, and mentoring at Milton Academy (1957-1980) and Tabor Academy (1984-2003) in Massachusetts, and in between as Headmaster of Aspen Country Day School in Colorado.

Lefty was generously dedicated to opening educational opportunities to motivated students from diverse backgrounds through his love of language, athletics, and justice. He valued the inherent worth of every individual and sought ways to motivate each to develop their latent talents as thinkers, writers, speakers, and competitors.

Sports were integral to his vision of a fully embodied life of learning. At Milton he coached baseball and hockey, establishing the Flood-Marr Holiday Hockey Tournament that celebrated its 50th anniversary last year. At Tabor he started women's varsity teams in ice hockey and softball. He was inducted into the Massachusetts High School Hockey Coaches Hall of Fame in 1995 and was supervisor of ice hockey officials for the ECAC and Hockey East. In North Carolina, he helped coach men's ice hockey teams at Duke and UNC, including a game for the Tar Heels the night before his death. He served as Commissioner of the Cape Cod Summer Collegiate Baseball League and on the Board of Directors for the US Hockey Hall of Fame.

He was a graduate of The Governor's Academy, Williams College, and Middlebury College's Bread Loaf School of English. While in his 60s, Marr earned a JD from Roger Williams School of Law, believing that "Law, after all, is coaching at heart." As a lawyer, he applied his level-headed reason as a court Investigator, mediator, and guardian ad litem for District Courts in eastern Massachusetts and Chapel Hill.

He is survived by Ginny, his wife of fifty-eight years; his sister Susan Maguire of Clearwater, FL; and four children and eight grandchildren: Tim and Paula of Chapel Hill, NC and Dylan, Carey, Lucy, and Ginya; Jerry and Karen of Newton, MA and Tucker and Dixie; Lisa and Hal Lescinsky of Galena, OH and Haley and Erin; and Amy of Mill Valley, CA.

In lieu of flowers, contributions in his memory can be made to the John D. Marr Educational Fund in honor of his late brother, also an educator, to provide college tuition assistance for talented high-school scholar-athletes. The mailing address is 2325 Honeysuckle Rd., Chapel Hill, NC 27514.

A memorial will be held at 6:00 p.m. tomorrow on Monday, November 21 at the Gathering Place at Fearrington Village in Pittsboro. A memorial will be held in Massachusetts in the Spring of 2017. For details, please contact
Published in The Chapel Hill News on Nov. 20, 2016.
Memorial service
06:00 PM
Memories & Condolences
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13 entries
April 12, 2017
Dick Marr was my friend, English teacher, speech and debate coach, and headmaster at Aspen Country Day School in the early 80s. I just learned today, in April, that he passed away in November. He was a great, kind man, and the world is a poorer place without him.
Keller Kimbrough
December 28, 2016
I learned last night that Richard T. Marr, coach Lefty Marr, passed away in November. I am deeply saddened by the news and the loss of a gifted person whose impact on so many was so great and meaningful.

Everyone's path, their life-course, is impacted by people, by events. My path, who I am today, from who I might have been, changed direction the day Lefty Marr met with a groups of hockey player's families in Seattle, Washington in 1978. I was 13 years old. I cannot tell you what I might have been had he not made that trip to the west coast but am grateful for the path my life did take and I owe much to that moment and what transpired because of it. Lefty was the Dean of Admissions at Milton Academy and the men's varsity hockey coach at that time. Because of Lefty and the adventurous spirt and wisdom of my parents, I was lucky enough to attend Milton, graduating in 1983.

Lefty took me to my one and only Patriots game in Foxboro that first fall in Milton in 1979. I can remember the pace of Lefty's walk not a sprint, but a speed-walk as we trekked from the parking lot to the stadium. I could barely keep up. Lefty was full of purpose, always. He was certain and determined and solid.

That first winter for me and my family was also the 1980 Lake Placid Winter Olympics. Lefty invited my family to attend and gave us tickets for events. For those of you who know my father, this was a gift beyond words. Lefty was the official US host to the men's Olympic hockey team from Norway and I recall bringing oranges and water to the team in the locker room before one of their games. Lefty gave me and my family memories we have cherished since, and I am certain they are commonplace with so many who were fortunate enough to have known him and shared a bit of life with him.

Lefty's influence, for me and my family, go further. My daughter, Rachiny, also attended Milton Academy (Class of 2008), a decision made after seeing MA while we attended my class reunion. Rachiny can tell her own story about how the decision to attend Milton Academy has shaped her life path.

These past few years I looked forward to the letter Lefty always sent around Christmas from the John D. Marr Educational Fund. Lefty always sent me a personal note with the Fund letter. The letter I received last night was about Lefty's passing and came from his son, Tim. I will look forward to getting these letters every year now from Tim and honoring Lefty through the fund.

Every life is impacted, shaped by an event, a person; the day you meet your spouse, the day your child is born and comes into your life, the day a friend dies. Lefty was an amazing individual and I am grateful our lives crossed paths.

My sincerest condolences to Ginny and the kids.
Jay Samek
November 30, 2016
Ann Porter
November 25, 2016
Ginny & Family,

I was blessed as were all that knew Dick to have him play such a key role in my life. Without his guidance and help, my son, Brian, would never have attended Milton Academy. Working with him in the Cape League and traveling to Williamstown to play with him in the Williams Alumni Golf Tournament was truly a memorable weekend. He was so proud of the Williams vest that I helped him win. No doubt, my life has been immeasurably enriched by his presence, counsel and contribution. His impact on the lives of so many is a wonderful and lasting legacy! You touched them all, Dick!
Jim Higgins
November 18, 2016
Rest in Peace, Lefty. I never got to play for him, but I worked as his hockey manager back in the '70's, and I learned a huge amount from him. I think about him a lot when I am in the classroom or coaching. I had a lot of great mentors over the years, but Lefty's lessons really stand out for me.
Mark Harrington
November 18, 2016
RIP Lefty. One of the kindest men I've ever met. I may have never played hockey at UNC if not for a conversation we had when I was still in high school. You will be missed. Condolences to the Marr family.
Derrick Lund
November 17, 2016
Dear Ginny and family:

I am saddened beyond words to learn about Dick's passing. He always provided positive feedback to me from his days as Commissioner of the Cape Cod Baseball League in 1997-98.
I always considered him a mentor and was never hesitant to run something past him.
On behalf of the Cape Cod Baseball League, our thoughts and prayers go out to all of you in this very difficult time.
Godspeed Dick!!
Paul Galop, Commissioner
November 17, 2016
Rest in Peace, Mr. Marr. Absolutely one of a kind. Sincere condolences to the Marr family.
Eugene Reilly
November 16, 2016
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November 15, 2016
Dear Ginny and family,

What a beautiful obituary for an amazing man whose passion for life was contagious! Our hearts are heavy and Lefty will be missed so much by all of us. Wishing you peace and fond memories during this difficult time.

Lots of Love,
Gerry & Leanne Dineen and family
Leanne Dineen
November 15, 2016
Dear Mrs. Marr, Tim, Jerry, Lisa, and Amy,

My heart goes out to all of you. Given how hard Mr. Marr's passing hit me, I can only imagine how singularly difficult a time this is for you and the rest of your family.

Please know that Mr. Marr was one of the truly giant figures of my entire life and one of the most beloved. Indeed, during my four years in Forbes House at Milton, he had a profound and enduring impact on my life in a most magnificent way.

Mr. Marr was, in my estimation, a sterling example of the way human beings should ideally be: incredibly kind, truly caring, extremely intelligent, wonderfully personable, and, most poignantly, loving and . . . loveable.

Ever since meeting him at age thirteen, I have looked up to one Richard T. Marr. Way up. And ALWAYS will.

With immense respect and the fondest of remembrances,
Rob Cuke Macomber, Milton Academy 76
Rob Macomber
November 14, 2016
Dear Ginny and family, I was so deeply saddened to learn of your loss. The world has lost a great man, and we hope that the great memories of him will give some small level of comfort to your family at this time.
Geoff Worrell & Family
November 14, 2016
My deepest sympathies to Ginny and all the Marrs. My heart is so heavy, but I must remember all the great this wonderful man accomplished and know that he lived an ultra full life. He would not want any of us to mourn him but to use our energies to follow his example. I'm sure RTM, as I referred to him, will be playing and coaching baseball, softball and hockey in heaven and that is what will ease my grief.
Donna Palmer
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