1950 - 2020
GONCI, Richard On February 11, 2020, the life force known as Richard Gonci went off to his next adventure. Born in Hartford, CT, on February 22, 1950. Son of the late George and Elinor (West) Gonci. Beloved husband of Joanna Fink and father of Noah Gonci, both of Cambridge. Loving brother of David (Noreen Cullen) of Glastonbury, CT. Brother-in-law to Aaron Fink & Anne Mastrangelo of Brookline. Proud uncle of Paul Petro, Nathaniel (Dave Bermingham) and Abigail Fink. He also leaves his beloved rescue dog, Luna. He will be missed by his many cousins, and countless friends from the worlds in which he moved, including the theatre, film, writing, non-profit, art, sailing and rowing communities. To his neighbors he was known as the Mayor of Ballord Place. Richard began his career in theatre, becoming a founding member of the Portland Stage Company (Maine) and later a lighting designer at the Charles Street Playhouse. He established Gonci Associates in 1979, designing discotheques internationally, as well as entertainment venues for the 1980 Winter Olympics. In 1994, Richard co-created and produced America's first national TV series on landscape architecture for HG/tv, "Breaking Ground." He was a creative director for several communications groups and film/animation studios in the Boston area, working on projects for hospitals, universities and museums. He created numerous PSAs for the Mass. Secretary of State over the course of 25 years, on such topics as financial fraud and "get out the vote." His creative work was recognized with national and international awards. In addition, Richard served on the boards of several non-profit organizations including the Charles River Watershed Association and Wings of Help/Aviation Without Borders. Richard directed the Harbor Rowing Club while living on a houseboat in Fort Point Channel, and later founded, with his wife, the Cygnet Rowing Club in Newton. He raced competitively for many years in everything from sprints to the long-distance Blackburn Challenge in Gloucester. He nurtured the development of many rowers from novice to Olympic levels. Richard was most happy being on a boat, enjoying time at the family vacation home in Rockport, MA, or helping someone in need. He was also a creative writer and was working on a memoir at the time of his death. Words were Richard's lifeblood and now the silence is unimaginable. A Celebration of Richard's Life will be scheduled for the spring. Remembrances may be posted to In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Charles River Watershed Association, 190 Park Rd., Weston, MA 02139 and please VOTE.

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Published by Boston Globe from Feb. 15 to Feb. 16, 2020.
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7 Entries
I am so sorry about Rich Commodore departure! He is rowing and sailing in more elevated and peaceful waters now. Rest in peace and my heart is with Rich family.
In loving memory of a wonderful person!!!
Gabriel Corbellini
February 18, 2020
In loving memory of a wonderful person. We will love you and miss you always.
Rob Claypool
February 17, 2020
Sam Engelstad
February 17, 2020
Sam Engelstad
February 17, 2020
We're so sorry for your loss. Deepest condolences to all the family from Langdon Quin and Caren Canier.
Caren Canier
February 16, 2020
So sorry to learn of Richards passing. He was an amazing person and an unforgettable influence in the lives of all he knew. My condolences to Richards family and to all of us in his extended circle of lifetime friends.
Charles McDonald
February 16, 2020
Burned by my vision of a world that shone/ So brightly at the last, and then was gone- Clive James, critic, broadcaster, essayist, novelist and poet

Richard and I were best friends four decades. To look back now and grasp the enormity of that breadth, commitment and love, these four decades, later seems unfathomable. We loved one another deeply, shared trials, triumphs, infective laughter, disappointments, and deep sorrows was quite a ride.

I miss my best friend, but am comforted knowing his brightness will warm my heart for decades to come. Richard was a supernova. Wow!

-David Sumner
David Sumner
February 15, 2020
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