Paul A. Richter
1936 - 2020
Richter, Paul A. ALBANY Paul A. Richter, of Albany, retired New York State trooper passed on August 1, 2020. Born on May 1, 1936, in Woodside, Queens, he was the son of the late Hans and Margaret (Wehinger) Richter. He attended P.S. 152 and W.C. Bryant High School, graduated from L.I. Agricultural and Tech Institute (now SUNY Farmingdale), New York. He also graduated from the New York State Police Academy and the NTC Polygraph School. Paul served in the U.S. Army 1956-1958 with honorable discharge. On May 1, 1960, Paul married Marie Claire Penaud from Niort, France at St. Jean the Baptiste Church in Manhattan. Paul entered the New York State Police on January 2, 1962. He had served in Troops C and B. He retired as a zone sergeant on disability as a result of an on duty shooting incident in Lake Placid on September 30, 1973, during a trafic stop. Shot three times, one in the neck area leaving him totally paralyzed from the waist down. After many months of combined excellent care at CVPH in Plattsburg, and an intensive rehabilitation program at Sunnyview Hospital, Schenectady, he was discharged able to ambulate with a cane and leg brace. For seven months Paul was visited every day by his devoted family, friends and members of the New York State Police... these visits kept his spirits high. Paul remembered that Christmas 1973 at Sunnyview when the staff asked his brother Carl to dress up as Santa Claus, Paul and his children did not recognize Carl as Santa. He and his family lived in Tupper Lake at the time and moved to Albany in 1980 to get away from the severe winters. Paul always loved the Adirondacks and its people. Paul was a lifetime member of the New York State Police PBA and the Association of Former N.Y.S. Troopers-Adirondack Chapter; a member of the Tupper Lake Mount Arab Lodge 847, F. & A.M., Tupper Lake Moose Lodge 640, Albany Elks Lodge 49, IPA, American Association of Troopers, Italian-American Heritage Museum, Spinal Cord Society-Capital District Chapter, and the world famous Grump Club. Paul received the New York State Police "Brummer Award," Troy Police PBA "Gold Shield Award," Warriors on Wheels Award, Burke Rehabilitation-Research Program Citizen Award, and the Jefferson Award for Public Service. Paul was a gubernatorial appointee by Gov. George Pataki to serve on the N.Y.S. Spinal Cord Injury Research Board, which he proudly served on for 16 years without monetary compensation. Paul always was appreciative of the assistance he received from fellow board member, Dr. Allen Carl, making it possible for him to attend each meeting. After Paul's injury, he directed his energy as an active advocate for the funding and research toward finding a cure for spinal cord injury paralysis. He was involved in the Spinal Cord Society Capital District Chapter's annual research fund benefit for 30 years. He found pleasure when he was a volunteer driver for many years for the St. Peter's Hospital mobile meals with fellow volunteer, Eleanor Finkelstein. Paul was the driving force and chairman behind the creation of the "Gray Rider Trooper" monument project which is in front of the New York State Police Academy and was dedicated on September 30, 1993, exactly twenty years to the day of his injury. He also initiated a state-wide grassroots research board/program which has funded over 90 million dollars to researchers in New York State. Paul gave his time and money to see these projects through to completion. Paul often said, "whatever accomplishments I may have been fortunate enough to have achieved, it is because of the constant loyal support and help from my family, friends, volunteers, law enforcement community and the Grumps." Paul enjoyed time with his family, helping others, driving his vintage Chevy Caprice Sedan, the few winters he spent in sunny Florida and lunch with friends at Dee Dee's Tavern. He appreciated the fine customer service from Lev Shoe Repair, Ragonese Imports and the Lucky Garden Restaurant, Paul's Garage and always the help he received from Dr. Carl's assistant Shanti. Paul missed his pre-injury days of in Tupper Lake of hunting, fishing, camping, golfing and skiing. Survivors include his wife, Marie Claire; six children: Valerie (Michael) Burdo, Christine (Lance) Richardson, Claudine (John) Costello, Lisa (Carl) Albright, James (Kristin) Richter, John Richter and partner Katie O'Keefe; his brother Carl Richter; grandchildren: Olivia Richter, and Maryna and Andrew Richardson; and his many friends. Paul was very proud of the accomplishments of his six children which he attributed to their hard work and their mother, Marie, who dedicated her life to her family. Our family would like to thank the nurses at the Community Hospice Inn at St. Peter's Hospital for taking such great care of Paul in his last moments. Relatives and friends are invited to visit with Paul's family on Friday, August 7, from 9 to 10:45 a.m. at the McVeigh Funeral Home, 208 North Allen St., Albany. Please only enter the funeral home from the rear parking lot doorway; masks and social distancing are required; and 40 visitors at a time will be allowed in the funeral home. Following, will be a New York State Trooper escort to the Gerald B.H. Solomon Saratoga National Cemetery for a 12:30 p.m. service with military honors. In lieu of flowers, friends wishing to remember Paul may consider a contribution to Sunnyview Rehabilitation Hospital Foundation, 270 Belmont Ave., Schenectady, NY, 12308 or the N.Y.S. Troopers PBA, Signal 30 Fund, 120 State St., Albany, NY, 12207. To leave a message for the family, please visit

To plant trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published by Albany Times Union from Aug. 5 to Aug. 6, 2020.
9:00a.m. - 10:45a.m.
McVeigh Funeral Home
208 North Allen Street, Albany, NY 12206
Graveside service
Gerald B.H. Solomon Saratoga National Cemetery
Funeral services provided by:
McVeigh Funeral Home
Add a Message
11 Entries
I as others want to express my sadness at Paul’s passing and condolences to family and friends. It is clear that he touched so many lives and continues to be an inspiration in the memories we all have of his energy, warmth, wisdom and commentary. I so much enjoyed his fascination with life and the people in it. Paul will never be forgotten. My research on spinal cord injury with stem cells is supported by the NYS programs he started. What an impact on life and lives. I will save a bottle of champagne for a toast to you Paul when we reach our goals. We miss you and will keep you close at heart always.
Janet Paluh
September 17, 2020
What a privilege to know Paul, even a little. He went about doing good. Paul was an inspiration -- recovering from a devastating and undeserved injury into energy in helping others.

John Starrs
August 9, 2020
My sincere sympathy to the Richter Family on the passing of Paul . You are in my family’s thoughts and prayers. Paul always had a genuine concern in my career over the years while at USMA, then in the Army and later in law enforcement . He was a very special guy who devoted his life to the welfare of others.
This stanza from the West Point alma Mater most definitely speaks to Paul:
“And when your work is done,
Your course on earth has run
Let it be said , WELL DONE
Be thou at peace✝
Be thou at peace Paul, Well Done !
Pete Magnetto
ASAC-FBI, Albany Office
Peter Magnetto
August 7, 2020
My deepest condolences to the Richter Family. Paul was absolutely one of the finest of THE FINEST. I will miss our discussions each year at the annual Troy PBA Anniversary and Awards Dinner. He never missed attending over many, many years. He was a proud recipient of the PBA Gold Shield Award for his lifetime of selfless service to our community , always designed to improving the quality of people’s lives. He will be remembered as a true gentleman of humility and a man of the highest integrity .
Tony Magnetto
Police Commissioner
Troy P. D. (Ret)
ANthony Magnetto
August 7, 2020
To all of Paul’s Family: I am very sorry for your loss.
Mike McNulty
August 6, 2020
The DiScipio family will forever remember Paul for the very kind land that he was, but most of all for being the dear devoted friend to our brother, Mike. Thank you all for sharing him with Mike. RIP Uncle Paulie, sleep peacefully.
Sherry DiScipio Skaarup
August 5, 2020
Always a gentleman & a “make it happen guy”. Will be missed for his intellect & friendship. Heaven got a shinning star.
Ralph Wiles
August 5, 2020
My sympathies to Carl and all of the Richter family...the Rabuffo family has many great memories over the years...may you find peace in the knowledge that Paul was such an outstanding human being...I personally will miss his emails which always brought a smile to my face ...blessings to you all...
Noel Liuzzi
August 5, 2020
He was an inspiration to me in that he never gave up in any of his endeavors. I will forever remember our last conversation in June 2020.
Don Munch, Ret. Sr. Inv. BCI NYST
Donald Munch Sr
August 5, 2020
Peace be to Paul and you Marie, Carl, and your wonderful family. We had the pleasure of many emails over the years and shared the memories of Dede’s, the Grumps, and the SCS. I wish people were more aware of the hundreds of thousands of dollars Paul made possible to spur spinal cord injury assistance, research, and care. He brought humor, warmth and love to many lives, including my own, and he is missed.
Jerry Powers
August 5, 2020
I met Paul when he called me out of the blue one morning in 1992 asking if I'd help him and some friends put up a monument at the New York State Police Academy. Things started to go well immediately. He picked me up at the Capitol to get me over to his house to show me what been accomplished so far. He was so excited that he fell backward and crashed through a big sliding glass door. I thought our project was over before it began! We had a tremendous success. It took us just about 8 months to raise the money. I credit Paul's tremendous energy and his amazing ability to build and motivate a team for that.

In 1998, he called me for an even more ambitious project. He wanted to create a state research program to cure spinal cord injury paralysis. Again, we had a tremendous success. We got a bill introduced in the State Legislature in April and Governor George Pataki signed it in July. We had a memorable time visiting legislative offices and potential donors who pretty much all took a shine to Paul. In the years since over $100 million has been raised and invested in research and institutions here in New York. A year later the two of us drove down to renton NJ to watch Governor Christie Whitman sign an identical bill.

Paul was such a fun guy to spend a day with whether working on a project or hunting for the best pastrami sandwich in Manhattan, which we found -- the Pastrami Queen on Lexington.

Paul accomplished a great deal in his life despite the devastating injury he sustained in 1973. The man had tremendous energy and a gift for getting people to pitch in and work hard on these projects. He was the most remarkable man I have ever known. It was the greatest privilege to have had his friendship.

To his family and friends, I grieve with all of you on our loss.
Terry O'Neill
August 5, 2020