Richard Conz Aquadro, born to Virginia Conz and Mario Aquadro on July 17, 1926 in Northampton, MA, passed away peacefully on December 30th, 2019 surrounded by his loving family sharing great stories in a time of sadness. Richard, better known as “Dick”, grew up in Northampton, MA and graduated from Northampton High School in 1944. He entered the NAVY in December 1944, serving in World War II until 1945. Richard went to Williston Academy after the NAVY for a post graduate year then enrolled in Norwich University. He finished his education at MIT graduating in 1952 with a degree in Civil Engineering. Richard then married the love of his life, Marie Lawler and started not only his professional career with Perini Inc., but also his family with his first three daughters being born in Boston. He returned to Northampton in 1954 joining his father and brother in the family construction business, Aquadro & Cerruti, Inc, and rounded out his family with a son and daughter. Today as you drive through Northampton and the surrounding communities you will see some of their work from Cooley Dickinson Hospital, Smith College, Amherst College, Hampshire College, various elementary and high schools, municipality buildings, and projects on the UMASS-Amherst campus. Richard was well-respected throughout the industry and considered fair and honorable by everyone from the tradespeople, to the vendors, to the subcontractors to the engineers, to the architects and to various owners of the many buildings he helped to construct. Richard’s strong bond for his community was strengthened during his tenure serving on the Board of the Northampton Co-Operative Bank, currently known as Greenfield/Northampton Co-Operative Bank. He joined the Board in 1972 becoming the Chairman in 1976 and retired from the Board in 2007.
Richard enjoyed skiing with family and friends regularly at Berkshire Snow Basin, and those around him fondly remember him for his beloved ski vacations across the globe. When his family was young, they spent many summers on the shores of Cape Cod with friends. He loved to travel with Marie and bring anyone along that wanted to go. During his later years, he cherished his time in New Smyrna Beach, Florida, where he developed new friendships and opened his house to many visitors. He was an avid reader, especially enjoying historical biographies of political figures. His love of learning never stopped, and he kept up on with the latest technology and was always aware of current affairs, especially pertaining to financial markets. Not to mention, he evolved with the social media era, and his accidental Instagram posts will be greatly missed.
He had intimate bonds with each of his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren that each will take with them ahead into life. He was genuinely proud of each one of them and kept up with their lives and education, supporting them always.
He is survived by his wife of 68 blissful years, Marie Lawler Aquadro ’45, and his five children Elizabeth Kouri ’70 and husband Kevin of Naples, FLA, Alison Gleason and husband Daniel of Leeds, MA, Kimberly Sapienza and husband Thomas of Chelmsford, MA, Richard D. Aquadro and wife Sabra of Northampton, MA, Jennifer Egan and husband James of Walpole, MA. He has thirteen grandchildren: Kevin, Daniel, Kristen, Bryan, Aileen, Christine, Timothy, Courtney ’11, Andrew, Anthony ’15, Ania, Natalie ’17 and John. Seven great-grandchildren: Sapphire, Theodore, Declan, Parker, Genevieve, Elizabeth and Marie. He is also survived by his brother Robert Aquadro of Florence, MA. The two brothers worked side by side creating one of the top General Contracting companies in Western MA. He was predeceased by his brother, Francis Aquadro and sister, Gladys Aquadro Stiles.
A funeral will be held at Our Lady of the Hills Parish, 173 Main Street, Haydenville, MA on Monday, January 6 at 10:00 am followed by a burial at Assumption Cemetery, Route 9/Haydenville Road, Leeds. Calling hours will be held from 1:00 – 5:00, Sunday, January 5, at CZELUSNIAK FUNERAL HOME, 173 North Street, Northampton, MA.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Our Lady of the Hills Parish, PO Box 277, Haydenville, MA 01039-9703, Our Lady of the Elms College, 291 Springfield Street, Chicopee, MA 01013 or to Northampton High School Virginia Aquadro Scholarship Fund (checks made out to the City of Northampton), c/o Northampton High School, 380 Elm Street, Northampton, MA 01060.