Richard P. Dec ’73

Richard Peter Dec of Hadley, MA, born January 31, 1955, passed away on March 29, 2020 at Cooley Dickinson Hospital after a long illness. Rick graduated from the Williston Northampton School where he excelled in soccer, hockey, baseball and art. He received a Bachelor of Arts Degree from UMass and a Master of Arts Degree from the Pratt Institute in New York City.

While studying for his Masters Degree, Rick became interested in carpentry while renovating apartment units in Brooklyn. After graduating from Pratt, he returned to the Pioneer Valley and embarked on a 30-year career that would become the Northampton Brewery. He was a big fan of all Boston sports teams, especially the Bruins and Red Sox. After 30 years of building construction, with an artist’s talent for finished work, his knees gave out, and he returned to his love of art.

Rick was predeceased by his parents Doris and Wallace Dec. He is survived by his sister Doreen Dec, brother David Dec (Mona Balicki) of South Hadley, and brother Steven Dec (Claire Largesse) of Louisville, CO.

There will be no funeral services, but a retrospective of Rick’s artwork is being planned for a later date. Memorial contributions may be made to the Williston Art Department, Williston Northampton School, 19 Payson Ave., Easthampton, MA 01027.

Czelusniak Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

4 thoughts on “Richard P. Dec ’73”

  1. I payed soccer with Richard at Williston. He was a gentle spirit with always a friendly smile. Peace to the family. RIP

  2. A sad reminder of our mortality. I also had the pleasure of playing soccer with Rick. Condolences to his family, other loved ones, and his friends. RIP, Rick.

  3. I played baseball with Rick at Williston, and remember him as a soft spoken gentle soul who never said a bad word about anyone. For those of you who stayed up with Swanee on Facebook (and I must confess that I’m not good at that stuff, but I did my best to read what Swanee would post), Rick was almost always the first guy to comment on Swanee’s posts,m and they were always pretty insightful. And just like Swan, who always downplayed his battle with cancer, I didn’t know that Rick was fighting an illness. Hoping you have peace my friend.

  4. Just yesterday Rich and l we’re driving back to Hadley from a Williston Fall final, listening to Michael Jackson and wondering if Michael Jackson would be a one hit wonder.
    Rich was a Hadley boy! He stood out in the Hadley school system. He was the best athlete in our class. As one sixth grade classmate said, “ His clothes always fit like a glove”. He was a sure bet to live to one hundred.
    By fourth grade you could see his art talent. He had an artist’s eye and did artwork far beyond his age… we all saw it.
    Rich loved music, especially the Beatles. He had a short lived career as the lead singer for a high school band.
    Rich flourished at Williston and reveled in it. In short, Rich had talent and loved being able to explore so many different areas.

    Keep creating beauty Rich! We’ll join you in awhile… until we meet again. Doug Lovell

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