Richard's Story

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TOPSHAM, ME: Richard Irving Stark, Sr., 92 of Brunswick, Maine, died on September 22, at The Highlands in Topsham, Maine.

He was born in Haverhill, Mass., on February 17, 1923, the eldest son of Otto and Winifred Stark. His family lived in Groveland, Mass., and spent summers on a small farm in Ossippee, N.H., where he, along with his mother and brother, Greg, worked the farm to provide food for the family during The Depression. Throughout the year, in Groveland, Dick raised carrier pigeons and chickens. Both provided eggs for the family and the carrier pigeons provided him with great enjoyment and many amusing stories. All the birds made the trip to Ossippee each summer.

Dick attended Groveland Public Schools and graduated from the University of New Hampshire in 1946 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture. In August of 1946, he married Eliza Chadwick Hebb of West Boxford, Mass. Dick and Eliza had five children, Susan Elizabeth, Carol Lynne, Nancy Deborah, Richard Irving Jr. and Elizabeth Ann.

Shortly after graduation from college, Dick took a position with Nichols, a poultry-breeding farm in Exeter, N.H. His work took him all over New England as he supervised the management of flocks. In 1958, Dick was asked to relocate to Europe and oversee the building of poultry farms throughout Europe. Supported by his wife, Eliza, the family made their homes in Germany and France. His work took him to Lebanon, Italy, Scotland, England, Brazil, Scandinavia, and Hungary. After returning to the United States, he took a position in 1965 with Hubbard Farms in Walpole, N.H. He was the Director of Production and oversaw the construction of new hatcheries in Arkansas, Alabama, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and New Hampshire. The family made their home in Drewsville, N.H.

Dick retired in 1989 and fulfilled his and Eliza’s dream to live on the water in Maine. They moved to their home on Middle Bay, which they owned for over 45 years.

After retirement, Dick and Eliza became very active in the International Executive Service Corps, a program operated by the State Department. Dick provided advisory services to poultry firms in Indonesia, Hungary, Morocco, and Haiti while living in the countries for months at a time.

He loved the forest, the water and animal life. During his childhood growing up on the Merrimack River with his brother, Greg, he enjoyed exploring by canoe, homemade rafts and even ice floes. He was an avid fisherman and hunter and spent many hours on the lakes and streams of Maine and New Hampshire. After retirement, he spent more time in the natural world and took many canoe trips on rivers throughout Maine. He also took an annual trip to Newfoundland with his son, Rick. The companionship and support of Rick made it possible for Dick to continue this arduous trip into Newfoundland until 2008.

Dick was a past Master Councilor for the John Greenleaf Whittier Chapter of DeMolay and he was awarded a Chevalier degree. He was a 32nd degree Mason and at the time of his death he was a member of the Masonic Blue Lodge of Brunswick. For over 10 years he enjoyed the Brunswick Rotary.

Dick is survived by his devoted wife of 69 years, Eliza, of Brunswick, Maine; his brother, Gregory W. Stark of Exeter, N.H.; daughters, Susan Landry and her husband, Dennis of Edmonds, Wash.; Nancy Pierce and her husband, Christopher of Cumberland Foreside, Maine; Elizabeth Shevenell and her husband, Ed of Portland, Maine; and his son, Richard Stark, Jr. of Arlington, Va. Their daughter, Carol Stark of Denver, Colo., predeceased him in 2006.

Dick is also survived by nine grandchildren, Daniel Landry and his wife, Amy of Sykesville, Md., Matthew Landry and his wife, Heidi of Edmonds, Wash., Christopher Pierce and his wife, Nadia of Wellesley, Mass., Edward Pierce and his wife, Ann of Denver, Colo., Richard Pierce and his wife, Caitlin of Newton, Mass., Lenny Pierce of Boston, Mass., Eliza Vaughn and her husband, Nick of Macon, Ga., Edward Shevenell of Carrabasset Valley, Maine, and Kathleen Shevenell of Portland, Maine.

He is also survived by 10 great-grandchildren, Annah Carol Landry, Elizabeth, and Andrew Landry; Sally, Marion and Lucia Pierce; Emily, Andrew and Charles Pierce; and Christopher Pierce.

Dick’s family would like to thank the staff at the Governor King Community at The Highlands for their thoughtful care during the last year of his life. The family is especially grateful to Laraine Cassidy for her constant support and love.

A celebration of Dick’s life will be at 11 a.m. on October 24 at the First Parish Church in Brunswick, Maine. Memorial gifts can be made to the Richard I. and Eliza H. Stark Endowment Fund of Midcoast Hospital, Brunswick, or the Richard I. and Eliza H. Stark Endowment Fund of Curtis Memorial Library, Brunswick.
Published on  October 1, 2015
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