William C Richwagen, age 82
On Dec 11, 2019 when the winds around Goose Pond were quietly diminishing, there was peace and tranquility as Bill Richwagen, filled with grace and dignity left his physical state to become one with his creator.
William Court Richwagen (Bill), 82, of Rutland, Vt. and Goose Pond, N.H. fulfilled his goal of introducing the wonders of love and humility to all he met.
Bill was born May 28, 1937 in Berlin, VT to Lester and Christine Richwagen. Raised in Burlington, VT, he attended Burlington High School and graduated from Norwood High School on Lake Placid in 1956. He attended the University of Vermont until his antics and quick-witted humor caught up with him. He enlisted in the Vermont Army National Guard in August of 1957 in search of focus and discipline which led him to become a Construction Machine Operator. He later commissioned as an Ordinance Officer in 1959 and discharged in 1963 as a First Lieutenant. With his military training and improved focus, he returned to complete his education at the University of Iowa Medical School and continued on to achieve a master’s degree from Nichols College.
On a break from school, Bill met a lovely woman at an après-ski party in Burlington, VT. As usual, he was playing the piano for his friends. She joined him on the piano bench and sang with him. Bill and Anne continued to sing and play together for the next 51 years of their happy marriage.
Bill had the gift of being a true story teller and a remarkable listener. His ability to connect with people paved the way for a successful career in Health Care Administration. His management career began at Mary Hitchcock Hospital followed by executive positions at Dover Wentworth Douglass Hospital, McKerely Nursing Home, and Eden Park Nursing Home. In retirement, he served as a Ski Instructor at Killington VT.
From the beginning, Bill always enjoyed working on cars as a pastime. His daily driver for over 25 years was a fire-engine red 1963 Ford Falcon Convertible. Other car passions were The Ford Bronco at Goose Pond with the “I Love Brad” bumper sticker, and his first classic car with the rumble seat.
Bill placed a high value on experience through self-sufficiency. He once watched and shook his head as the boys placed a 10KW generator in the trunk of Jimmy's car to power an oversized sound system which promptly caught fire. Even under enormous pressure to offer an easy solution, he kept a simple demeanor as he taught lessons that would last a lifetime if not readily appreciated.
Bill’s love of Anne and the outdoors brought him to Goose Pond and other adventures such as skiing, boating, canoeing, camping and kayaking. With Anne by his side, he turned a run-down shack into a true lakeside camp which was the epicenter of many grand adventures and tall tales. He “shot” the Mendenhall River in Alaska, the Rio Grande in Texas and the Colorado in Utah. Afterward, he was often found seeking out his wine glass and sharing a story with friends and family.
This was his last adventure. Survivors include his two sons: Justin Richwagen of Maryland and Peter Labrie of Colchester, VT. He has two grandsons: Kristian and Jonathan Labrie, two brothers John Richwagen and Jim Richwagen along with one sister Nancy Kegerreis. His wife Anne predeceased him in 2016. His son James predeceased him while serving the U.S.A.F. during Desert Storm in 1992. He is also survived by many nieces and nephews of the Trowbridge and Richwagen families living in the deep South and the far West.
A memorial service will be held Saturday, January 4 at 1:00 p.m in the Sanctuary of College Street Congregational Church in Burlington, VT. Officiating will be Don Swartz and Ken White.
At the family’s request, there will be no calling hours. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be sent to: G.P. Lake Association 501(c)(3), Michael Riese, Pres., PO Box 647, Enfield, NH 03748
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