Richard Valentine, VL '56

Richard Alton Valentine, 87, of Charlestown, RI passed peacefully at home surrounded by his family on March 17, 2022.

Richard leaves behind his beloved wife Dee, his son Phillip Valentine and his wife Sandy, their children Colleen Tsilimos and her husband Steffan, Joshua Valentine and his wife Madeline, Samantha Valentine, Matthew Valentine, and Mary Valentine; his daughter Shelly Chapman and her husband Sumner, their sons, Steven Chapman, Tyler Chapman and Jason Chapman. He also leaves behind his great grandchildren Elizabeth and TJ Tsilimos. Richard lovingly embraced his large, blended family and also leaves behind his step-children, John O’Neill, Kathleen Shakir, and Al O’Neill and his wife Barbara, as well as grandchildren Machi O’Neill, Casey O’Neill, Kyle Ristau, Cory Ristau, DeAnna Shakir, Aidan O’Neill, Garrett O’Neill, Nolan O’Neill, Shanna O’Neill, and three great grandchildren Jaiden, Summer, and Amelia. He also leaves behind his brother Thomas Valentine and his wife Mary. Richard was lovingly known as “the beach guy” to his brother’s extended family.

Born in Philadelphia, PA, Richard attended Germantown High School where he lettered in swimming. He was a member of the Kappa Alpha Society while attending Lehigh University and with his engineering degree in hand, he started work at Pratt & Whitney Aircraft in East Hartford, CT. He and his wife Helen raised two children as he traveled the world as a Flight Operations Engineer. Richard divorced and soon thereafter met Dee, married her, and they happily spent the next 37 years together. Richard retired at the age of 55 and spent the last 30 years enjoying life – playing golf, traveling, dining out with Dee and friends, woodworking, gardening, walking the beach and hosting friends and family at their Rhode Island home.

People remember Richard as fun loving, kind and generous – with a hearty laugh and a mischievous twinkle in his bright blue eyes. He loved to make people laugh, often with questionable jokes, and was always seen as the life of the party. His children remember him singing way too loudly in church, especially embarrassing with the hymn The Old Rugged Cross. He wore the oddest hats and reveled in people’s reactions. On the Trivial Pursuit board (the original), he dominated with his keen intellect and immaculate recall. He loved games, the fun of competition, yet always conducted himself with appropriate sportsmanship. He read voraciously; his favorite book Fate is the Hunter. Richard loved to be on or in the water and owned a variety of boats over his lifetime. His long graceful swimming stroke mesmerizing as he cruised along the shore just beyond the waves.

This obituary was taken in part from the Providence Journal, published March 23, 2022.