Folsom Funeral Service

Fischer, Richard J.

fischer, Richard Cropped

Richard J. Fischer, a long-time resident of Hyde Park, MA, died Sunday Dec. 22, 2013 at Park Place Rehabilitation and Skilled Care Center, also in Hyde Park. He was 87. Richard was born October 7, 1926 in Roxbury, MA. He was the youngest of three children born to Delia (Nee), formerly of Lehenagh, Cashel in Galway, and Frank, formerly of Zurich, Switzerland. He is predeceased by his older siblings–Frank, who died in Ireland at age 5 in 1923 and Mary (Watkins) who died in 2002–and his wife Catherine (Jennings) who died in 2004.

Richard attended Mission Church High School in Roxbury, MA and was in the class of 1944. After finishing high school, he enlisted in the US Army Air Forces. He served in the 11th Army Air Force in the Aleutian Islands.

He and Catherine (“Kay”) were married in 1950 at St. Mary of the Hills Church in Milton, MA. They had two children: a daughter Mary, who lives in Framingham with her husband Jack Canty, and a son Joseph “Joe” who resides in Malden with his partner Dan “DJ” Saulnier.

Richard became a draftsman; he always loved ‘working on the board.’ He was employed for many years at Cole-Hersee Co. in South Boston where he eventually became Chief Engineer. He retired from Cole-Hersee in 1994 after 27 years of service.

Richard always enjoyed working with his hands. He liked model trains, particularly ‘N’ gauge, and often constructed very detailed buildings to go along with his train set. He also enjoyed crossword puzzles and cryptograms and later in life took to playing games on the computer through which he met many on-line friends. He had ideas for many craft projects and developed a design for Christmas trees made out of bottle caps which he loved to make for his many acquaintances and family members.

He and Kay were active in PFLAG for many years and were proud of having walked in several Boston Pride Parades as well as the Stonewall 25 parade. He took care of Kay at home for several years when she developed Alzheimer’s Disease. After her death, he continued to live in Hyde Park until his health began to deteriorate. He had been residing at Park Place for 2.5 years where he recently became President of the Residents’ Council.

Richard was known as a good friend to many people and was also well-known for his sense of humor. He loved to tell jokes and all who knew him–not only his family but also his friends at work and on-line, at his hangout at McDonalds in Cleary Square, and even his fellow residents and the staff at Park Place–often commented about how he made them smile. He will long be remembered for this sense of humor and his ability to make people laugh.

In addition to his son and daughter, he is survived by his nieces and nephews: John Watkins of E. Weymouth, MA; Robert Watkins and his wife Debbie of Quincy, MA; and Leona Watkins of Oregon.

Relatives and friends are invited to attend his funeral on Saturday, December 28, 2013 at 9AM from the Folsom Funeral Home, 87 Milton St., Dedham, MA followed by a mass of Christian burial at 10 o’clock at St. Mary of the Hills Church, 29 St. Mary’s Road, Milton, MA.  Interment will be in Milton Cemetery.  Visiting hours will be on Friday, December 27, 2013 from 5 to 8PM at the funeral home.

Guestbook Entries

  1. Lawrence Dutra Jr
    December 24th, 2013 | 6:16 pm

    My family spent many Sundays with Uncle Dick and his family when I was growing up. He was first and foremost a family man, intensely devoted to Aunt Kay and his children. He was very, very funny and big hearted. Rest in peace,

  2. Laura Murray
    December 24th, 2013 | 6:58 pm

    I am so sorry for the family. I loved Mr. Fischer. He was one of the funniest, kindest men I have ever known and he will be missed.

  3. debbie watkins
    December 24th, 2013 | 11:29 pm

    Uncle Dick a loveable kind and funny man!
    One of the greatest jokers i’ve known! You will
    be missed! It was a great pleasure being a part
    of your family! You’ll always be in our hearts!
    We love you! You’re home now!

  4. Gary & Carol Voller
    December 25th, 2013 | 12:25 am

    Mary, Jack and Family,
    So sorry to hear of Dad’s passing. Always a good guy with a Big Smile and sense of humor to me when I was a small kid and whenever I saw him when him and your Mom visited. RIP Dick and condolences too all who knew and loved him.

  5. Melissa DuBois, RN HVMA
    December 26th, 2013 | 2:24 pm

    Dear Mary & Family,
    My deepest condolences for your loss. What a full life he lived! It is clear that he touched so many lives and was loved by/and loved many!

    Melissa DuBois

  6. Almarine Clark-Meagher
    December 27th, 2013 | 9:49 am

    Dear Mary,

    You and your family have my deepest sympathy for the loss of your father. It is never, ever easy to say goodbye. What we we do know is that our parents live on through us. They never really leave, and when you need a parental lift or guidance, somehow, they are with you.


  7. Dianne M.Walker
    December 27th, 2013 | 11:49 am

    Dear Mary,

    My prayers go out to you and your family at the loss of your Father.He will always be with you, through the relatives and friends left behind, who loved him and will share cherished memories of times spent together.



  8. Craig Dutra and Carolina Africano
    December 27th, 2013 | 6:53 pm

    Dear Mary and Joe,

    Some of my fondest childhood memories were the times we spent together. I enjoyed your fathers sense of humor and interest in working all the angles. It was a trait he did not lose as he grew older as so many others have.

    Sorry for your loss.


  9. Mary McCabe
    December 30th, 2013 | 3:21 am


    My deepest sympathy on the loss of your dad.

    Mary McCabe
    Dignity Boston

  10. Mary Fischer
    January 4th, 2014 | 3:27 pm

    Richard Fischer’s Eulogy

    In the several days since Richard passed away, we have been surprised and moved by the many expressions of sadness and sympathy from his friends and acquaintances, many of whom we did not even know. It is comforting to hear how many lives he touched and how many remember him with great affection.

    If we were to ask all these people, and everyone here as well, what she or he would remember most about Richard, the attribute most likely to be on the top of the list would be his sense of humor. His humor was dry, quirky, riddled with puns, and yes, oftimes somewhat ‘blue’! He loved to tell jokes and amusing stories. Even more, he loved to watch the reactions to his jokes: were there smiles or chuckles or, best of all, groans?! Did you shake your head or roll your eyes to the ceiling? He watched for it all with a twinkle in his eyes and a smile on his face–just waiting, waiting, to see how you would respond! He also enjoyed hearing a good joke…and you just knew he was storing it away to use on his next unsuspecting victim!

    What else will you remember about Richard? So many have told us they will remember him as a good man and a good friend. He had a knack for making new friends–young and old, near and far, at McDonalds and online and even at Park Place–and once you were a friend, he would do as much as could for you, including gifting you with one of his most recent craft projects. Admit it: many of us here today have one of his Christmas tree designs somewhere in their house right now!

    Yes, we all know how much Richard enjoyed working with his hands on his many craft projects. He also enjoyed his puzzles: the daily crossword and cryptogram were the most important part of the newspaper. Woe to anyone who took the crossword section from the paper before he could get to it! He liked puzzles and games: games like Jeopardy on TV, Hearts and Freecell on the computer, and cribbage. He enjoyed a good game of cribbage no matter who won, although winning was always nicer. He recently taught Mary to play cribbage and they enjoyed playing cribbage together when she visited…and just a week ago, he beat her in their last game by a huge margin!

    His computer was more than just about playing games; it was his way to stay connected, especially in the last several years when he was residing at Park Place. With his computer, he was able to keep in touch with family and friends. He was also able to stay connected with the world: there are probably not many octogenarians who can talk about people like Lady Gaga as Richard often did with Joe.

    Computer connections, games, crafts, and jokes: underneath it all was a desire to make you smile. Whether those jokes made you laugh out load or moan in pain, they often made your day a little brighter. As one person said: “He always seemed to know when I was having a bad day and that’s when he would tell a joke” or visit a friend at McDonalds or give someone a tree. And the day would be a little better, the challenges a little easier to face, all because one person cared enough about you to want to make you smile. We’ll all hold that memory of Richard in our hearts for a long time to come and when we think of Richard, let us try to honor his memory by making someone else smile, by making someone else’s day a bit brighter…and if we can do it by telling one of his jokes, he will thoroughly enjoy his humor living on as his legacy.

    There is one other memory of Richard to leave with you today. Nine years ago, Catherine, his wife of over 50 years, passed away. As we were making our way out of the building after saying our final goodbyes, Richard was asked if there was anything he had left behind in Catherine’s room. “Yes,” he replied softly, “my heart.”

    So for those of us who will miss him, let us take comfort that he is together with Catherine again, he is finally home and at peace.

  11. Marianne D & Vic Bruegel
    January 6th, 2014 | 12:45 pm

    Dear Joe,
    Our sympathies and good thoughts to you…
    Take care,
    Marianne Devoe and Victoria Bruegel

  12. george mercier
    January 8th, 2019 | 3:40 pm

    Joe. I have no idea how this may have gone by the wayside, and only discovering this today, while playing around with the laptop – other than it would have shown up at thew time I had switched from “notebook” to laptop.
    Anyhow, very belated sympathy – I can relate to this quite well.


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