OAKHAM--Richard William Bechan,89,died peacefully at Rose Monahan Hospice on February 21, 2021.
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He leaves his wife of 56 years Barbara (Bucinskas) Bechan, his daughters Ann of Wells, Maine, Cathleen of Stamford, Connecticut, and Betsy Stern, along with her husband Simon, of Louisville, Kentucky, and his grandchildren Maggie and Will Stern.
He also leaves his sisters Mildred Jacques, Phyllis Phoenix, and Valena Fontaine and sisters-in-law Ruth Dowgielewicz (Francis) and Christine Parmentier (Christopher); nieces Lynda Simeone, Ann Salminen, Beth Sisco, Brenda Phoenix, Michele Riley, Diane Dowgielewicz, and Sarah Parmentier; nephews Ed Salminen, Al and Brian Jacques, Bob Phoenix, Bob Fontaine, Joe Dowgielewicz, and Nick Parmentier; many cousins, and his very generous neighbors of Bechan Road and East Hill.
He was predeceased by his parents William and Anna (Stehlik) Bechan, sister Frances Salminen, brothers-in-law William Salminen, Al Jacques, Bob Phoenix, and Al Fontaine, and nephews Rick Salminen and Bill Phoenix.
Dick was born at his family homestead on Bechan Road in 1932. He attended Barre High School and UMass Amherst. He worked briefly in home building before becoming a master mechanic for road construction projects in New England and New York. He was a proud member of Local 98, International Union of Operating Engineers.
Dick was a member of St. Joseph’s Parish in North Brookfield, serving as lector, Christian Doctrine teacher, and choir member. He served his town as a volunteer firefighter and police officer, chairman of the finance committee, building inspector, and school committee building member. Not only was Oakham the focus of his civic duty but also of many fun times with friends.
Dick enjoyed tending his vegetable garden and caring for his woodlands and farm animals. He was an avid tennis player and skier, serving on the ski patrol and enjoying trips to mountains throughout New England with friends and family. He loved cooking, making many Czech specialties, hearty entrees, and his famous oatmeal cookies. He and Barbara were accomplished and enthusiastic dancers, making many friends and memories at Sovittaja Park, SAC Park and other gathering spots. They also traveled frequently to Louisville to spend time with their grandchildren.
Funeral services will be private, with a celebration of life to be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, take a moment to carry out a good deed for a neighbor or stranger as Dick so often did, or send a donation to the Oakham Council on Aging, 2 Coldbrook Road, Unit 6, Oakham, MA 01068. Arrangements are under the care of Pillsbury Funeral Home 44 Gilbert St.North Brookfield.