Mr. Richard B. Washburn '48

Richard "Dick" Belden Washburn, 87, of West Hartford and Groton Long Point, CT, passed away peacefully on January 27, 2017 after a recent decline in his health.
Born November 29, 1929 in Hartford, CT, he was the beloved husband of the late Barbara Griffith Washburn and son of John and Cornelia Washburn. He attended boarding school at Vermont Academy where he played hockey and football, class of 1948. Dick matriculated at Clarkson College of Technology where he pursued a degree in Engineering and played Varsity Hockey. In 1950 he left Clarkson to serve in the United States Air Force at Lake Charles Air Force Base. When his service was complete, he resumed his education at Tulane University, graduating with a degree in Business Administration in 1956. Dick and Barbara met in May 1955 while Barbara was attending a friend's wedding in Louisiana. They were married in June 1956 for close to 60 years. He founded Washburn Oil Company and later acquired W.A. Murray Plumbing and Heating. Operating both businesses out of West Hartford, he was drawn into the community on both a personal and professional level. Upon his retirement both companies were sold, but Dick continued to explore his entrepreneurial spirit by founding several new enterprises. A life-long West Hartford resident, Dick was involved in a number of local organizations including The Civitan Club and West Harford Youth Hockey. He was a founding board member of West Hartford Youth Hockey, served as the second president in the early 70's, and coached for many years. Mr. Washburn will be missed and dearly remembered by his three children, and their families: Clifford and Blair Washburn Tracy (Allison and Priscilla) of South Dartmouth, MA, Brooks and Jo Ann Washburn (Carter and Casey) of Parker, CO, and Bradford and Linda Washburn (Nick and Katherine) of West Hartford. He also leaves his siblings: Martha W. Trull, John 'Jack' M. Washburn, Jr. and his wife, Barbara, and Cornelia W. Frey as well as twelve nieces and nephews. Dick was most comfortable and completely content when he was on the water in any type of craft. He spent many years at Groton Long Point, cruising and racing on the family owned boats, Kite and Willet, as a member of the Groton Long Point Yacht Club and the Off Soundings Club. Each fall and spring the extended Washburn family raced Willet in the Off Soundings series. Dick's passion for sailing and the ocean has infected his grandchildren, who sail, race, fish, and appreciate the opportunity to have shared this experience with their grandparents. The family will host a celebration of his life on Saturday, February 4 at 11am at Westminster Presbyterian Church, 2080 Boulevard, West Hartford. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to either the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation or the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund Alliance Taylor & Modeen Funeral Home, West Hartford has care of arrangements. For online condolences please visit