Richard A. Dempsey

Richard DempseyRichard A. Dempsey, Ph.D. (Dick); 83, of Naples, FL and Ridgefield, CT, passed away on Friday, June 12, 2015 of pancreatic cancer.  He was the beloved husband of Mrs. Marilyn (Vargo) Dempsey.

Dick was born on April 29, 1932 in Detroit, Michigan; son of the late Nina (Willis) and Oscar Dempsey.  He attended school in Detroit, and went on to earn his B.A. and his M.A. from Eastern Michigan University and later his Ph.D. from Michigan State University.   He worked in education his entire life, first as a teacher and principal in Michigan and Ohio, then as Assistant Superintendent of Darien, and the last twenty plus years as a Professor of Education and Curriculum at the University of Connecticut from which he retired as Professor Emeritus at age 59.  Dick valued the friendships of and took great pride in the accomplishments of the many students & educators that he mentored. 

Dick enjoyed watching sports, especially UCONN women’s basketball and his grandchildren’s games, as well as traveling, reading, and spending time with his family and friends.  In Naples he belonged to the Glades Country Club and Probus.  In Ridgefield he enjoyed the Ridgefield Men’s Club, and years ago served a term on the Ridgefield Board of Education.  He was a parishioner of St. Ann’s in Naples and St. Mary’s in Ridgefield.  He will be remembered as a loving, compassionate and caring person, whose wisdom and generosity made a difference in the lives of family, friends, and colleagues.  

In addition to his wife Marilyn of 31 years, Dick is also survived by a son Stuart (Jean) Dempsey of Fairfield, PA, and three step-children; James (Tracey) Gaskins of Torrington, CT, Kathleen (Tim) Ondusky of Waterford, MI, and Karen (Rob) Pedicano of Greenwich, CT.  
Dick was a patient, loving grandfather to his seven grandchildren; Megan (Frankie) Cruz, Chris Ondusky, Hailey, Robert and Anthony Pedicano, and James and Ryan Gaskins as well as nieces and nephews.

In addition to his parents, Dick was also predeceased by his sisters Kaye (Frank) Clark and Wilma (Wade) Mumma.

The family wishes to thank the following organizations for the professional and compassionate care he received during his short illness; the Florida Cancer Center of Naples, FL., the RVNA of Ridgefield, and especially the staff at the Regional Hospice and Home Care Center of Danbury.

Friends will be received on Sunday, June 21, 2015 from 6 to 8 pm at Kane Funeral Home; 25 Catoonah Street, Ridgefield.

A Mass of Christian Burial will take place on Monday, June 22, 2015 at 10:15 am at St. Mary’s Church, 55 Catoonah Street, Ridgefield.  Entombment will follow at St Mary’s Cemetery in Ridgefield.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to cancer research of ones choice, RVNA (90 East Ridge, Ridgefield, CT 06877 ), Regional Hospice Center (30 Milestone Road, Danbury, CT 06810 ), or Keeler Tavern (132 Main Street, Ridgefield, CT 06877 ) .

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Jowdy Kane and Kane Funeral Homes