Richard “Dick” Howland Gooding, 78, passed away unexpectedly on Oct. 16.
Dick was the youngest of two children (sister Nancy) born to Albert and Eunice Gooding in Needham on Sept. 24, 1945. His father, Albert, died from stomach cancer in 1948 at the age of 38. Eunice then married Lawrence Smith, who had a son, Stuart (Stu), creating a second family for Dick. Dick’s uncle, Howard (Howie) Whitaker, also served as a father figure to him growing up.
At the age of 6, Dick moved to Hopkinton, where he lived until his graduation from Hopkinton High School in 1963. Dick was a standout athlete who set numerous local Little League Baseball records and captained and lettered in football, basketball and baseball. It was in high school where Dick met and started dating his future wife of 56 years, Judy Bowker.
Dick was influenced by his Uncle Howie’s military service as a Marine pilot who served in the Korean War. He was accepted to attend the United States Military Academy (West Point). While there, Dick lettered in baseball and participated in football and track as a sprinter.
Upon graduation, Dick and Judy were married at St. John the Evangelist Church in Hopkinton on July 1, 1967. They were blessed with three children, James (Jim), Douglas (Doug) and Kimberly (Kim). Dick began his military career in West Germany as part of a nuclear weapons company. From there, Dick was stationed in Pleiku, Vietnam, as a lieutenant in the 4th Infantry Intelligence Division and finished his tour as a captain in the Artillery Division in Nha Trang. He was awarded two Bronze Stars. In 1972, Dick finished his military career stateside as an officer with the Massachusetts National Guard, also completing an evening MBA program at Northeastern University. He then began his civilian career as a manufacturing executive in the packaging and printing industries, living in locations including Illinois, Kentucky, North Carolina, Connecticut, Georgia and Massachusetts.
Upon his return to Hopkinton in 1986, Dick entered local politics and was elected to the Hopkinton Board of Selectmen, serving multiple terms during a period of significant growth in the town. Upon retirement, Dick relished his role as an involved grandfather (Grampy) to his eight grandchildren. Honoring military service also was a passion. He was instrumental in the founding of Veterans Remembered, an original series on HCAM-TV. Hosted by Dick, the series featured Hopkinton veterans who have served their country in times of war and peace and has been memorialized in the Library of Congress.
Dick will be remembered for his leadership, scholarship, humility, loyalty, athletic prowess and love of dogs. He integrated himself to every community that he called home and was loved and respected by all he encountered. Dick enjoyed nothing more than attending his grandchildren’s events and regaling everyone about their successes. He was proud of his Scottish and Mayflower heritage. He was an avid follower of Boston sports teams and a recent convert to University of Georgia football (Go Dawgs).
Dick is survived by his wife, Judy, sister, Nancy Moorehead, brothers-in-law John Bowker and Keene Metzger, children, Jim, Doug and Kim, daughter-in-law, Becky Kaufman, son-in-law, Doug Sullivan, grandchildren, Caitlin and Jack, Riley (Gessner), Quinn, Tess and Casey, and Connor and Callie (Sullivan), nephews Gary and Glenn Moorehead, nephew Clifton John Bowker and niece Courtney Bowker.
Visiting hours will occur from 3-7 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 19, at Callanan Cronin Funeral Home, 34 Church Street, Hopkinton, MA 01748. A funeral service will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 20, at St. John the Evangelist Parish, 20 Church Street, Hopkinton, MA 01748. Burial will follow at Mount Auburn Cemetery in Hopkinton. Please join us at St. John Parish Center following the burial.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made via PayPal or by sending a check to the Hopkinton Education Foundation, P.O. Box 109, Hopkinton, MA 01748.
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