Richard (Dick) O. Wasson Sr. of Rollinsford, New Hampshire, formerly of Manchester, NH, passed away on Sunday, June 15, 2014 at the Courville Nursing Home in Nashua. Dick was loved dearly by his family and many friends. Born on Sept 23, 1923 to Joseph and Mary Louise (Emerson) Wasson, Dick is survived by his wife of 67 years Marie Therese (Charette) Wasson, his sister Edith Eaton of Auburn, NH, his children, Mary Louise Roche and her husband Stephen Roche, Marguerite Longua and her husband William Longua, Deborah Schanda and her husband Richard, Carol Peck and her husband Nick Peck and Kenneth Wasson and his wife Beth Janson Wasson, eight grandchildren and seven great grandchildren as well as several nieces and nephews. Dick is predeceased by his son, Richard O. Wasson Jr. and his brothers Joseph and Robert Wasson
Dick grew up in Londonderry, NH and attended Central High School in Manchester, NH. He was a WWII veteran and served in the U.S. Navy as an Aviation Machinist Mate 1st class and Naval Aircrewman on dirigibles and was stationed at NAS Key West FL and NAS Lakehurst NJ. After leaving the Navy, Dick started his career in the shoe business working for Sundial Shoe in Manchester, NH. He soon moved to the JF McElwain Corporation in Nashua, NH where he served in many positions eventually being promoted to Comptroller and Vice President of the Miller Shoe Company in Dover, NH. Dick retired in 1990 after a 43 year career in the shoe manufacturing industry. While working and raising his family he continued his studies graduating from the University of NH as a political science major, with the distinction of being the oldest graduate of the university.
Throughout the years, Dick remained active serving the community as a NH State House representative for two terms representing his home town of Rollinsford and the surrounding communities. He served as Treasurer of the Town of Rollinsford for 14 years and on the Rollinsford Budget Committee for 15 years serving as chairman for several years. He was instrumental in bringing recycling to the Town of Rollinsford. In addition, he served as Chairman of the NH Heart Association and Chairman of the Red Cross for many years. He served as Chairman of the New England Shoe Foremen & Superintendents Association, Inc. and was an active member of the Boston Boot and Shoe Club. Dick held the position of Chaplain and Historian for the American Legion Post 47, Rollinsford NH. He started the Rollinsford Family Fun Days, which were enjoyed for many years. He was also an active member of the Strafford County Conservation committee. Dick and Therese enjoyed many happy years together raising their family, gardening, traveling the world with an amazing sense of adventure and serving their community.
Visitation will be at the Tasker Funeral Home, 621 Central Avenue, Dover, N.H. on Sunday, June 22 from 2 pm to 6 pm
Funeral services will be held on Monday, June 23 at Parish of the Assumption St. Joseph Church, 150 Central Avenue, Dover, N.H. beginning at 10 am
Burial following at Mt Calvary Cemetery 474 Goffstown Rd., Manchester, NH.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the American Red Cross or the American Legion Post 47, Rollinsford, N.H. 03869
Eulogy read at the funeral mass
Most accidents occur within a half mile of your home, so move.
He would want us to celebrate his life and his legacy.
It was an amazing 90 years, every day when asked how he was he would respond with, “I checked the obituary column and I’m not in it so I’m doing great.
With the end of each day now there are fewer men like Richard Ogden Wasson to show the rest of us how true character can be gracefully made part of daily life. Today with his passing the community is a poorer place.
That being said, we need to look at his accomplishments and qualities:
Family; 6 children, 8 grand children, and 7 great grand children, every one successful in their own right. He was not alone in this, his beautiful, brilliant and resourceful wife was by his side for 67 years. Together they made sure we had a tremendous work ethic, a sense community, an unparalleled sense of adventure and an unwavering commitment to what was right.
Work; 4 years in the US Navy. Times were tough in 1947, he started out landscaping, volunteering on the Rail Road in hopes of a job and in the warehouse of Sundial shoe, all at the same time. His good friend and Mentor, Ken Bruce, spotted his talents early on and brought him into the office at International Shoe. From there he quickly worked his way up into J F McElwain and up to Assitant Treasurer. He was then moved to Miller Shoe as Comptroller and again promoted, this time to Vice President of Finance with the responsibility for 4 factories and world wide purchasing and sales. A 43 year career - all upward and onward.
Community; “If I don’t do it maybe nobody will, that would be a shame.” 2 term State Representative from Rollinsford area, 15 years as Rollinsford Town Treasurer, only lost once due to tie vote and an unlucky coin toss, the next year he got the voters out and won outright, numerous years on town budget committee and planning board, avid volunteer at American Legion Post 47, and a member of the NH Aviation comittee. He was admired and revered by his peers. So much so that they choose him to lead in the following positions: Chairman NH American Heart Association, Chairman Red Cross, Chairman Rollinsford Budget Committee, Chairman of New England Shoe Foremen and Superintendents Association, American Legion Post 47 Chaplain and Historian. They trusted him and he never let them down. His friends were far and wide and very dear to him as he was to them, as we can all attest. Is it a coincidence the “ROW” on the family car was replaced by number plate after the last one of us, me, left home? I think not, it was very easy to spot and we were easily caught by his wide net. So wide was that net that the man developing pictures called him and gave him pictures from a UNH party. His Grand Daughter was caught. Just demonstrating his reach and teaching her a lesson.
Personal Enrichment; while his contemporaries were basking in retirement he continued his education, at 72 years old, graduating from UNH with the honor of being their oldest graduate, he took flying lessons, earned his Commercial Drivers license for Tractor Trailers, golfed, skied, sailed and kept his yard in impeccable condition. He started the recycling program for the town transfer station, an environmental and financial asset to the community.
Family was first and foremost to Dad and he made it that way his whole life. He made sure we had every opportunity to succeed yet new fun had to be a part of it. Oh the lessons we learned, many on a tobaggan. He taught Mom to skate and to camp. Walking up in the middle of a fairway in a tent, with 6 kids to feed, Therese fire up the coleman. We drove to Florida, California, Montreal and all parts in between. Whoever was still home, pile in the car and here we go, oh not so quick, need to wash the car and maybe fix a few things, ok now we can go, and off we went. Winter sports were his favorite. We all learned to skate. He taught himself to ski as he was teaching us, he did pretty good as one of last ski adventures was Innsbruck, Austria. The iceboat that he made is said to have turned many a head. However, I believe riding that toboggan with all of us was his favorite.
Some say he had great patience, some say he had none. He had all the time in the world for trying your best and doing the right thing. He had no time for lack of ethics nor did he have time for complaining. Looking over his glasses and saying “are you still here?” He was positive, persistent and had a pain threshold beyond belief.
The world was his oyster. You could find him at Silver Lake with his wooden sandals or climbing the Great Wall of China, at Mt Monadnock skiing or taking a ski plane to the Glaciers of New Zealand, on the side of the road in Chihuahua Mexico fixing a flat tire, or in an airplane over Worcester, driving Lombard Street or perilously close to the edge of the road in the Swiss Alps on a family vacation, off the coast of Maine sailing or in Morocco trying to negotiate a hotel room. You might find him in the State house or on his tractor, but your best bet was the town hall or the transfer station making sure recycling program was working.
No matter where he was, his lovely wife and family were with him, if not in person he was thinking of them.
He checked the obituary column for the last time, but his incredible and awesome legacy will never pass away.
Here lies Lester Moore, shot with 4 shots from a 44, no less no more.