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Richard Stearns

PORT CHARLOTTE, FL: Richard “Dick” Stearns, 80, former YMCA Chief Executive and Groveland resident, died on March 15th. He was the husband of Elizabeth (Parker) Stearns. Dick was born in Dedham on November 16, 1927. During the war he served with the U.S. Navy as a Pharmacist Mate in the Pacific Theatre, and was a member of the American Legion Post 248 in Groveland.

Following his graduation from Lowell High School in 1944 he continued his education graduating in 1951 from the University of Connecticut. He then worked for Liberty Mutual Insurance Co in Boston, and as Membership Director for the Worcester YMCA for five years.

Dick served as Chief Executive Officer of the Greater Haverhill YMCA for 22 years. As an active sportsman he introduced racquetball to the Haverhill area, and was city champion for many years. He was a competent in tennis, enjoyed boating, golf, photography and gardening. As an avid fisherman Dick won many prizes in the Martha’s Vineyard Island Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby.

He was a very civic minded individual who received the Distinguished Community Service award, was a charter member of the Haverhill Council on Aging, was Executive Director of the Greater Haverhill Industrial Management Club, trustee and chairman of the Langley Adams Library, member of the Haverhill Rotary Club, Monday Evening Club, Moderator of the First Congregational Church in Haverhill then Sr. Warden of the St. James Episcopal Church of Groveland, active in many United Fund campaigns serving on the speakers bureau, Superintendent of Riverview Cemetery and member of the Employees Insurance Advisory Committee of Groveland. Dick was active in the Professional Societies of the YMCA, served on the National Council of YMCA’s, Chairman of the Eastern MA Collaboration of YMCA Executives and President of the Regional Association of YMCA Directors. After retirement he served as Secretary/Treasurer of the New England Chapter of Retired Directors.

Besides his wife of 38 years he is survived by his sons Mark Stearns and wife Suzi of Fairview, TN, Scott Stearns and wife Jennifer of Groveland; daughter Elizabeth Rebecca Stearns of Port Charlotte; sisters Phyllis Crane and husband Bayard of Millington, NJ, Helen Oliver of Readfield, ME; step sister Alice Burpee of Old Orchard Beach, ME and eight grandchildren.

Friends are invited to the memorial service Saturday, July 26th, 2:00 p.m. at Dole, Childs & Shaw Funeral Home, 148 Main Street, Haverhill. Interment at Riverview Cemetery. Donations in Dick’s memory may be made to the Endowment Fund YMCA, 81 Winter Street, Haverhill, MA 01830.

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