Richard C. “Dick” Luce, Sr., 84, passed away at home on January 22, 2017 attended lovingly by his wife and daughters. He was born on May 17, 1932 in Quincy, MA to Walter A. Luce and Ellen A. (Carlson) Luce.
Dick attended Worcester public schools, graduating from South High in 1950. Upon graduation, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy. He served during the Korean conflict, including plenty of time on a supply ship off the Atlantic Coast. During his naval career, he married his sweetheart, Linda Kallio, in the spring of 1953. While stationed in Norfolk, VA, the couple welcomed their first daughter, Valerie. After Dick’s honorable discharge from the Navy, the young family returned to Massachusetts, and he promptly joined the U.S. Coast Guard Reserve. He served for over thirty-two years as a Reservist, and achieved the rank of Chief Warrant Officer. His valued and varied military career – while non-combat in nature – spanned the decades including both the Korean conflict and the Viet Nam War.
Mr. Luce also continued what was to become a lifetime career in banking. He had entered the field during high school as a bank messenger, and advanced through positions as teller, manager, treasurer, and Vice President in the Cooperative Bank system. Even upon his “retirement,” he continued to work part time, and served as the Security Officer for Savers’ Cooperative Bank in Auburn.
A second daughter, Sandra, joined the family in 1956, while son Richard, Jr. arrived in 1971. Above everything, Dick Luce loved his wife, his children, and his country. He was a man of consummate integrity, devotion, honesty, and decency. His sense of humor and sometimes silliness belied his deep caring for others. He served his community in many ways. He was a past president of the Webster-Dudley Rotary Club, a long-time member of the Auburn Rotary Club, a past president of the Webster/Dudley Chamber of Commerce, and a long-time member of, and past Treasurer and Board Member of the Worcester Surfcasting Club. He also served on the Troop Committee of Auburn’s Boy Scout Troop 101, and with his wife was a tireless advocate for quality advanced education through the Gifted and Talented Committee for Auburn Public Schools. He was a life member of the Reserve Officers Association.
He loved to travel, especially to Disney World and Disneyland. Hawaii was also a favorite destination, but simple camping trips with his family also gave him great pleasure. After initial reluctance – having spent quite enough time at sea in the Navy – Dick conceded that cruising vacations just might be different, and he certainly enjoyed a good cruise.
He accepted a diagnosis of macular degeneration with fortitude and admirable grace while in his seventies, continuing to perform as many tasks as he could. Even when legally blind, his amazing internal maps could guide his family practically anywhere a car could go in Southern New England – now with his wife at the wheel. He continued to enjoy vacationing as well as good dining and even an occasional Red Sox game.
Dick and Linda were an inseparable and formidable team in everything from raising their children to improving their home and community. When they were young, they rode bicycles, played basketball, and roller skated together. What had begun as a friendship, something that never changed, grew into a most cherished and perennial love. They were married for the better part of 64 years.
Dick is survived by his best friend and wife, Linda J. Luce (Kallio), his children Valerie Kelley of Worcester, MA, Sandy Niles and her husband Don Niles, Sr. of Westerly, RI, and Rick Luce, Jr. and his wife Jennifer Luce of Redondo Beach, CA. He will also be mourned by his
grandchildren, Stephen Kelley, Jr., Lisa Kelley, Donnie Niles, Jr., Debbie Niles Stevens, Josselyn Luce, and Taryn Luce, and a big, beautiful family of brothers- and sisters-in-law, nieces, nephews, and great-grandchildren.
He was predeceased by his parents as well as his brother Raymond Luce, sisters Virginia Marcoux and Dorothy Hague, and brother Roger Luce.
Relatives and friends are invited to visit with Dick’s family on Thursday, January 26, 2017 from 9:30-10:30 AM in BRITTON-WALLACE FUNERAL HOME, 91 Central Street, Auburn . His funeral will follow with a Mass celebrated at 11:00 AM in St. Joseph’s Church, 189 Oxford Street North, Auburn. Burial with Military Honors will be in Hillside Cemetery. To leave a note of condolence for Dick’s family or to view his Book of Memories, please visit, www.brittonfuneralhomes.com
The family wishes to thank the compassionate medical professionals of the U.Mass. Memorial Cancer Center, and the Hospice caregivers of the Southern Worcester County V.N.A. In lieu of flowers, the family invites donations to the Richard Luce BSA Tr.101 Memorial Fund through any branch of Savers Bank, or to the Music Ministry of St. Joseph’s, with checks made out to St. Joseph’s Parish, 194 Oxford St., Auburn, MA, or to any charity of one’s choice .