May 27, 2013

Feature Obituary: Former Sanford teacher Richard Boisvert, 69, dies

By Gillian Graham ggraham@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

SANFORD - During his decades as a teacher, Richard Boisvert was known for his sense of humor and inspiring students by showing them that reading is fun. Later, he became famous among family and friends for his signature blueberry muffins.

Mr. Boisvert, a lifelong Sanford resident and Vietnam War veteran, died May 24 surrounded by his family. He was 69.

Mr. Boisvert was the youngest of 11 children and grew up in Sanford, where he graduated from St. Ignatius High School. He volunteered for the Air Force and spent a year in Vietnam before attending the former St. Francis College in Biddeford.

After a short stint working at local businesses, Mr. Boisvert became a teacher, first at St. Andre's in Biddeford, then for 17 years at Sanford Middle School.

During his time in Sanford schools, Mr. Boisvert and Rachel, his wife of 45 years, team-taught fifth-graders. He would teach reading and math, while she handled other subjects -- and the discipline, said their daughter, Cheryl Worswick. He was known for cracking jokes both inside and outside the classroom.

"My mom was the straight man," Worswick said. "They had a lot of people ask them how they could teach together, but they never had any problems. They were a great team."

Though his children never had him as a teacher, many of their friends did. The students often told stories of how Mr. Boisvert made school fun, especially when it came to reading. Many former students remember how he used "Star Wars" books to help kids engage in reading, his children said.

"Almost everyone says he was their favorite teacher," Worswick said.

Mr. Boisvert retired from teaching in 1988 after suffering a stroke. During his retirement, he also enjoyed reading, watching science fiction shows and baking blueberry muffins for everyone he knew, including his mechanic. He was able to spend more time with his family, including his three older grandchildren and a newborn grandson.

Mr. Boisvert coached basketball for the Sanford-Springvale Youth Athletic Association before he retired from teaching. He was a lifelong fan of the Boston Celtics.

"He would follow the Celtics religiously," his son, Brian Boisvert, said. "I don't think he ever missed a game."

Brian Boisvert said he and his sisters were lucky to have a father who was very involved with their lives.

"We all have great lives thanks to him," he said.

Gillian Graham can be contacted at 791-6315 or at:

ggraham@mainetoday.com

Twitter: grahamgillian

 

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