SCARBOROUGH – Richard Googins, who was a machinist at Saco Defense and volunteered for the Scarborough Fire Department for more than 25 years, died on Monday. He was 81.

Mr. Googins worked for Saco Defense, now General Dynamics, for 36 years before retiring. He made machine guns for the Army.

Stan Googins, the oldest of his three children, said his father joined the company after serving in the Korean War.

“He got out of the war and worked in that sweat hole until he retired,” he said. “I remember picking him up from work and he was a ball of sweat. He stuck with it for so long that he must have enjoyed it.”

Mr. Googins lived in Scarborough’s Pine Point area for his whole life. He was married to the former Theresa Desrochers for 22 years. It was his second marriage.

Mr. Googins was described by his family Wednesday as an active, down-to-earth and easygoing guy who generously gave his time to help others.

Mr. Googins was a volunteer firefighter for Engine 4 at Pine Point for more than 25 years. Several years ago, he was recognized as a lifetime member of the department and received a gold medal for his dedication. His son said he volunteered to give back to the community.

“He saved many houses through the years,” his son said. “I admired his caring way. He would always help someone if he could. He looked out for everyone and then for himself.”

Stan Googins credited his father for helping him through one of the toughest times of his life. In August 1976, he was injured when he was struck by a drunk driver. A couple of weeks later, he had a swimming accident that left him a quadriplegic. He said his father took care of him for a few years after the accident and checked on him throughout his life.

“With my situation, he always made sure I was OK,” his son said.

Mr. Googins had a passion for the outdoors. In his early years, he enjoyed hunting for deer in Brownfield. He hunted for duck and pheasant in the Scarborough Marsh.

He also worked part time as a lobsterman and dug for clams and worms.

Mr. Googins was active in his later years, working around his house and caring for the wildlife that frequented his property.

“He took really good care of the house,” his son said. “He was cleaning his gutters at 80 years old.”

His life changed in August 2009. Mr. Googins and his wife were driving home from their regular Wednesday outing when his blood pressure and heart rate plummeted. He passed out while he was driving and hit a tree head-on.

“The accident started a downward spiral,” his son said. “They were both beat up pretty bad.” 

Staff Writer Melanie Creamer can be contacted at 791-6361 or at:

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