At age 70, Richard B. Smith fulfilled a long-term goal of bicycling across the United States, an estimated 3,276-mile ride from Seattle, Washington, to Brunswick. He dipped his wheels into Maquoit Bay.

Richard B. Smith spent much of his retirement traveling. Courtesy photo

“It’s something he’s always wanted to do,” said Priscilla Smith, his wife for 57 years. “I stayed home and mowed the lawn.” She laughed. “He was very proud he had done that.”

Dick Smith, a former longtime director of the Brunswick Parks and Recreation Department who had a passion for adventure, died Monday after a lengthy illness. He was 87.

Mr. Smith served as director of the department for 17 years. He oversaw the development of various programs, ranging from father-daughter dances to Halloween parades and swimming at Coffin Pond. He also developed a new senior citizens group. He retired in 1978.

“He did a lot of very innovative things for the town of Brunswick,” his wife said. “He was always interested in the youth. He made a difference in their lives.”

Mr. Smith also served as commissioner of the Maine Amateur Softball Association for about 15 years. Under his leadership, the number of teams increased from roughly 200 to 800. His wife said they enjoyed the years they traveled across the state promoting the sport.

The Smiths lived in Brunswick and raised two children.

“He was a wonderful father,” his wife said, noting the family spent a lot of quality time together at their camp in northern Maine.

Mr. Smith was remembered by his wife Thursday as an adventurous man with a passion for traveling and cycling. For several years, the Smiths were involved with a group formerly known as Elderhostel Inc., which offered educational tours all over the world. The couple biked throughout England, France, Germany, Austria and Italy, she said.

“We biked every day,” his wife said. “We stopped at different scenic spots along the way. It was both educational and fun. It was wonderful to bike and see the countryside.”

She reminisced about their trips to Africa and China, and whitewater rafting in the Rio Grande and San Juan River. She said they also skied throughout New Hampshire and northern Maine.

“We traveled a lot together,” she said. “We have had a full life. That’s for sure. We were fortunate to be able to travel, … to be healthy to do that.”

Mr. Smith’s obituary appeared in Friday’s Press Herald. A celebration of his life will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Brunswick Hotel and Tavern, 4 Noble St. in Brunswick.

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

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