(left-right) Lauren, Susan and Richard Kublar sit in their boat, Fear Knot, which Richard Kublar purchased after receiving his cancer diagnosis.

WISCASSET — On Saturday, Wiscasset will celebrate the life of resident Richard Kubler, who died July 25 after a nine-month battle with liver cancer. Kubler, a former firefighter from Hackensack, New Jersey, was diagnosed with cancer in October 2019, which was linked to his recovery work after the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York City.

“Rich always came to work ready to do his job, helping in any way he could, and ready to learn,” said Capt. Justin Derevyanik of the Hackensack Fire Department, who worked alongside Richard Kubler for over 20 years. “He was dedicated and always came to work with a smile on his face. There was never any hesitation to help in any situation that would arise.”

According to the World Trade Center Health Program, 17,094 of its members hold at least one cancer certification and 931 members have died from cancer. More than 75,000 first responders have received medical treatment through the World Trade Center Health Program, which provides medical monitoring and treatment for 9/11 emergency responders, recovery and cleanup workers and volunteers.

After retiring from firefighting, Richard and Susan Kubler bought their home in Wiscasett, having vacationed in Maine several times. He befriended several members of the Bath Professional Firefighters, who adopted him as one of their own and made him an honorary member.

“We took a leap of faith and he’d always say, ‘I think God was looking out for us because we landed in a place that’s so beautiful, with amazing people,’” said his wife, Susan Kubler. “Maine was the place he loved more than any place on the planet and he got to spend his final nine months here.”

Despite his diagnosis, those closest to him said he never lost his positive attitude.

“When he was diagnosed, it didn’t stop him from doing the things he loved to do,” said daughter Lauren Kubler, 24. “He always tried to make the best of each day, even if that meant just sitting outside.”

Lauren Kubler said her father was the type of person who didn’t like or understand sports, but cheered her at every one of her lacrosse games. He loved life’s simple pleasures, like ice cream dates with his daughter, taking his boat out on the water and stargazing in Maine.

“He was very kind and would do anything for other people,” she said. “He knew how to make people laugh.”

Susan Kubler, said he was patient, kind and “was the type of husband who always noticed when I got my hair cut — always.”

Richard Kubler Photo courtesy of Justin Derevyanik

“He went out one day and bought me all these battery-operated tools like a chainsaw and screwdriver and taught me how to use them all,” she said. “He would teach you something and give you the skills and tools to do it yourself.”

Lauren Kubler said he instilled in her the belief that women can do anything men can do, a belief she still carries with her. That confidence eventually led her to follow in her father’s footsteps and become a firefighter.

She now works as a nurse.

Visitation hours are from 5-8 p.m. Friday at Daigle Funeral Home in Bath.

A funeral procession will begin at 1 p.m on Saturday at Daigle Funeral Home, heading to First Congregational Church on High Street in Wiscasset. The funeral service will begin at 2 p.m. and will be limited to family, his coworkers and first responders. It will be live streamed on Hackensack Fire Department and First Congregational Church Facebook pages.

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