Richard R. Coombs

BRIDGTON – Richard R. Coombs, also known as Dick, 86, left his earthly home to spend eternity with his beloved wife, Donna and son Jonathan on Nov. 23, 2021. Richard was born in Augusta, Maine, and spent his boyhood with his siblings, Sally and Bobby and enjoyed many summers on China Lake with his cousins.

Richard graduated from Cony High School in 1953 and proudly served his country in the Air Force. He was stationed in Evreux, France and often recalled many memories of his time there, especially in recent months. One story he retold with exquisite detail was when he was called upon by his commanding officer to stop working for a moment on his ship as it neared the White Cliffs of Dover in England to catch a glimpse of it as it silently passed by.

With the help of the GI Bill, Richard enrolled in the University of Maine in Orono to pursue his degree. During that time, he joined Sigma Chi Fraternity and formed many lifelong friendships with his classmates. Dick participated in an intra-college activity with Westbrook College and it was there that he met the love of his life, Donna Anderson. She made such an impression on Richard that he returned to campus knowing only her first name and proceeded to visit every dorm asking for “Donna on the third floor” until he found her. They married and Dick began his career as a teacher.

Dick and Donna first lived in a house adjacent to the First Congregational Church in Bridgton as they began their family. Dick contributed to the history of Bridgton by writing a chapter in an updated book for the Bridgton Historical Society. For a time he was a member of the Lion’s Club faithfully attending the coals for the Bean Hole Bean supper. Richard also participated anywhere he was needed for church functions including flipping pancakes for the annual Strawberry Breakfast. Richard maintained his house with pride and, after a hard day mowing the lawn in the heat of summer, could be found watching his Red Sox with a cold beer in hand.

A practical man, Richard used his woodworking skills to make many helpful items around the house. Sarah recalled how he was ahead of his time when he brewed his own beer before it became a “thing”.  Martha remembers how fastidious he was when it came to his turntable and music collection. Among his favorite artists were Willie Nelson, Jerry Lee Lewis, and even the Grateful Dead. As a couple, Richard and Donna enjoyed traveling to visit Donna’s family in Texas and Cape Cod. They also went to Hawaii, San Francisco and Vancouver for Donna’s insurance conventions. As a family they camped in Richard’s green army tent in Bar Harbor and ventured to Washington D.C. Richard enjoyed spending time with his siblings and mother and could be found at the annual Christmas Eve Party at Sylvia and Bob’s home or basking in the sun at Crescent Beach.

After retiring from teaching in 1994, Richard pursued a completely different career at Yankee Microwave, serving as an office manager. He was fascinated by technology and told of the different projects that he found thrilling. He also enjoyed spending time with Sarah and her husband, Jonathan and was elated to have two grandchildren, Ethan and Abigail. When Donna was ill with multiple myeloma and kidney failure, Dick stood by her side and made sure she received the best care she could and kept her comfortable. A giant hole was left in his heart when she passed in 2016. He bravely confronted his new reality and made a solitary life for himself still in his home. Dick maintained his friendships through correspondence, tried his level best to keep himself entertained with the various offerings on YouTube and had much support from neighbors and the church community. He lived his life on his own terms and right up until the end took his car to the dealer to check out a troublesome tire and get his free oil change and requested his glazed donuts as a treat. Dick will sorely be missed by the Bridgton community but his legacy lives on in his students and family members.

Dick was predeceased by his wife Donna, son Jonathan, mother Selva and siblings, Sally and Bob. Dick is survived by his daughter Martha Coombs of Denmark, and Sarah Scott of Steep Falls. He also leaves behind his two grandchildren Ethan and Abigail. He will be missed by his nieces and nephews, Jeff and Jayne and Rob and Robyn and their families with whom he spent time.

Family and friends can gather at Hall Funeral Home at 165 Quaker Ridge Road in Casco, Maine, on Friday, Dec. 10, 2021. from 6-8 p.m. Due to COVID restrictions limiting the number of people allowed in the sanctuary, memorial services for Dick on Saturday, Dec. 11, 2021, at 10 a.m., will be private for family only at his beloved First Congregational Church, UCC in Bridgton. All others are invited to view the service broadcasted simultaneously on the church’s Facebook page at bridgtonucc.org. Committal prayers immediately following the service will be at the Forest Hills Annex Cemetery, Kansas Road, Bridgton. All are invited to attend.

In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the First Congregational Church of Bridgton.

 

Guest Book