Loving family man, avid outdoorsman

Published in the April 28, 2016 edition

Richard-Desjardins-Obit-webWILMINGTON — Richard L. Desjardins, age 70, of Wilmington, formerly of Salem and Peabody passed away on April 20, 2016, surrounded by his loving family. Born in Peabody on April 11, 1946, Richard (Dick, Dickie, DJ) was the son of the late Roger and Annette (Bonsant) Desjardins. He grew up in Salem and was part of the first graduating class of Bishop Fenwick High School in 1964. After high school, Richard enlisted in the Navy Reserves but an injury forced his discharge before he could serve our country.

In October of 1966, Richard married the love of his life, Patricia. The couple resided in the Salem Willows neighborhood and raised their two daughters, Cynthia and Deborah, there. After 35 years in Salem, Dick and Pat moved to Peabody where they spent 11 years before recently moving to Wilmington.

Dick was a real outdoors kind of guy. When he was a kid, Dick was part of the Boy Scouts where he gained an appreciation for nature. He was an avid hunter and fisherman. Dick enjoyed spending time at his “home away from home”, the Danvers Fish and Game Club, serving as their president in 1981. Dick also loved gardening, cooking and model trains, as well as Boston sports. He especially enjoyed watching his children and grandchildren play sports and perform on stage.

Dick was a true family man. He worked hard to provide for his family. Dick worked at North Shore Disposal, a company owned by his father. Several years later Dick started Desjardins Disposal. He later worked for Waste Management as a truck driver until suffering five strokes in 2004. Dick would do anything for his family. He served as a Girl Scouts Leader for his daughter Cindy’s troop when nobody else would volunteer. Dick also held office in the Salem High Music Boosters while Debby was in the high school band. He lived for his family and friends, as well as his dogs, Zephyr (whose ashes will be buried with him) and Pippy, who misses her Daddy terribly. Dick was a good-hearted and loyal person who will be sorely missed by those who knew him.

Dick was the beloved husband of Patricia L. (Lavender) Desjardins. He was the devoted father of Cynthia Stratouly and her husband Donn of Wilmington and Deborah Alter and her husband Edward of North Reading. Dick was the loving grandfather of Stephanie Perezand her husband Ernesto, Jonathan Stratouly, Gregory Stratouly, Nicholas Stratouly, Madelyn Alter and Cameron Alter. He leaves behind his great–grandchildren Jaylen and Sofia Perez. He was the dear brother of Carol Rourke and her husband James of Middleton. Dick is also survived by his nephews, Christopher Rourke and Erik Rourke and his wife Colleen.

Family and friends gathered for a Funeral Service at the Nichols Funeral Home, Inc., 187 Middlesex Ave., (Rte. 62), Wilmington, MA on April 25 at 1 p.m. Interment was held in Wildwood Cemetery, Wilmington. Visiting hours were held at the Funeral Home on Sunday, April 24 from 1–5 p.m. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in Richard’s memory may be made to Cape Ann Animal Aid, 4 Paws Lane, Gloucester, MA 01930, where Dick and Pippy rescued each other.