Richard Newton “Newt” or “Dick” Kollet died early Tuesday morning, October 5, 2021. He passed peacefully after a short illness; he was 89. One of Richard’s favorite spots was the old wrought iron chair on the sunniest corner of the back deck. He built this deck and loved to sit here quietly, in a Pendleton shirt, one bony knee over the other, hands wrapped around a mug of hot coffee. He will be dearly missed.
Born, May of 1932 in Millville, Massachusetts, Richard was the youngest of seven children born to Minnie and Melvin Kollet. Their outhouse wasn’t just for show, and neither was the well where they kept the milk cold. He would remember the 1938 hurricane by how it felled the large tree next to the driveway, crushing the wagon he parked there to weather the storm. Richard and his classmates bussed or drove to Worcester Boys Trade School before Richard worked refinishing furniture and framing pictures at the Norback Company in Worcester. At the age of 20, Richard enlisted in the Army during the Korean War, eventually serving in the Signal Corps and being deployed to Germany. He loved Germany and the service. He would proudly talk of these years and his security clearance and chose never to divulge the details of that work.
Richard met Nancy E. Lovett from Edgewood, Rhode Island in 1963 during an afternoon of sailing on Narragansett Bay. They were married a year later and soon after built their home in Northbridge, Massachusetts where they raised their two children, Kathy and Grant. They loved to ski and camp and after Kathy was born, Richard opened the Custom Frame Shop in Worcester and ran the family business until his retirement in 2007.
Richard’s loves were his wife and family, working in the yard or on the cars, puttering around the house or listening to the Red Sox game. He was a craftsman and tools were well used in his skilled and precise hands. He could envision, build or fix just about anything. Richard was kind, mild mannered, and extremely patient. He was a neighbor, always lending a hand or tool and enjoying conversations across the yard. Born with a sweet tooth, he never turned down a doughnut or a trip to the creamery for some coffee ice cream.
In addition to Kathy and Grant, Richard is survived by one sister, Betty J. Kollett, son in law, John R. Tonelli, daughter in law, Sharmon M. Kollet, grandchildren Emma, Jared, and Macallister and numerous nieces and nephews. Richard is preceded in death by his wife, his parents and siblings: William E. “Gene,” Muriel E. Graves, Melvin A. “Bub,” Gwendolyn R. Haas, and Kenneth K. Kollet.
Richard will be remembered at visiting hours on Saturday, October 9 from 9:30 – 11:00am at the Carr Funeral Home located at 24 Hill Street in Whitinsville, Massachusetts. A brief service will follow at 11:00 am, officiated by Reverend Ethan Drutchas, Senior Minister at the Village Congregational Church. The family requests that masks be worn for these events. In lieu of flowers please consider donating to the Peace of Bread Community Kitchen at 51 Cottage Street in Whitinsville, Massachusetts 01588.
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