CAVENDISH, Vt. – Richard F. Svec, 69, died suddenly at home on March 5, 2018. Rich was born June 21,1948 in New York City to Victoria (Galbavy) Svec and Frank Svec. He grew up and attended schools in Ridgewood, N.J. In 1970, he married his high school sweetheart, Peggy (Parke) Svec.
Rich earned a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology from Rider University in 1970. That degree led him to his first career as an administrator in the New Jersey Correctional System. He worked at the Trenton Maximum Security Prison and the Clinton Correctional Institution for Women.
After 11 years of prison administration, Rich and Peggy headed to Vermont where they owned land and had spent many years hiking, camping, and skiing. In Vermont, Rich started his second career as town manager in Cavendish. With total dedication and professionalism, he remained in that position until February of 2017, when he retired after 29 years of devoted service to his beloved community.
Rich continued his education throughout his lifetime, driven by an insatiable curiosity, keen interests, and his love of learning. He learned to fly single engine planes in the 1970s and earned his private pilot’s license. In the 1980s, he armed himself with computer science and technology experience and taught college computer courses. Having learned to sail as a teenager, from his friend and mentor Ned Parke, he spent three summers sailing the west coast of Scotland. Then in 1983, he and two other crewmembers sailed a 55-foot sailboat across the Atlantic.
His love for woodworking led him to build his own home. After taking a timber-framing course in 1982, Rich felled the necessary trees on their property and dedicated himself to building his oak post and beam house by hand. Their home reflects his attention to detail, knowledge, and skillful craftsmanship.
In 2010, Rich developed an interest in the sport of curling. As with his other interests, he educated himself on the history, rules, and strategies of the game and became an avid curler. He didn’t settle for being just a participant of the sport, but enjoyed luring others to the ice and helping teach them the game he loved. His other interests and hobbies included: his adoring family; photography; Scrabble; nature; visiting our National Parks; fishing and stewardship of the land.
Rich is survived by his wife Peggy; son Max and fiancée Julie Markarian; daughter Kathryn and fiancé Wyll Everett; brothers Robert and Ronald; nephew Jeffrey and numerous other caring family members.
Advice from Rich: “Look up; live life to the fullest; hug your loved ones and tell them you love them often; be kind to others; always leave a place better than you found it and ‘Good Curling!’”
Donations can be made in Rich’s name to the Upper Valley Curling Club, 69 Kings Highway, West Windsor, VT 05089 and/or the Cavendish Family Fund, Cavendish Town Office, PO Box 126, Cavendish, VT 05142.
There will be a Celebration of Life and memorial dedication for Rich on the Green in Proctorsville, Vt. on June 16, 2018 from 2 to 4 p.m.