Deceased October 20, 2021

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In Memory

Dick was a man of many diverse interests. Born in Boston, he came to Amherst from Mount Hermon. He earned a B.S. from Union College, an M.A. in history from the University of New Hampshire, an M.L.S. from the University of Maryland and a Ph.D. in history from Penn State. His career included teaching at Penn State, working as a research expert in special collections with the Portsmouth Public Library and authoring seven books, five of which focus on the history of Portsmouth, N.H., and its shipbuilding industry.

Dick had a love of outdoors and a passion for all things nautical. He explored, paddled and rafted from Scotland to Canada, north of the Arctic Circle, and he chronicled his experiences in written pieces, many of which appeared in the aptly named Messing About in Boats and the last of which, a narrative of his 2019 canoe expedition on the Thomsen River, was illustrated with his own photos. His later-in-life hope to explore the Antarctic from Ushuaia, Argentina, to the Falkland Islands and onto the subcontinent itself were dashed by the onslaught of the pandemic and Dick’s health issues. As he said in his Christmas 2020 letter: “Things happen.” He was determined by summer 2021 to head out to the Maine lakes for some paddling with a guide.

He is survived by a sister, Ellen Ruhl, and her extended family.

Peter Levison ’56