Richard Melville Woodman, 90, previously of Dover, NH, diedpeacefully at home in Northampton, MA, on May 30, 2020, after a long period of declining health. His family is grateful to those who helped care for him and to Rockridge Retirement Community for permitting his daughter and son-in-law to attend him in his final days, particularly during this pandemic.
The son of Lloyd G. and Edna R. (Ramberg) Woodman, he was born on Easter Sunday, April 20, 1930, in Biddeford, Maine, where he grew up with his two sisters. He spent summers at the family camp in Buxton at what is now the Moses Woodman Preserve in the Saco Valley Land Trust.
He completed a Doctor of Divinity degree at St. Lawrence University in 1952, and was called afterwards to serve as minister of the Universalist Church in Binghamton, NY. After nearly a decade there, he held settled ministries in Tampa, FL, Andover, MA and Reading, MA. In true Universalist fashion,he spent the later years of his ministerial life as an itinerant preacher holding more than 10 interim positions throughout the Northeast.
An outspoken leader during the Civil Rights movement of the 60s and a voice for social justice throughout his lifetime, he was a thoughtful, compassionate, and witty wordsmith. A stickler for record keeping, he was an early adopter of computers in the churches he served and at home. He was passionate about history, geneology, story telling, and jokes. He loved design, carpentry and his Boston Terriers – Snuffy and PandD. He made a practice of giving teddy bears to all his children, grandchildren and great granddaughters on the occasion of their birth, and then he extended this practice to the families in his Dover neighborhood.
In his youth, he worked at Ferry Beach, and later employed skills developed there and elsewhere as Manager at Camp Unirondack. His commitment to the UUA extended throughout his life and for several years he served on the General Assembly planning committee. Long after he retired he looked forward to his annual gatherings with fellow Fraters. At one of those gatherings – marking his 70th year in the world, he reflected on that which kept him going – A careful balance of dreams and reality. Pennies earned and saved then spent.
He was predeceased by his wife Pauline Rosado Woodman, and by the mother of his children, Margaret Blair Woodman. He leaves a son Douglas L. Woodman (Kathy) of Methuen, MA, a daughter Linda (Avram), a daughter Marilyn Woodman (Raphael Hartzog) of Florence, MA, a step daughter Janet Rosado (Darrell Wheeler) of Sydney, Australia, and a step son Jeff Rosado (Caramia) of Pensacola, FL. He was blessed with ten grandchildren and five great granddaughters. He is survived as well by his sisters Marjorie Miller and Joan Bishop, and several cousins, nephews and great nieces.
His extended family is deeply grateful to him for making clear how the various branches of the tree are connected. In his efforts to do so, He was determined to leave to the future as “told tale” the discovered family heritage. He did that and so very much more.
A private gathering will be held at a later time. Memorial giftsmay be made to VNA/ hospice of Cooley Dickinson Hospital, PO Box 329, Northampton, MA 01061-0329.