Joseph Richard (Dick) Smith, 85, of Hudson passed away Tuesday night, November 6, 2018, from pancreatic cancer. He is survived by his two sons and their wives: Stephen Smith and Diane of Hudson and Ken Smith and Carolyn of Royal Palm Beach, Florida.
Dick was born October 29, 1933 in Rhode Island, the elder of two sons born to Joseph H. and Hazel E. Smith. He was raised in Providence, where he graduated in 1951 from LaSalle Academy. Afterward he attended Rhode Island Radio School, graduating in 1953. He enlisted in the army and was Private First Class when he graduated from The Signal School in Fort Monmouth, N.J. in Radar Repair. He continued in the army, becoming an expert in radar technology, until 1959 when he was recruited by Raytheon, where he worked until his retirement in 1991. To improve his qualifications while at Raytheon, Dick earned an Associate degree with honors in Electrical Engineering from Worcester Junior College in 1971 and a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Engineering from Fitchburg State College in 1977.
Dick was a sports enthusiast and enjoyed musing that he got to see something his father and grandfather never saw: the Red Sox win a World Series! After retirement, among his most rewarding activities were playing bridge, which he did regularly at the Hudson Senior Center, and volunteering for the “Meals on Wheels” program, from which he felt much satisfaction giving back to his community. But the most important leadership role Dick played was as a bereaved parent within the local Pieta group. Due to his own personal loss, the death of his daughter, Debbie, he was able to offer authentic comfort to parents who had also lost a child.
In addition to his two sons and their wives, Dick is survived by grandchildren Caitlin and Brian Smith, Crystal and Kirsten Vera, niece Linda Bessette, nephew William Bessette, great-grandson Jace Smith, and many step-grandchildren and step-great-grandsons.
Along with his parents and younger brother, Robert, who passed away in 1991, Dick is predeceased by the love of his life, Irene M. Smith, with whom he spent 67 years, and by his beloved daughter, Deborah Ann Smith.
Relatives and friends are invited to celebrate Dick’s life during calling hours from 4-7 pm on Thursday, November 15, 2018 at Tighe Hamilton Regional Funeral Home, 50 Central Street, Hudson, MA 01749. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 9 am on Friday, November 16, 2018 at Saint Michael Parish, 21 Manning Street, Hudson, MA; followed by interment at Forest Vale Cemetery in Hudson.