A Mass of Christian burial for Richard ‘Dick” W. Scelza, Sr. who died peacefully at his home, January 26, 2012, with his wife Anna, of 55 years at his side was celebrated Tuesday, January 31 at St. Anthony Church. Burial followed in the Mt. Olivet Cemetery, both in White River Jct.
He was born October 21, 1932, in White River Junction, Vermont, Richard was the third son of Anthony and Louise (Romano) Scelza, in the family of 10 children.
He graduated from Hartford High School in 1950, having been very involved with both the music and athletic programs. He enlisted in the US Navy in April 1951 as a Seaman Recruit-El. After basic training in Newport, RI, he then served on the USS Waccamaw, and later was transferred to USS Firedrake, where he served his first deployment in the Korean War. Returning to the United States he attended the US Naval School of journalism in Great Lakes Illinois. Upon graduation he was selected to serve on the staff of Vice Admiral Alfred M. Pride, Seventh Fleet Commander, with the Admirals staff; he served on board the USS New Jersey during the Korean War, then after the war on the USS Iowa, USS Wisconsin, USS St. Paul, and the USS Los Angeles. He was honorably discharged in January 1955, as a Navy Journalist 2nd class-E5.
Richard was married on June 15, 1957 to Anna C. B, Audsley, of Woodstock VT, daughter of Arthur and Ruth (Luce) Audsley. They have children, Ann, Anthony, Lori, Rich and Matthew. They also have 12 grandchildren, Bridget and Jesse Labrie, Nicholas and Adam Scelza Jennifer, Rebecca, Danielle and Anthony J. Scelza; Brianna Boyd, Morgan and Marissa Pond, and Emily Scelza and two great grandchildren, Nicholas and Mya Boyd.
Richard attended the University of Connecticut Storrs, CT, and graduated in 1959, with a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting. He worked at the University in Storrs upon graduation, and then with the Internal Revenue Service in Hartford, CT. He began his teaching career at Bellows Free Academy in Fairfax, VT (1960-61), and he also coached both Varsity and Junior Varsity girls’ basketball. He left Fairfax to teach 3 years at Essex Junction High School, Essex Junction, VT. He was offered a career change and went to work at IBM, Essex Junction, VT as a Senior Accounting Analyst. He also taught evening classes at Champlain College and in a local bank for the American Banking Association Accounting program. A full time position was offered at Champlain College, so he left IBM, and accepted the position as an Assistant Professor in Accounting and Federal Income taxes at Champlain College, Burlington, VT. While at Champlain College, he completed his Master’s in Education in Guidance Degree from St. Michael’s College, Winooski, VT. After completing his degree, he left Champlain to teach at Springfield, VT high school as a coordinator and teacher in the Distributive Education program. After this position, he left Springfield to be a Vocational Guidance Counselor and the Director of Vocational Education at Fall Mountain High School, Alstead. NH.
Upon leaving Fall Mountain, Richard accepted a position as Dean of Students, Director of Admissions, and Financial Aid at the New Hampshire Vocational Technical College, Portsmouth. NH. Thus he moved his family to Eliot, ME and spent 7 years at the college. The next 18 years in the education field were at Marshwood High School, Eliot, ME (now So. Berwick, ME) as a Guidance Counselor and as Guidance Department Director, retiring in June 1997. He then taught evenings in the Marshwood Adult Education Program. After leaving teaching entirely, he was employed by Key Bank and then as Treasurer for St. Raphael’s Church, Kittery ME.
He is survived by his wife Anna, daughters Ann Marie Labrie and husband Edward A. of Canaan, NH, Lori Scelza-Pond, of Sanford, ME, Sons Anthony M. Scelza and wife Michele, of No. Hartland, VT, Richard W. Scelza, Jr. and his wife Lynda, of Rochester, NH and Matthew Scelza and his wife Kelly of Charles Town, WV and his grandchildren and great- grandchildren, as well as his two sisters, Madeline Scelza and Concetta Leonard and numerous nieces and nephews.
Richard was predeceased by his parents, 2 brothers, Angelo and Anthony Scelza, and 5 sisters, Angela Gravel, Josephine Coutermarsh, Margaret Gour, Michelina Scelza, and Rosanna Gillies.
Richard was a life member of the Knights of Columbus, 3rd and 4th Degree, having served as Grand Knight, Faithful Navigator, District Deputy, and a State Chairman in New Hampshire. He was also a life member of the VFW, White River Junction Post #2571, a life member of the BPOE Elks Club #1541 of Hartford, VT, and a member of the American Legion Post #26 of White River Junction, VT. He was a member of the Maine Education Association, Maine Retired Teachers Association, and the National Education Association. He also served on the School Board for SAD #35 in Eliot ME, and as Little League and Babe Ruth baseball coach, as a supporter of the new soccer program, also in Eliot, ME. He was a life-long, enthusiastic fan of the Red Sox, the Patriots, the Celtics, and the Boston Bruins.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Anthony’s Church, 15 Church St. White River Junction, VT or the American Heart Association New England Affiliate, 20 Speen Street, Framingham, MA 01701.
Condolences may be expressed in an online guest book at www.knightfuneralhomes.com.
This obituary first appeared in the February 2nd print edition of the Vermont Standard.
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