Born at home, to Thomas Hurley and Mary (Hart) Jan. 19, 1932, in Gerritsen Beach, Brooklyn, a father of 10 children with wife Anne C. Rogers, deceased April 28, 2016, Richard got his final wish to be with Anne again and to pass on Jan. 10, 2017, at his home on Nassau Point in Cutchogue of natural causes.
Richard was laid to rest with military honors at Calverton National Cemetery alongside his loving wife of 61 years. He was predeceased by his siblings Tom Hurley, Margaret Loller, Loretta Rogers, Rosemary Slingerland, William Hurley and Maureen Christian.
A graduate of Long Beach High School, Richard enlisted with some of his high school classmates at the prestigious 7th Regiment (Rockefeller’s Own) in New York City on Park Avenue and embarked on a long career in the New York National Guard, retiring as a lieutenant colonel.
The U.S. Army was Richard’s school: teaching him to fight, lead, command and fly. Through his training and instruction with the Army’s flight schools of both fixed wing and rotary wing, his civilian pursuits incorporated in providing him and his growing family an income as pilot with New York Airways for close to 20 years.
Aviation was Richard’s expertise as he became an independent owner operator of Seaplane Charter services to and from New York City and the East End destinations of Long Island. Through these pursuits, operations were expanded into the Caribbean and later developed to include scheduled package delivery services to the islands for DHL under the banners of Kingfisher Air Services-Air Safari where he retired as director of operations at the tender age of 84.
As a Long Beach High School football star quarterback, Richard got the call from his coach to help him start the first CW Post college football squad as his starting quarterback where he excelled.
Growing up in Long Beach, during his summers you would find him on the beaches working as a lifeguard. When he was not rescuing souls from the ocean surf, he would be playing his ukulele, singing the songs of the day with his fellow lifeguards who would also be planning the “gin party” later that evening. The beach was Richard’s refuge and playground, enjoying the company of family and friends up until his death.
Richard’s children will always remember him playing his ukulele and harmonica, singing ballads (“oldies”) from the 20s and 30s. He could whip up a mean batch of clam chowder and was always whistling his favorite tunes or singing love songs to his wife, who would sing along and never seem to tire of this. His greatest joy was getting the “gang” together on “The Point” and making sure there was plenty of great food and wine so we could all enjoy each other’s company and smell the roses.
A very hard-working man, he got his first job with his older brother, Bill, setting pins at a
bowling alley. Later as an adult he would hold down two and three jobs at times. It is a testament to him that he was able to make time for his children for camping trips, recitals,
sporting events and the many milestones of 10 children. It amazes everyone how he was able to provide for and love his 10 children and maintain a nurturing environment; fighting the good fight one day at a time and never giving up. He always did the best he could to provide but would always say that when it came to the family, it was his loving wife, not him, who made it all work out somehow.
Richard was an extremely well-read individual who knew his history and had such a command and presence on this subject (among others) that he left all with a greater “perspective” (his favorite word) and appreciation on the topic. Richard was also a fine writer. He wrote many poems about life and his experiences which were displayed at the local library.
Richard is survived by his ten children, Timothy, Jean, Christopher, Margaret, Patricia, Richard, Rosemary, Anne, Roberta, John and his 14 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.
As in one of his favorite songs he used to sing to mom, “we will see him in our dreams…”
Arrangements were entrusted to Coster-Heppner Funeral Home in Cutchogue.
This is a paid notice.