Cover photo for Kenneth E. Richey's Obituary
Kenneth E. Richey Profile Photo

Kenneth E. Richey

February 2, 1925 — August 9, 2023

Whitefield, NH

Kenneth E. Richey

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Kenneth Edwin Richey, age 98, passed away peacefully with family by his side on Wednesday, August 9, 2023, at Littleton Regional Healthcare in Littleton, NH. Ken was born in Littleton, NH on February 2, 1925. He was predeceased by his beloved wife of almost sixty-nine years, Pauline (Bernard) Richey. 

As a boy, Ken grew up attending Littleton schools. However, in response to the outbreak of World War II, he left school to join his uncles and helped build the airport in Hyannis, MA. Shortly after his eighteenth birthday, he enlisted in the United States Army Air Corps in 1943. Following his training at Fort Dix, NJ, and Fort Polk, LA, he crossed the Atlantic Ocean on the Queen Mary later that year and landed at the Firth of Forth in Scotland. He was a Sergeant and served as a fireman at Royal Air Force Matching, a bomber base northeast of London until August 1944 when he was sent to France and came ashore in Normandy. He went on to serve in Paris, Belgium, and finally Germany. Ken spoke fondly of the hospitality of a farm family in Denmark where he spent a week of leave after the fighting ended. He always dreamed of returning to his home in Littleton and did so in 1946.

Ken married Pauline Bernard in Lancaster, NH on June 5, 1948. They raised their three children on Willow St. in Littleton. Ken and Pauline later moved to Forest Lake in Whitefield in 1983.

After returning home from war, Ken’s love for driving trucks and operating heavy equipment continued as he worked on major projects including the Moore Dam in Littleton, NH, the locks of the St. Lawrence Seaway in Massena, NY, and as an independent sub-contractor for the creation of the new interstate highway system in New Hampshire and Vermont. In 1958, with a small fleet of dump trucks and heavy equipment of his own, Ken achieved his goal of becoming self-employed and proudly established Ken Richey & Sons. As the years went on, he eventually transitioned to performing smaller summer projects in NH until he was well into his eighties and officially retired.

Ken served as a volunteer firefighter in Littleton and was an active life member of the Littleton VFW. He enjoyed fishing, hunting, snowmobiling, and was a long-time fan of the Red Sox, the Patriots, and NASCAR. He delighted in long visits with his grandchildren, during which he shared his interests and provided them with life-long memories. He also relished attending his grandchildren’s and great-grandchildren’s sporting events, school activities, and family gatherings. Ken took particular pride in restoring a B-61 Mack Truck which he displayed at antique car and truck shows.

Ken and Pauline traveled extensively through much of the US in their various recreational vehicles. Their favorite trip was a drive traversing through Canada followed by a two-month stay in Alaska. They wintered in Arizona for a number of years before becoming ‘snowbirds’ at lakes in central Florida for fifteen years. In 2014, they moved to McIntyre School Apartments in Whitefield and enjoyed being able to socialize with the other residents and participate in activities. After the passing of his beloved wife, Ken moved to Lafayette Center in 2017 where he was able to remain active and regale his visiting family members and friends with a smile and glint in his eye they will always remember.

He was predeceased by his cherished wife, Pauline; his parents, Mildred (Burgess) Hood and Edwin Richey; his sister, Lenora Emery; as well as aunts, uncles, and cousins.

He is survived by his three children, Junette Pearson and husband, Gray, of Laconia, NH; Edwin Richey and wife, Diane, of Whitefield, NH; Kim Richey and former wife, Kimberly, of Chateaugay, NY. He also leaves seven grandchildren; Stephanie Menard and husband, William, of Cumberland, RI; Gray Pearson of Arlington, VA; Kendra Austin and husband, Todd, of Rumney, NH; Jonathan Pearson and wife, Erin, of Meredith, NH; Jennifer Sullivan and husband, Scott, of Newtown, PA; Abigail Butler and husband, Josh, of Drayden, MD; Katherine Rautenberg and husband, Erik, of Francestown, NH. He took special joy in his twelve great-grandchildren; Gabriel and Andrew Menard, Brooke and Bailey Austin, Declan Pearson, Ella and Cole Sullivan, Charles, Nora, and Lucille Butler, and Annabel and Finley Rautenberg. He is also survived by his nieces, nephews, cousins, and their families.

A graveside service with military honors will be held at the Glenwood Cemetery, 282 West Main St., Littleton, NH on Saturday, September 9th beginning at 11AM. Anyone attending the graveside service is welcome to join in a funeral procession starting at the Pillsbury Phaneuf Funeral Home, 101 Union St., Littleton at 10:45AM. After the graveside service a celebration of life and reception will be held at the Littleton VFW, 600 Cottage St. Littleton, NH.  

In lieu of flowers, those who wish may make a memorial contribution in Ken’s memory to:
Littleton VFW, 600 Cottage St., Littleton, NH 03561.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Kenneth E. Richey, please visit our flower store.

Past Services

Graveside Service

Saturday, September 9, 2023

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Celebration of Life

Saturday, September 9, 2023

Starts at 12:00 pm (Eastern time)

VFW Howard Shawney Post #816

600 Cottage St, Littleton, NH 03561

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