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Richard W. Cressy 08/16/2017

Hyannis-Richard William Cressy (Dick) passed away on August 16, 2017. He was born in 1919 in Beverly, Massachusetts. Dick was the 9th of nine children of Fredrick and Agnes (Butler) Cressy. He attended Beverly High School, and the University of Massachusetts.
Dick served four years in World War II in the US and Europe. While serving in the second Armored Division he received four Battle Stars, the Bronze Star and the Distinguished Unit Citation, during that time he saw action in the Battle of the Bulge. He was discharged in 1946 reaching the rank of Captain.
After the war Dick began his life long career in education. In 1957 he was a Coe Fellow in history at Yale University and in 1959 a Jon Hay Whitney Fellow at Columbia University where he earned his Masters Degree.  He taught history in Greenwich and New Cannan, Connecticut before moving to Cape Cod where he continued teaching at Barnstable High School. Dick was a past president of the Barnstable’s Teacher Association.
 
In the years following retirement, Dick and Aileen had the opportunity to travel to many places including Europe, Panama, Nova Scotia, the Caribbean and his favorite, Hawaii. They took part in a number of Elder Hostel trips and cruises including decorating a float in the 2001 Rose Bowl Parade.
 
Dick took great pleasure in the many visits from members of family over the years, he especially loved time with the grandchildren and great grandchildren. He was devoted to his faith, and remained a lifelong student of world history. He enjoyed growing flowers and watching the wildlife around his yard in Hyannis. Dick was a lover of classical music, would often entertain with a song, and occasionally break out his harmonica. Friends and family enjoyed Dick’s dry wit, which often left his audience both confused and amused. Dick is remembered fondly as Mr. Cressy by the many students he taught and inspired in his 40 years of teaching.
 
One does not reach 98 years without help. On behalf of Dick, the family would like to thank the many people in the community who have touched his life over these past few years he was blessed to have your support.
In addition to his wife Aileen of 71 years, Dick is survived by daughter Patricia and her husband Dennis Massa of Pittsford, New York; daughter Judith of New York City; son Steven and his wife Carla of Sandwich, Massachusetts; ten grandchildren and many great grandchildren, nephews, and nieces. A private graveside ceremony will be held at the National Military Cemetery in Bourne, Massachusetts at a future date.
In lieu of flower donations may be made on Dick’s behalf to The Perkins Institute for the Blind Lending Library, 175 North Beacon St. Watertown, MA  02472, or Dana Farber Cancer Institute, PO Box 849168 Boston, MA 02284.

 

Comments  

#9 John Cressy 2017-09-18 13:05
Though saddened by the loss we all feel, especially my cousins Pat, Judy and Steve, I have fond memories of Uncle Dick. I remember at a family wedding as a very small child, age 5 or so, getting separated from my parents and wandering among the adults. My view was from the knees down and I finally found a pair of grey flannel slacks and brown wing tips, it had to be my Dad, Dick's next older sibling. He reached down and picked me up to comfort me. I was terrified when I realized that this man who sounded like my father and looked a lot like him, only thinner, was not my father. Uncle Dick being a good Dad himself calmed me down and gently returned me to my parents. For that and his never ending wit I have always been grateful. This is the end of an era. My brother David calculated that Uncle Dick's and my father's siblings where on this earth for 123 years from first birth to Dick's passing. A remarkable number.
#8 joan macneil smith 2017-09-10 19:46
to perky Stephen , judy & patty I'm sorry to hear about the passing of uncle dick I just heard about it today from nancy and nancy heard about it from cousin Marcia macneil Kearny . signed cousin joan macneil smith email
#7 Kathryn Mudgett 2017-08-30 20:02
Mr. Cressy was an unforgettable history teacher, with an incomparable dry wit. A couple of his sayings that I remember are "And she rode off in a huff; [pause] that was before cars were invented" and "And they hung him in effigy, which is a small town in Kansas." My sister (BHS '72) and I (BHS '74) were reminiscing about his classes after we saw his obituary--and he still made us laugh 40+ years later.
#6 Jack T. Leonard 2017-08-25 01:16
Mr. Cressy was one of the best teachers I ever had at BHS. He could really make Ancient History come alive! I will always remember Mr. Cressy's dry wit. He used to joke about predictions regarding the imminent arrival of the next ice age, "I hope that it doesn't happen before I get home to let the cat in", he would say. I was pleased to learn from his obit that he was so highly decorated and saw action in WWII. That is entirely consistent with the man that I admired and respected so deeply. Wishing your family strength and love. Jack Leonard (son of Diane)
#5 Frank Mehaffey 2017-08-25 00:57
I am so sorry to hear that Mr. Cressy has passed. He was a wonderful teacher, and was one of the most "unique" and interesting people I had ever met. I still shamelessly use some of the funny descriptions of the events of history. I particularly remember his description of Karl Marx in the Isms class one year, where he very formally concluded his description of Marx's life, by saying "Toward the end of his life........... .he died". 5 second pause, and the class laughed till we cried. I am glad to hear he had a long and productive retirement. My condolences to the Cressy family.
#4 Capt Lee Marchildon 2017-08-23 15:15
My sincerest condolences to the entire family but especially to Aileen, Pat & Judy. What a wonderful, noble career Dick had, and I know you are all so proud of his exceptional service during WW II. You are all in my thoughts & prayers during this difficult time.
#3 David Flaherty 2017-08-23 13:56
Mr. Cressy was one of the most memorable teachers I had the pleasure to study under. He sparked a lifelong thirst for knowledge of History and I often quote him even to this day. He was a terrific teacher and a great inspiration. My condolences to his family.
#2 Anne Gannon 2017-08-23 13:03
To the Cressy Family, Dick certainly had a very long and full life. He kept the flowers and grounds in beautiful shape at the Americana Holiday Motel for many years, we were lucky to have his expertise and we especially enjoyed his "extra dry" sense of humor.
Peter & Anne Gannon
#1 Jan & Ron 2017-08-22 23:44
Our prayers are with you as you mourn the loss of your loved one. Dennis has talked about Dick a lot and we felt like we knew a lot about him. May he Rest In Peace and you enjoy your memories of him. With loving sympathy.

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