Richard Ellis Crockford ’49 died on September 28, 2007, at his home in Mattapoisett, Massachusetts.
Born on June 6, 1927, in Miami, Fla., he prepared for college at Ponce de Leon High School in Coral Gables, Fla. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1945 and served on a submarine chaser during World War II. Following his graduation from Bowdoin in 1950 as a member of the Class of 1949 and Chi Psi Fraternity, he worked briefly as a claims adjuster for Liberty Mutual Insurance Co. in Boston and for two years as assistant to the vice president of manufacturing for Dewey & Almy Chemical Co. of Cambridge, Mass. In 1952, he embarked on a long and distinguished career in education, starting as a teacher and assistant headmaster at the Park School in Brookline, Mass., from 1952-1955. He received a master’s degree in English literature from Boston University in 1955 and then joined the faculty in the English department at Colby Junior College (now Colby-Sawyer College) in New London, N.H., where he taught for 12 years. After teaching for a year at Boston University, he returned to Colby Junior College as dean of studies from 1968 to 1970, and then served as vice president and dean of the faculty from 1970 to 1972. In 1972, he was named the 10th president of Dean Junior College (now Dean College), a position that he held until his retirement in 1991. In addition to his scholarly articles, he wrote two novels, The Spillers’ Indian Summer and The Thing Itself. He was an evaluator for the New England Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools, was the first junior college representative to be elected to the board of directors of the National Council of Independent Colleges and Universities, and was appointed to the board of the National Endowment for the Humanities. He was a director of the Woonsocket Hospital in Rhode Island, the Ray Memorial Library in Franklin, Mass., the New London Hospital Board in Conn., and a member of the Franklin Bicentennial Commission. He married Claire Coddaire in 1955 and was remarried to Julie Ahlman. He leaves six children, Richard, Jr., Jeremy, Elizabeth, Lisa, Seth, and Kate; and six grandchildren.