Richard J. Kattar

Richard J. Kattar, ROTC director from 1971-1972, died on April 22, 2017, in Tyngsboro, Massachusetts.

(The following was published in the Eagle-Tribune, April 2017:)

Col. Richard J. Kattar, (Ret.), 84, passed away peacefully at home on April 22, 2017, in Tyngsborough after a prolonged battle with Parkinson’s Disease. Richard was born August 2, 1932, in Lawrence, Mass., and was the only child of Joseph S. Kattar and Madeline (Anton) Kattar. He graduated from Central Catholic High School, received a BS/BA from Northeastern University and a Master’s Degree from the University of Maine.

Richard served his country for 30 years in the United States Army, retiring as a Colonel. His storied military career reflects our country’s history and challenges during the late 20th century. Col. Kattar served two tours of duty in Vietnam, one as an advisor to the Vietnamese in 1963 and one as a Commander of the 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment from 1970 to 1971. He directed the ROTC program at Bowdoin College. Col. Kattar commanded the 4th Battalion, 6th Infantry (the “Berlin Brigade”) and served as Chief of Staff and Chief Negotiator for U.S. Forces in Berlin (West) Germany during the height of the Cold War. Col. Kattar commanded the 2nd Basic Training Brigade at Ft. Jackson, S.C., where he played a key role in integrating men and women for the first time in a basic training combat infantry unit. One of the proudest moments of his career came when he was appointed Commander at Ft. Devens, Mass., a post he held from 1979 until his retirement from the Army in 1982. All who served with him knew of his love and respect for the soldier and learned to abide by his motto, “All The Way.”

Col. Kattar’s many military honors and awards include Legion of Merit (two awards), Bronze Star Medal of Valor (five awards), Air Medal for Valor (nine awards), Meritorious Service Award (two awards), Army Commendation Medal (two awards), Vietnamese Medal of Honor, Vietnamese Gallantry Cross with Cluster, Combat Infantry Badge, Senior Parachutist Badge and Army Pathfinder Badge.

When Richard retired from the Army he became the founder and President of CR, Inc., an early innovator in material waste recycling. His inspiration and vision in this field established many of the municipal waste recycling systems currently in use around the world. After leaving that company he continued to consult and teach, including a course in executive management at Boston University Metropolitan College.

Richard’s last years were marred by a long battle with Parkinson’s Disease. With the constant love and support of his wife, Gayle (Taylor) Kattar he continued to embrace all life had to offer while facing the challenges of the disease. In addition to his wife, Gayle, Richard is survived by his former wife, Claire (Noble) Kattar of Ipswich and their three children, Richard J. Kattar, Jr. and his wife, Kathryn of Erie, Colo., Karen Kattar and her husband, Michael Harter of Phoenix, Ariz., and Debora Grant and her husband, Gregory of York, Pa. He also leaves behind a stepdaughter, Elizabeth Papendorp and her husband, John of Somerville, Mass.; seven grandchildren, Amber, Jeremy, Gregory, Stephanie, Taylor, Carin and Jack; and seven great-grandchildren.

Interment with full military honors will be at Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Va.

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