Richard L. Badger ’50 died on July 13, 2019, in Jackson, New Hampshire.
(The following was published in the Conway Daily Sun on July 16, 2019:)
Richard Lewis Badger, 90, of Jackson, N.H., passed peacefully and surrounded by family Saturday, July 13, 2019.
Dick was born in Springfield, Mass. in 1928, son of Joseph L. Badger and Rose Erskine Badger.
He attended the Newton, Mass., schools and then graduated from Admiral Farragut Academy in 1946. He attended Bowdoin College before ski bumming for two years in North Conway, Stowe, Vt., and, for three years in Aspen, Colo. Bartending, stonemasonry, and ski patrolling kept him off the streets and on the slopes.
After three years serving in the Marine Corps during the Korean War, which included skiing Mauna Kea on the big island of Hawaii and becoming a charter member of the Hawaiian Ski Club. He eventually settled in North Conway, N.H., and unlike Stowe or Aspen, the Mount Washington Valley allowed him to both ski and be close to the ocean, his other passion.
In 1962, at a restaurant in Kennebunkport, Maine, he offered to help teach a beautiful, young Canadian gal how to eat lobster—and that was the moment he met and fell in love with Mary McCloskey of Ottawa. They were married on St. Patrick’s Day, 1962 and went on to have four children and nine grandchildren.
Dick and Mary settled in a beautiful farmhouse in Jackson that was home to sheep, chickens, pigs, an occasional steer, and his beloved horse Josey who tolerated pulling him around town in various broken down carts, carriages, and sleighs. When work would allow, he and Mary spent many of their free moments in Kennebunk with family and friends or, as was his preference, on the ocean sailing.
He began working for Charles Pinkham at Pinkham Associates selling real estate in the early 1960s before opening Badger Realty in 1965. Initially he was joined by Col. Ted Russell and Helen Barnes. He was joined a year later by his good friend John Keeney, and over the years by many others.
Notably in 1981, Brenda Leavitt joined the firm as manager and thus began a thirty-eight-year partnership that still endures today. Dick considered Brenda, Rich, and their children Miranda, Derek, and Alicia as his second family, and loved them as his own. The latest addition to Badger Realty of the Berlin office and it staff was a special point of pride for Dick, as he recognized kindred spirits of humor and dedication.
Along the way, Dick was involved in many other valley enterprises including: publishing the daily single-page ski newspaper, The Mountain Rumble; purchasing Joe Jones Ski Shop with his brother Bob; holding a partial ownership of Tyrol Ski Area and of Eagle Mountain House; and at the age of 82 purchasing the Bernerhof Inn.
He participated in an almost endless number of community projects and efforts, school boards, and planning boards. Some of his favorites included Arts Jubilee, North Conway Community Center, the MWV Bike Path, Jen’s Friends, and the Miranda Leavitt Diabetes Fund.
To everyone in the valley with a new idea, he was a cheerleader and co-conspirator, a mentor to everyone in business, a friend who was always quick to help a good cause, and someone who was always willing to join you for lunch, dinner, or a party. He was always humorous, quick to forgive, and ready to compete. In his mind, yesterday was not worth dwelling on, as the future always promised something better anyway.
Dick is predeceased by his parents and two brothers, Joseph and Robert Badger.
He is survived by his wife, Mary; sister, Holly English, and his sister-in-law, Lois Badger; his four children, Scott Badger and his fiancée, Wendy Yager; Angus Badger and his wife, Rachel Vose; Matthew Badger and his partner, Corinne Kwok; and Chris Badger and his wife, Leslie; his nine grandchildren, Katherine, Molly, and their mother, Lori Stearns, Clara, Malcolm, Nina, Helen, Willem, Lucy and Hannah.
He had endearing comments and jokes for all in his final moments. Always forward thinking and not one to dwell on the past, when Mary reassured him that the family would stay at his bedside and were not going anywhere, he responded, “I think I’m going somewhere.”
The Badger family is especially grateful to Tammy and Justin Levesque for their tremendous support of Mary and Dick. They are indebted to Dee James for her wonderful care and friendship with Dick over the past couple of months. They would also like to acknowledge and thank Dr. Rachel Hamilton and Dr. Mylan Cohen, and their staff, as well as many others, for the compassionate and diligent care they provided over the years.
In addition, the family would like to express their profound appreciation for the staff at both Memorial Hospital and Maine Medical Center, who during the past few weeks, gave such wonderful care. Dick, in his usual mode, befriended many of the nurses throughout the hospital; so it was not surprising, but still, so kind, to have so many staff members come to his room to say goodbye and pay their respects to Mary and the family immediately after his passing.
Finally, the family recognizes that for all that Dick cared about the greater Mount Washington Valley, the community has given back even more. Dick loved our towns and has always felt that it is a special place.