Last month a gentle giant transitioned to the other side. For many years I had the honor of knowing this beautiful soul who on earth was known as Richard (Dick) Driscoll. Many people over the years have asked me how I could have done Hospice work for so many years (over 15). Or how I still do it in so many unofficial ways. The answer is obvious. I am blessed with the honor of meeting and sharing the lives of people such as Dick. Sometimes it is briefly, as people transition over to the other side. Sometimes I was fortunate and honored and had years of knowing wonderful Hospice Volunteers like Mr. Driscoll. I also was blessed to have met and known his beautiful daughter Leanna who has given permission for me to share with our readers this month a touching tribute of what she wrote that she learned from her Father (see below). As for me, what I learned from Dick my quiet, gentle giant friend was – How to live a life being Loving, Patient, Giving, Strong and Steadfast in his resolve to help anyone in need.
This I know for sure. He was not known to the world or famous, but if he had been he would surely be one that everyone would be talking about and honoring for years in memory of his life and how he lived it - much the same way we remember Gandhi and Mother Theresa. And for those people that were touched by his love, healing words and actions, the ripple effect of this I am sure has extended out in countless ways. I am convinced there was an enormous celebratory award or some special recognition given to him when he crossed over. He was given Hospice Volunteer Awards so many times on Earth. If there is an Award Ceremony on the Other Side he sure will be there. Was Dick perfect and a Saint? Of course not. None of us are. I always tell my students and clients that whenever we put people on a pedestal the only place to go (unless they are Jesus Christ or a Yoga flyer) is down. Yet...Dick in my memorial to you I am breaking my own rule today my friend and you are up there! In Light, Diane
Ten Things I Learned From My Father
By Leanna Driscoll
1. The town dump can be an exciting destination.
Each Sunday, our father would gather us up and take us to the dump with
him. It was a fun trip. He had an ironic and sarcastic sense of humor
typical of his Irish heritage. The best part of the trip was what
followed- a visit to the penny candy store. Each one of us received a
dime and got to pick out our ten pieces of candy. The Candyland of Oz
in Quincy was a special place. Sometimes a seminarian from Maryknoll
would join us. I can still see Dennis Cleary, carrying his bucket,
trying to decide what he wanted.
2. A Fribble can be a great lunch.
He was not a very healthy eater. He loved chocolate and almost any kind
of dessert. I will never look at a jar of peanut butter without
thinking of him. He was promoted to National Sales Director of Red Wing
in Fredonia, NY and my parents moved there for 5 years as a result. Red
Wing made peanut butter and jelly. He was very successful there because
he loved what he was selling.
3. The best day of the week for mail is the day the store flyers come.
He loved the grocery business. He sold Purex soap when he started his
career, later he worked for Leggs pantyhose and finally Red Wing peanut
butter. He was a hard worker who was loved by those who worked for him.
Each one of the 4 of us worked for a supermarket as teenagers because
of his influence. Because of his many contacts in the grocery business,
he was able to start his own business - Driscoll Enterprises- in Derry,
New Hampshire in 1989. He was very proud of his business and it thrived
because of his relationships in the grocery industry. His friends were
very loyal and loyalty was an important value to him. Thank you to John
Graham and Gary Baumstark for encouraging him to start the business and
for standing by him to the bitter end.
4. A cocker spaniel is your best friend.
He had a black cocker named Bubbles as a kid and when the kids wanted a
dog, a cocker spaniel was what he wanted us to have. We had Shana
first, followed by Jake and now Mickey. He was so proud of Jake in the
dog show ring. Mickey was a source of comfort for him in the end. It is
so wonderful that the Scituate Life Care Center allows pets to visit! A
special thank you to Charlie Landry for his many years of canine advice
and human friendship.
5. Sometimes life has other plans for you.
His mother wanted him to be a priest but she insisted he have one date
before he signed for the seminary. She never forgave my mother for
6. An old car is better than a new car
He was a mechanic at heart. He managed a gas station as a young man and
that is where he met our mother. He could tell you what was wrong with
a car just by listening to it. Sylvia had to endure a series of old
cars that ran great but didn't look so good. The Chevy with a hole in
the floorboards was a particular favorite. When they lived in NY, he
was driving my mother every weekend to the Cleveland Clinic for IV
treatment and they also came back to see the kids quite a bit in MA so
he bought a new van. The van made it to well over 500,000 miles much to
the chagrin of his neighbors.
7. What goes up must come down.
He bought us an above the ground pool when we lived on Longmeadow Road.
Every spring we helped him put it up because every fall we took it
down. There are many fond memories of his infamous temper during this
annual event. A special thank you to Uncle Pete for his patience, sense
of humor and assistance each time.
8. You don't abandon people when they are ill.
Sylvia was chronically ill for 30 years. He was her primary caregiver
and it was incredibly stressful. He did whatever needed to be done and
he stood by her until her death in 1995. His loyalty was a powerful
thing to witness. He was part of a group of men that used to go and
help put David Crowley to bed at night. David was a young man with
muscular dystrophy. David died in my father's arms. He became a Hospice
volunteer and won their volunteer of the year award. He also touched
many people's lives as he led many bereavement groups for Hospice in
9. Spending time with your family is important.
He never missed a ballgame, a dance recital or a graduation. Family was
always a top priority. He loved his grandchildren and enjoyed having
them stay over. He played hockey with them in the basement and took
them to the fire station to see the trucks. He went to many of their
games as they grew older. He was so delighted to be a grandfather.
10. You are not the only person in the world.
My father did not tolerate selfishness. He loved to root for the
underdog. He was incredibly sensitive and empathetic. He dedicated his
life to making other people happy. He never wanted to hurt anyone, even
if he was being hurt by them. He struggled so much these past few
months. I hope that he is finally happy in heaven.
He is Leanna
Richard E. Driscoll
Mr. Richard E. Driscoll, 74 of Braintree, formerly of Derry NH and Hingham died Sunday, July 10, 2011 at the Life Care Center in Scituate. The son of the late Edward and Katherine (Bailey) Driscoll, he was born in Weymouth on February 23, 1937. Mr. Driscoll was a graduate of Boston College and had worked in Sales before starting his own business, Driscoll Enterprises, a Food Brokerage in Derry NH. Richard was a devoted Hospice volunteer and group coordinator at VNA of Manchester and Southern New Hampshire.
Husband of the late Sylvia A. (McCormack) Driscoll, he is survived by 4 children, Leanna Driscoll of Bridgewater, Lawrence Edward Driscoll and his wife Susan (Maurer) of Boston, Colette Long and her husband Roger of Waterford CT and Gregory Driscoll and his wife Nicole (Diauto) of Braintree, 5 grandchildren, Brian Driscoll, Kevin Driscoll, Rebecca Quinn, Wyatt Long and Nathan Driscoll, his sister, Mary Miller of Easton, his aunt, Margaret Bradley of Brockton and many nieces and nephews.
Visiting hours will be held on Friday from 5-9 PM in the Sullivan Funeral Home 551 Washington St., Rte 53 in HANOVER. A Funeral Mass will be celebrated on Saturday at 9 AM in St. Mary of the Sacred Heart Church, 392 Hanover St., Rte 139 in Hanover. Interment at a later date.
A special thank you to the staff of the Life Care Center in Scituate for the care and respect given to Richard and his family.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Richard's memory may be made to the VNA of Manchester and Southern NH, 33 South Commercial St, Suite 401, Manchester NH 03101 Attn: Linda Krisch.