Richard M. Caley

Richard M. Caley of Granby, CT, passed away peacefully at his home at age 78 on Saturday, December 17. Known to many as “Caley,” “Dick” or “Goose,” and to his grandchildren as “Gee,” Dick was the most loyal and dedicated friend, father and spouse. Dick passed just days before sharing his 54th wedding anniversary with the love of his life, Carol. Dick grew up in West Hartford, CT, the youngest of four, brother to David J. Caley of Suffield, CT; the late Marianne T. Gadarowski of Willimantic, CT; and the late Charles Francis Caley III of Jamestown, RI. He attended Kingswood School (now Kingswood-Oxford) and Amherst College, Class of ’66, where he captained the baseball team and was a member of Alpha Delta Phi. From the moment he graduated from UCONN for grad school, the institution where he fatefully met Carol, he returned to Kingswood to embark on a profession that deeply defined him and allowed him to utilize a variety of talents. During his 37-year career at the school, he taught biology and photography and eventually became chairman of its science department. Dick was beyond just a teacher; he invested his entire life in learning, and sharing that knowledge with everyone around him. Although that knowledge, humorously, was not always based in fact, the skill with which it was conveyed left any recipient confident in the answer.

In the early 1980s Dick and Carol found a plot of land in Granby, where they designed and built their family home, fulfilling their vision of giving back to the land and raising their children with some dirt under their nails. In addition to his years spent teaching, Dick created a recreational animal farm on the land, often taking some of the farm life with him to work on the bottom of his shoes. Dick was a prominent member of various local communities where he met many of his best friends – manning the classroom and baseball diamond at Kingswood, slinging a tennis racket at the Granby Tennis Club, volunteering at Waste Not Want Not (a local charity), and actively supporting the Granby Land Trust, just to name a few. An artist as well as a scientist, he designed beautiful works of stained glass and free-hand oil paintings, and was an avid nature photographer. He was also an eloquent and witty writer whose many heartfelt thank-you notes were treasured by their recipients. His admiration and reverence for poet Donald Hall, public radio figure Garrison Keillor, and musical artists James Taylor, Paul Winter, and George Winston meant that there was always one artistic vessel being tapped into and expressed at any given time.

For the past nine years, Dick’s passion lay in serving as a board member on Jog Your Memory 5K, an organization started by his daughter and her husband, Bob, in honor of his wife Carol’s struggle with Alzheimer’s disease. Dick’s dedication and love for Carol was profound: He never missed a single day of seeing her in person or on FaceTime during the past seven years while she has been in a full-care facility with the devoted and meticulous assistance of her two loving aides. He was always happiest during gatherings with family and friends, such as his weekly lunches with the retired K-O teachers crew, times in Needham or at the Cape visiting his grandkids, and rounds on the golf course with his son, Josh.

Dick is survived by his loving wife Carol of Granby, CT; his children Josh, Jess, and son-in-law Bob Rice; his beloved grandchildren Colby, Caley and Mikey; and his brother David.