Reflections on Brother Richard Sharpe
June 2, 2015
Where to begin….
Richard is returning to the area where a significant part of his life as a Marist began…the Mid-Hudson Valley region. It’s in this area— where a little over 50 years ago—Richard went to the scholasticate at Marist College across the river in Poughkeepsie.
Born in West Virginia, educated at Central Catholic in Wheeling where he met the Marists, then off to Tyngsboro, MA and then to Poughkeepsie to finish his College education.
Richard spent almost 40 years as a school administrator—in Illinois, NY, California, Pennsylvania, and Texas. He was an assistant principal, principal, and president.
Those impressive stats really don’t speak of the man, though.
He had a wickedly, sly and dry sense of humor, he was a wonderful cook, and a welcoming host. He was highly perceptive and equally tolerant of others. He was personally prayerful and faithful in his vocation.
As Richard grew in the life, he mellowed somewhat. I think years of health challenges made Richard appreciate life more and accept his own limitations and those of others. He recognized that life (ALL of it) was gift. He was so appreciative of how the brothers cared for him, especially during these final months when Mike Williams would care for him and visit him during his hospitalizations.
I considered him a friend. During my 6 years as provincial, I would go to Brownsville, Texas….for vacation…in the summer. It was a place for me to get away, to relax, and to spend some time with Richard. He gave me plenty of space, but we always ended up in the evening sitting around, having a drink, talking about friends, family, work and our brotherhood. We were able to laugh easily. I guess I will miss that the most.
Richard has earned his right to his rest…and here on this tranquil and beautiful property, Richard will be with his community of brothers (especially with his good friend and group mate Vito Aresto). We can certainly say without question that Richard has fought the good fight—he has finished the race and he has kept his faith. Thank you, Richard, and may God grant you much peace.
– Br. Ben Consigli, FMS